Gates Of Fire

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade January 2002

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Defiance Steven Pressfield's Gates of Fire retells the thrilling true story of the battle of Thermopylae. The tale is told from the perspective of a Greek helot, who shares his entire upbringing in the Spartan civilization right down to his near death experience at Thermopylae. Throughout the journey we meet a number of rich and interesting characters, but one stands out above the rest. Dekton, also known as Rooster, is deeply embroiled in a love hate relationship with Sparta. He shows extreme courage and valor, but instead of embracing Sparta's praise he them away and becomes a hero to his own people, the Messinians. We see Rooster grow from a boy to adulthood, and watch him progress from a confused defiant child into a true Spartan hero.

One of my favorite aspects about Dekton is his strong and unyielding character. He is unusually blessed with both an ideal physical body and a superb strength of willpower.

Dekton can easily be compared to a magnificent wild stallion. The Spartans try for years to tame and harness him into their ranks, but they yield no success. When he saves his master, Olympieus, and slays three of the enemy under bleak conditions, the Spartans wish to bestow upon him the great honor of becoming a Mothax. This would ease the burden of his life, as he would be close to the equivalent of a Spartan peer. Instead of accepting this honor, Rooster refuses it and becomes an even a greater hero to the Messinians. Through out his life he resists all attempts others make to push and prod him into their plan. Dekton proves in the end that he is able to overcome his defiance, as he eventually realizes his love for Sparta and helps lead...