Gates of Fire is a story about the Spartan way of life and their fight to protect their country. The story is told by a dying Spartan squire named Xeones, who was captured by the Persian army after the battle at Thermopylae. He is telling the story to the Persian king. The story took place around 480 B.C. Xeones began the story in a small town where he grew up called Astakos. He tells of how his town was destroyed and how he was taken in by the Spartans. Eventually he became a servant for a Spartan youth name Alexandros, who was the protégé of Dienekes. Xeones finally became a squire for the Spartan officer Dienekes.
Before Xeones became a squire he tells of the agoge, which is the thirteen year training program for the Spartan youth. He tells about Alexandros and how they became close friends through the years of training. When Xeones becomes Dienekes squire all of his duties change and he started to see more of the battles. He tells of the many battles he was at and what they were like. Xeones explains the bravery of the Spartans when they were in battle and what the individual soldiers were like. Eventually the Spartans learn that the Persian army was coming to take over all of Greece. Xeones then explains what the Spartans did to prepare for the invasion. The Spartan army sent a group of three hundred highly trained soldiers to Thermopylae to defend the pass until the rest of Greece could prepare their armies.
Dienekes was one of the three hundred sent so Xeones went with him. Xeones explains the battle and how the Spartans fought until the last man was killed. Xeones tells of how he was meant to be the only survivor so that he could tell the story of the Spartans bravery. Because of the S...
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...is because it is told by Xeones at the beginning of the story. The soldiers eventually know that they will fight the Persian army but they do not know that three hundred of them will be responsible for eventually defeating the Persian Empire and saving their country.
The main genre of Gates of Fire is historical fiction. Historical fiction “is a fiction whose setting is sometime other than that in which it is written” (Harmon 250). Pressfield bases the story directly off of events from the past. The Spartans existed and the battle at Thermopylae actually happened.
Gates of Fire can also be classified as military fiction. Military fiction is “I need to get a quote for this”. The story is based off of the Spartan army. It describes the many different aspects of the army, including the training, battles, and social aspect of the military.
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1265 words (3.6 pages)
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