The 300

28 05 2008

I watched The 300 last night. Impressive!

Stylistically it maintained the look and feel of the original comic book – er, graphic novel – with the high contrast, moody dark feel, and extreme closeups.

But a couple things particularly caught my attention, bringing fresh emphasis to several scriptures.

The first was when Leonidas and Demophilos met on the way to Thermopylae. Demophilos was surprised that Leonidas brought only 300 out of the thousands of Spartan warriors, while he had brought 700 Thespians. In response, Leonidas asked several of the Thespians what their occupations were: potter, sculptor and blacksmith were the responses. The same question of the Spartans elicited only a single response: war; whereupon Leonidas said that he brought more soldiers than Demophilos. Such single-minded focus on war allowed them to be ready for Thermopylae; without it they would not have been able to mount such a tremendous stand against the overwhelming Persian forces. However, it must be noted that the Thespians, even though they were not firstly warriors, did make the same sacrifice at Thermopylae as the Spartans.

My second was their training. We’ve seen the behind-the-scenes film about the training of the actors who played the Spartans, and how rigorously they worked, how long they worked, honing their bodies to have the marvelous physiques displayed in the movie, and the smooth grace and elegance of their battle choreography. And that would have been nothing compared to the years of training the Spartans devoted themselves to in order to be such outstanding warriors.

The verses that came to mind related to the above elements are 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, about the Greek tradition of training intensity for sporting events; and Ephesians 6:10-17, on the spiritual battle and the spiritual equivalents to the armor used by soldiers at that time.

My final thought on spiritual parallels is their willingness to sacrifice themselves for the rest of Sparta, and all of Greece, following their king into a battle from which they all knew there was only one outcome. That this sacrifice would buy their neighbors and countrymen the time to make their own decisions about what needed to be done against the enemy.

Are we Spartans? Are we Thespians? Are we undecided?

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One response

30 05 2008
Tangboy

Very interesting insights. I know I’ve talked to you about the movie on the phone but these are some ideas I haven’t thought about. If I knew I could handle the gore and violence again I would watch it with those ideas in mind. “what… he can’t wach 300 because its too violent?” – you might be saying… but since I’ve been married I can’t handle the gore and violence like I used to be able to watch without batting an eye. Interesting movie none the same and unique ideas…

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