Braveheart A Socialogical Look Essay, Research Paper
The movie I chose for my sociological movie review was Braveheart. Staring in this movie was Mel Gibson (William Wallace), Patrick McGoohan (King Edward Longshanks), Catherine McCormack (Murron) Sophie Marceau (Princess Isabella) and many more. I chose this movie because it is, hands down, the best movie of all time. It had a lot of good war, love and inspirational scenes to occupy any mind for the full three hours. Braveheart relates to sociology because it talks of social class, right and wrong, and a great deal of venturing outside of the social norm. In this paper I will summarize Braveheart in detail and also tell how sociology plays a big role in this movie.
Braveheart is based on the true story of a Scottish farmer, William Wallace, who is pushed too far by English tyranny. In the beginning of the movie William s father is summoned to a meeting with all the other Scottish noble to discuss a peace treaty with the king of England, Edward the Longshanks. They were discussing a peace treaty with England because England wanted to take over all of Europe. When all the Scottish nobles finally arrived at the designated barn, Longshanks ambushed them and had them all hanged inside the barn. Williams Wallace s dad however was a little late so he arrived just in time to cut all the dead men down from the ceiling. William saw all of this but didn t quit know what to think of it.
The next day all the remaining Scots went to war with the English. The Scottish believed that if they formed a small army and fought the English it would let them know their disgust and maybe help the nations to reach a truce. William just being a child of eight years old had to stay at home to look after the farm. The morning after William s father s departure an ox driven cart came rolling in bearing his fathers dead body. While William was at his father s funeral he met a little girl that gave him a flower to ease his pain. Later that night Williams uncle Argyle showed up and took William back to his home in the north. When Argyle asked William if the eulogy was given in classic Latin William explained that he couldn t speak Latin to which Argyle responded That s something we ll have to remedy. Argyle taught William Latin, French and the arts of war. Argyle stressed that a real man uses his wits then as a last resort, his sword.
Several years later, a fully-grown William Wallace (Mel Gibson) returned to his old home to start a family of his own. The evening of his return he went to a wedding in the village where he met that same little girl from his father s funeral. He approached her and they immediately knew each other even after all those years. As the party when on an English noble and a band of soldiers arrived on horseback to claim sexual rights of the bride on her first night of marriage. This was an old law the Longshanks reinstated in an attempt to breed the Scots out of Scotland. William still kept his cool and decided that he would marry his wife in secrete so he wouldn t have to share her with an English noble. William and his new wife had succeeded in a secrete marriage in the woods with a friar performing the ceremony. The next day however William had to defend his secrete wife from an attempted rape by so English soldiers. The soldiers captured Murron (Wallace s wife) and executed her in front of the whole town to try to bring Wallace to town so he could be punished as well. During the escape from the attempted rape Wallace told Murron to meet him in a spot in the woods. When Wallace reached the designated spot and notice she wasn t there he knew that the English must have captured and executed her. My first thought at this point was O Hell, it s on now! William returned to the town on horseback to seek vengeance of his lost love. After Wallace started to slay English soldiers left and right the town people soon joined in and finished off all the rest of the English all except the noble who killed Wallace s Wife. Wallace pushed the noble around for a while then looked into his eyes just before he slit his throat. Now is when Wallace starts his crusade for the freedom of all Scotsmen.
Soon, after word of Wallace s exploits traveled all over the country, men flocked to his aid in fighting the English for the independence of Scotland. Many battles followed in which Wallace displayed his keen intellect in defeating the English even when the Scottish armies where nothing but farmers who were greatly out numbered. Wallace had the hearts of the Scottish people but not the Scottish nobles who had much more at risk than the common man. They stood to lose land and hereditary title. I liked the question that Wallace asked when he talked about the nobles; and the common man, does risk any less [than the Scottish nobles] . It would be the Scottish nobles who would finally do Wallace in when during a battle they marched off the field refusing to help William and Scotland. As a result the Scottish lost a battle they should have won and Wallace was now injured by an English arrow and very pissed off! After a short recovery Wallace was back in fighting condition as he soon began to kill all those who betrayed him. He would sneak up on them and kill them one by one. Wallace was now turning into a madman.
Wallace was then summoned to a meeting with the remaining Scottish nobles to discuss a new plan of action to attack the English. Wallace believed that now he finally had the noble s loyalty but he was wrong. It turned out to be an ambush and Wallace was captured by English soldiers and brought to trial to confess his sins against his king. Wallace was to be publicly tortured and killed to show what happens to all that oppose the King of England. [Wallace s] head was put on display on London Bridge, his arms and legs were sent to the four corners of England as sign to warning to all those who would oppose the king. It didn t have the result Longshanks had hoped for. During the course of the following year Scotsmen took the field, starving and out number and defeated England to win their freedom.
Braveheart relates to the sociological aspect of social class because of all the prejudices that take place. In the movie, Wallace is merely a Scottish farmer who works for a living. Above the Scottish farmer in the class system is the Scottish noble. There were several Scottish nobles in this movie including the future king of Scotland. Next came the came the English soldiers. English soldiers were higher on the hierarchy because of the way the English law was written. If someone were to assault an English soldier it would be treated as an assault on the king himself. This meant an immediate death sentence. If someone were to assault a Scottish noble then the assailant would only be looked down upon and maybe reprimanded. An execution was certainly not necessary. Next, came all other English nobles and major landowners. Finally, of course the king of England was the highest in the hierarchy.
Braveheart also relates to the sociological aspect of right and wrong because of the noble rights that were in place. In the movie Edward the Longshanks granted all the English nobles the right of prima nockta, which gave the sexual rights of every newly married couple in Scotland to their respective noble on the first night of their marriage. Though it is common knowledge that this practice is a form or rape, the nobles did it anyway because they could hide behind the orders of the king of England. This is a good example of knowing the difference between right and wrong because even though it was written into law the Scottish people knew that this law condoned the wrong thing to do.
Finally, Braveheart contains the sociological aspect of being outside the social norm. In the movie, Sir William Wallace displays a great deal of social abnormality because it s not in the social norm to start a war with a rival nation. Wallace also ventures outside the social norm because he leads and organizes many battles and displays great intelligence and wit to defeat the English. The social norm back then was to be a poor, ignorant, uneducated farmer. Wallace possessed a great education, great bravery and an uncanny sense of leadership. Wallace s personality was also outside of the social norm because he had such a charisma around the commoners that he could let them into a nearly hopeless battle and convince them that they could win.
In conclusion, Braveheart was the greatest movie of all time. In this movie there are various examples of sociology. Social class, right and wrong, and social normality are all portrayed in this movie. If you ever have a free couple of hours watch this movie because it is entertaining as well as intellectually stimulating.