Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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The inspiring movie Braveheart is a beautiful film about freedom, love, betrayal, and unity. The violence of war and the beauty of love are portrayed throughout its entirety. Set in fourteenth century Scotland, a bold man by the name of William Wallace is set on growing a farm and raising a family, and after falling in love with the lovely Murron it seems like his dreams are coming true. They marry in secret because Wallace will not share her with an English Lord, but after nearly being raped they kill her. Instead of falling into despair, Wallace angrily decides to destroy the armies of England and get them out of Scotland once and for all. Wallace fought and won many wars with the English and became a much respected man in Scotland and soon met and fell in love with the lonely Princess of Wales. Soon after being betrayed by the nobles of Scotland he is caught by the coldhearted King Longshanks of England.

They find him guilty of treason and order him to be tortured and executed; he dies bravely. In memory of Wallace, Robert the Bruce leads the army of Scotland to victory over the English. Scotland is finally free. There are many themes in this epic film but the importance of freedom is seen and talked about consistently.

Early in the movie, after Wallace returns to the village he lived in as a boy, we see a wedding celebration, an English noble and soldiers ride into the village and crash the celebration and claim their so called right to the bride on her wedding night. Even earlier in the film they trick a group of Scots into a barn and hang them all. England is constantly seen abusing their power over the Scots while trying to take over the country. The Scots decide that they are not afraid of Longshanks anymore, they are tired of paying taxes to him, they are tired of their people being killed by him, and they are tired of paying tribute to an evil king who doesn't care about them and their needs. The only way to get that freedom was to fight passionately for it. Their defiance of tyranny finally won their freedom.

Wallace set up a meeting with Robert the Bruce and the nobles of Scotland to plead with them to fight for their country as well and win their freedom. After a while they decide to join Wallace in his quest. During the heat of the battle when Wallace needed them the most the nobles rode away and left them on their own and Robert the Bruce did not even show up. Wallace tries to hide his feelings of betrayal and goes after the king but is stopped by a soldier, Wallace then found out that it was Robert the Bruce. A man he thought was his friend had betrayed him deeply. Wallace couldn't take anymore and he finally gave up, but Robert helped get him out of harms way. Betrayal is what finally killed Wallace after he was ambushed by English soldiers because of the nobles of Scotland. But Wallace's death was what brought the country of Scotland back together in the end.

The people's greed for power, money and land is the main reason for all of this hate and bloodshed. Wallace was discouraged that his own people would turn against him for this reason. The hope of freedom and revenge for his wife's death were the only things that kept him going during this time of war and tyranny. Longshanks knew that the only way he would win this war was to bribe the nobles of Scotland; they were too cowardly to fight and were terrified of the king, so they took what was offered to them. Power, money, land, and class segregation were very apparent throughout this film. Wallace was determined to fight it every step of the way and prove to the king and to the people that just because they were a lower class did not mean that they would bow to that king. For example, Wallace killed the king's cousin and sent him the head; he also killed a few of the Scottish nobles that had turned against him. He raided many of the king's villages and killed many of his subjects just to make a point. He wasn't going to stand for it any longer; he put hope in other people's lives once again.

This is a very touching movie; Wallace's fierce love for his wife and for his country inspired a lot of people and helped them win their battle for freedom. His selfless acts concluded in his death but also in the birth of Scotland as a free country. Freedom is something that we all take for granted and this film shows what a privilege that it is to be free. Right before Wallace's death he was cruelly tortured and he didn't cave in for mercy or a quick death; he was strong throughout all of the punishment. Gaining freedom for Scotland was the most important thing in his life; it was the only thing he had left after his wife's murder. During his quest he said this, "they may take our lives but they will never take our freedom!" This speech and Wallace's fierce passion motivated the Scots to take back what was rightfully theirs; their freedom.