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Braveheart Fact Or Fiction

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Dave Arreche

Historical or Historical Fiction

Main Characters of Braveheart

Braveheart is supposed t o be the true story of William Wallace and his battle to free Scotland from English rule. Most of the characters in Braveheart are true historical characters, however, the manner in which they are portrayed in the movie, tends to lean a bit towards fiction. Little is know about the true history of Wallace.

Wallace was born around 1270 near Elderslie, in Paisley Parish. It is believed that he grew up living with his uncle, a priest. It is likely that his uncle taught him Latine, French, and some combat training. In the movie, Wallace is depicted as going to live with his uncle after his father is killed fighting the English. It is believed however, that his father was not killed until Wallace was in his early twenties. "It is likely that the death of his father at the hands of the English contributed to Wallace's lifelong desire to fight for his nation's independence"(Campbell). The movie would have us believe that Wallace, wanting to avenge the death of his wife, goes on a crusade to lead Scotland in to freedom.

It is true that Wallace married a woman name Marian Braidfoot, in or around 1297, and she was put to death by the English sheriff of Lanark. It is believed, however, that the main reason she was put to death was because Wallace had already risen against the English. Wallace does become knighted around 1298, and is appointed the Guardian of Scotland, however after losing the battle of Falkirk, he resigns that position. Finally, in August of 1304, Wallace is captured by Sir Jon Mentieth near Glasgow. He is sent to England where he is put to death. The movie depicted Wallace as a man who believed in freedom for his people, and aside from a little embellishment, for the most part that was true.

William Wallace's beliefs are clear in what some have said was his favorite bit of

verse, originally in Latin: Freedom is best, I tell thee true, of all things to be won.

Then never live within the bond of slavery, my son (History).

Robert the Bruce, who also plays a key role in the film, is depicted as being a man of little action, and a lot of words. But real life it is believed that he played as key a role for Scottish independence as Wallace. It is true, however, that at some point Bruce did submit to Edward I, but it's not likely that it occurred on the battlegrounds of Falkirk, as depicted in the movie. After the death of Wallace, Bruce desired to side once again with the Scottish rebels, and after a series of battles, his army finally defeated the English in July 1314 at Bannockburn. Bruce did in fact rule Scotland form 1314 until his death in 1329. The movie depicts Bruce's father as having a skin disease, but it was actually Bruce himself who had the disease. "Bruce was cursed by a skin disease which, today, historians believe was psoriasis or the like, but which for centuries was believed to be leprosy" (History).

The main villain of the movie was Edward I, also know as "Longshanks". The

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