Braveheart: William Wallace and English King Eduard I

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The film “Braveheart” is a period film which follows courageous William Wallace in his struggle against the oppressive English King, Edward I. However this film is filled with a plethora of inaccuracies, ranging from costumes to relationships. While William Wallace did in fact lead a rebellion against the English in 1296. He was victorious at the battle of Sterling Bridge. And he was indeed executed after his capture. However that’s about the only thing that Mel Gibson got right when producing this film, the other parts of the film were either distorted facts or completely fabricated. In the film Wallace was portrayed as a poor Scottish yeoman, in reality he was a landing owning commoner with a decent education. In defiance of English rule Wallace and many others did refuse to sign the Ragman Roll which pledged allegiance to King Edward I.

Wallace in conjunction with Andrew Moray created an army of these outlawed men. Moray was not really mentioned in the film at all after his death in sterling bridge. Previous to this rebellion Wallace was involved with a woman; however he was unable to settle down because of his constant hiding and fighting. Wallace was involved in a romantic relationship, but he was unable to settle down due to spending his entire adult life at war or in hiding. At one point he was hiding, the English discovered him and this woman saved his life by stalling to allow Wallace time to escape. She and the rest of the men in hiding were murdered.

When watching “Braveheart” it is possible to confuse William Wallace as the person who first used spears in combat. However it was common knowledge that the spear had been used for years before his existence. Gibson also misrepresented their fighting formations which...

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...rranged his spearmen in four Schiltrons, a defensive battle strategy. The English had a great advantage over the Scots as they had Welsh long bowmen which had much greater accuracy. Eventually the Scottish archers were broken up by the British Calvary. Commanded by the Scottish nobles to withdraw, the Knights withdrew and Edward's men were able to attack the Schiltrons. Gaping holes appeared in the Schiltrons which slowly began to disappear. The loss of Scottish men at the battle was astounding. Wallace was able to escape, however his military reputation suffered badly. That September William Wallace abdicated the title of Guardian of Scotland to Robert the Bruce --- the future King and King John Balliol’s brother in law. Eventually Bruce reconciled with King Edward in 1302; his decision to do so was spurned by Wallace who wanted to continue the fight for freedom.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how mel gibson's "braveheart" is a period film which follows courageous william wallace in his struggle against the oppressive english king, edward i.
  • Analyzes how wallace and andrew moray created an army of outlawed men in sterling bridge. wallace was involved in a romantic relationship, but he was unable to settle down due to his constant hiding and fighting.
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