The Patriot essays
A former hero of the French and Indian War, Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) has renounced fighting forever to raise his family in peace. Although once a sly, efficient and ferocious soldier, he marries a fine woman who bears him seven children and, under her influence, trades his violent past for a peaceful future on his expansiveplantation.
A dedicated family man, Martin is not anxious to return to battle. Recently widowed, he has different goals now. He is the sole caretaker of his children, and the horrors of past combat still haunt him. “If you’re asking whether I’m willing to go to war with England, the answer is no. I’ve been to war, and I have no desire to do so again,” says Martin in an emotional address to the Charleston Assembly. “I have seven children. My wife is dead. Who’s to care for them if I go to war?”
Benjamin’s eldest son, Gabriel (Heath Ledger), harbors no such doubts. The radical speeches, pamphlets and newsletters that begin in the cities and pews and traverse the Colonies make an impression on the young man. War is coming, and the cause, he feels, is just. In rebelliousness of his father, Gabriel joins the fight.
Benjamin Martin is conflicted- as burly as he is in his opposition to the war, he believes in the cause. Then the British, led by the cruel Colonel Tavington (Jason Isaacs), arrive at his doorstep and endanger the one thing he holds most dear- his family. With his South Carolina household threatened, Martin agrees to take up arms alongside his idealistic patriot son and lead a brave rebel Militia into battle against a relentless and overwhelming English army.
Some of the inaccuracies of the movie is the Green Dragoons wear red uniforms in the movie, but green uniforms were actually worn in real life. The 13-star Betsy Ross flag waved by Benjamin Martin in the final battle scene did not exist at that time. These two details were compromised to order to improve the viewability of the movie.