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Posts Tagged ‘William Wallace’


Braveheart is one of my favorite movies.  Mel Gibson was on a great run there for awhile.  It is a movie about the value and price for freedom, and it is a stirring film (historical inaccuracies aside).

But what is often missed is the important roles fathers (and father figures) play in the lives of the characters.  It may come across to some as simplistic but the men with the bravest hearts were raised by brave men.  The cowardly, self-serving men were raised by overbearing, abusive fathers.  Fathers play an important role in shaping the lives of sons into young men.  That role can’t be overstated.

So let’s take some peeks into this story and see the impact of fathers on sons.

Braveheart opens with a young William Wallace watching his father, Malcolm, preparing to go into battle.  His older brother is also joining his father.

  •  
    • William: I’m going with you?
    • Malcolm: A good help ye be too.
    • William: I can fight.
    • Malcolm: I know you can fight.  (pause) But it’s our wits that make us men.

His father does not mock him, but affirms him.  But in the process teaches him that there is more to being a man than fighting.  And more to fighting than mere strength and skill.  William must still learn to use his wits to be a man.  It appears as though he has the right father to teach him, but tragedy strikes.  I wonder if it was this broken heart that made him so pliable.

Into this void steps his Uncle Argylle.  He isn’t quite sure about Argylle at first, but soon learns that he is in good hands.

“You don’t speak Latin?  Well, that’s something we’ll have to remedy, isn’t it?”

His uncle does not belittle him, but sees this as an indication that young William can and will learn.  Together they will address this lack of knowledge.  William is not alone, but his uncle will stand with him and teach him what he lacks.

“It was the same for me and your father when our daddy died.  First learn to use this (points to his head), then I’ll teach you how to use this.”

Uncle Argylle is one who has trod the path that lies before William.  He and his brother lost their father.  He puts the priority on using his head so that he will not only use his weapons skillfully but wisely.

But Malcom does not disappear from the film.  He shows up in a dream to offer direction  to his son.

“Your heart is free; have the courage to follow it.”

(more…)

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