300 Essay for History

Frank Miller’s Movie: Fact or Fiction

Suzanne Harris

Survey of World Civilization I
Professor Fisher
November 8, 2010
When a person decides to create a movie that is based on a historical event, he or she should try to stay as accurate to the story’s history as humanly possible. It seems that some movie makers can accomplish this feat while others are highly unsuccessful. Then there is the occasional movie based on history that walks a thin line in which accuracy is mixed with stretching the truth and major errors. This is one opinion on Frank Miller’s movie, “300”. This movie is based on the battle between the Spartans and Persians at the pass to Thermopylae. This movie was accurate as well as inaccurate. Even though some of the physical characteristics, battle attire, and actual battle elements depicted in Miller’s “300” are accurate to history, the way some of these things are portrayed are painstakingly false.
Some of the inaccuracies in this movie are due to the physical appearance of some characters. The Spartans looked like physically powerful men ready for battle. This is very believable since Spartan boys were sent away at age seven to train extensively for combat.1 The Ephors did preside over the council of elders pertaining to matters such as taxes and the military training of young men, but they were not inbred men as they are shown in the movie.1 The humpback man who betrayed the Spartans by revealing the passage behind them was Ephialtes. However, he was not disfigured and humpback like it showed in the movie.1 The physical appearance of the Persian leader shows the most inaccuracy. The Persian leader, Xerxes, is shown as a deliberately oversized drama queen. He is wearing a gold pair of thong-like underwear along with a cape and boots. He has chains hanging all over his face, chest, and body along with numerous piercings on his face, nose, and ears. He has absolutely no hair on his face and is bald. He seems to be wearing some heavy makeup...