The movie Troy creates the meaning that it is better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees. This is because in any society, individuals who perish while defending the honor of their people are eventually regarded as heroes.
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This is well illustrated by Menelaus’ desire to seek vengeance against Paris who stole his wife, and in the process break himself from the yoke of ridicule by other people in the region. The same meaning of standing up for your honor is shown when Achilles visits his mother seeking her opinion on whether he should go to war or stay in Phtia and raise a family (Wolfgang, 2004). Her mother’s response is very objective as she gives him the pros and cons of both decisions.
She tells him that if he decides to opt out of war, he will get married and have many children. On the other hand, she says, if he goes to war in Troy, he will succeed in killing many of the enemy’s soldiers, but he will eventually be killed. The former option appears to be too enticing for Achilles to ignore and as soon as he finishes with his mother, he joins the team sailing to Troy.
The entire film revolves around individuals seeking to maintain dominance over other persons regarded as enemies. Achilles and Agamemnon find themselves at logger heads over Briseis, a woman they have captured from the Trojan Royal family and are keeping as a hostage. After the capture, Achilles had laid the first claim on the woman but Agamemnon disregards the call and stays with the lady. In such a situation, any man worth his pride would break all ties with the aggressor and this is actually what Achilles does (Wolfgang, 2004).
He and his Myrmidons stay away from Agamemnon’s team in the field. When Agamemnon gives Briseis to his men, Achilles fights tooth and nail to rescue her and they later enter a steamy love making session. It is at this point that Achilles finds himself in some sort of quagmire. He can stay and fight alongside the Greeks, which will then see him get the high regard as a hero that he so much seeks.
However, this decision will be a compromise that would require him to make amends with Agamemnon (who at the moment is not even remorsefully and continues carrying himself with pride). He also cannot leave the battlefront as this would wound his pride as a man to have gone to war and left without a win. As fate would have it, the Trojans launch a surprise attack against the Greeks and it is only when defeat is imminent for the latter that Achilles comes in and saves the day.
When Patroclus, Achilles’ cousin is killed as he (Achilles) sleeps, Achilles is infuriated and vows to not leave Troy without avenging the death. True to his word, Achilles enters Troy and in a one-on-one match against Hector (Patroclus’ killer) takes him down and humiliatingly drags the body to his camp.
The Trojan king makes a trip to the Greek camp requesting to take his son’s body for a decent burial (Wolfgang, 2004). This process of begging for the body massages the ego of the Greeks, making them envision success even though they are yet to leave the field.
As the story continues, the Greeks use crafty means to launch a steal attack against Troy and as they tear it to pieces, Achilles tries desperately to rescue Briseis. He eventually succeeds but is fatally wounded by several arrows. Even on his death, Achilles still wants to maintain his honor and quickly pulls out all the arrows on several parts of his body, leaving only one stuck at the heel.
This sustains the meaning of the film that a man is his honor and pride because in years to come, people are led to believe that Achilles death was caused by one shot on his heel. As the film draws to a close, the viewer cannot help but marvel at the late Achilles’ greatness supported by Odysseus’ speech regarding him (Achilles) as one of the giants of the time (Wolfgang, 2004).
The setting clearly justifies the character and conduct of Achilles and the other men in the film. The medieval time was probably the one period where personal honor was highly regarded and men would actually sacrifice their lives just to maintain social respect. The plot of the story also supports the element of self-pride, as it puts all the characters in situations where they have to make conscious decision to either fight (and probably die) and maintain their honor or retreat (and live) but lose their greatness in the eyes of generations to come.
The creators of the film definitely intended to make Troy more than just a regular action movie. They absconded all Hollywood demands and adopted a logical flow ensuring that all the issues presented in the film were well researched and put in proper context. The general direction taken by the film makers is an attempt to establish that pride cannot be clearly separated from confrontation.
The creators of the film constantly invite new characters and establish some smaller plots to help develop some sense of detachment. Some characters show up briefly to pass on a message of wisdom and then leave never to appear again. In general the film is very accurate especially since all the setting, the characters and the costumes are well picked out to make the story even more believable.
The actors in the film get into character very well and their lines are written in such a way that they are in tandem with the social class and the time in which the events were happening. For instance, the prince speaks with an air of authority going in line with his position in society. The gender relationships are also well defined depending on the setting hence making the delivery of the meaning even easier.
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In order to influence feelings and emotions, the creators ensure that they do not spend a lot of time trying to explain how the various sub-plots are interconnected. This is because by picking on the emotive subject of pride, the writers of the film, Troy, were able to easily capture the attention of the audiences particularly from the American publics.
In general, the film tends to suggest that all human conflicts can be directly traced to the emotions surrounding the pride. In a way, the film is a revelation of the futility of the attempts of individuals trying to use peaceful negotiation to enact change. In order to support this motive, the director ensures that all characters who attempt to go outside this direction of events by sticking to their ideals are heavily punished-with most of them by death.
Wolfgang P. (Dir). (2004). Troy. USA: Warner Brothers.