Braveheart (Movie Summary Essay)

Braveheart: A Movie Summary

Braveheart is a 1995 movie based from the true story of William Wallace, a Scottish patriot who rebelled and initiated an uprising against King Edward the Longshanks of England to fight for Scotland and its freedom. It was directed and produced by Mel Gibson, and also starring himself as the brave-hearted William Wallace. The story, however, was written by Randall Wallace, who is believed to be a direct descendant of William (Hutchinson, 2016). Nominated for the Academy Awards, the film won five out of ten nominations including: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Makeup, and Best Sound Editing (Fandango, n.d.).

The story originated from when King Edward the Longshanks invaded and conquered Scotland. Having no heir to inherit the throne and pursue the reign of Alexander III’s bloodline, subsequently after his death, King Edward took over Scotland with the help of some Scottish leaders who were loyal to Great Britain without any hesitation (Ebert, 1995).

As a child, William Wallace witnessed the treachery and deceitfulness of King Edward.

The Wallace family was one of those who were against the monarchy of the British Empire. They loathed King Edward and joined the fight for Scottish independence. But faith was not in favour of the Wallace’s. They lost their battle and when William’s family died, he was taken by his Uncle who later on took him on a pilgrimage all throughout Europe. This voyage abroad helped him to become an educated person.

After living outside Scotland, William returned to his hometown twenty years later where he reunited with Murron MacClannough, his childhood sweetheart. In the beginning, William only wanted a life of peace with Murron and their soon to be family in their humble abode. Even if there were rumours regarding a revolution that is being planned by the Scots against the British, William wished to remain silent and steady and just take care of his family like a normal father would do. So, he secretly married Murron to be able to achieve this dream. The marriage was held in secret because he wanted to get rid of the prima nocta practice of the English lords wherein they have the right and privilege to sleep with the bride on the first night of marriage.

Unfortunately, such marriage and peaceful desires did not last for too long. His dreams of having a harmonious life with his family ended when his wife was raped and killed by the English soldiers the next day after their secret marriage was held. Outraged, William started to plot his revenge, but first sends a message to the English lords of his rebellion by slaying an entire legion of soldiers on his own using his very famous two-handed sword. Upon knowing of William’s start-up revolution, the people of Scotland started joining him in his battle against the English monarch. He led his people to winning the Battle of Stirling Bridge and then later on destroyed York and slaughtering King Edward’s nephew. He sent the nephew’s head to King Edward as an invitation for battle.

William sought for the aid of Robert the Bruce, a warrior of pride and honour, to bring Scotland and its people to independence and victory. In this instance, while Wallace, Robert, and his men were plotting their moves, King Edward who was alarmed at the very thought of having to deal with this certain uprising sent Isabella, the wife of his son, to talk and negotiate with William and serve as a distraction. However, instead of deceiving William, Isabella grew feelings for him, and later on warned him about another upcoming invasion against the people of Scotland.

Aggrieved, William convinced the noble people to fight and stand for their country. King Edward, on the other hand, led his army, and bribed Lachlan and Momay who were on the side of William to betray the latter. Because of this betrayal, as a result, the Scots lost the battle. Thereafter, Wallace tried to attack King Edward, but one of the king’s men stopped him. It turned out that this king’s man was Robert, who helped William to escape before the soldiers could catch him.

William then killed Lochlan and Momay for their betrayal and soon after, started a guerrilla warfare against the British. Isabella, who in the long run had an affair with him, helped in his battles. Robert the Bruce, who was a companion and a great friend of his, also supported him in his fight. However, one day, when Robert and William were supposed to meet, Robert’s father intercepted and told the English men where to find William. Thereafter, William was captured by the English military and was brought to the British magistrate. He was heard and tried for treason and sentenced to public torture and beheading. In the end, even after all the pain and humiliation, William still refused to submit himself to the colonizers. During his final moments, the English justices of peace tried to give him one last chance of having a swift end instead of having to experience the hands of death slowly by asking him to call for clemency and shouting, “Mercy.” William, however, still refused and instead, shouted the word,
“Freedom!” in his last minutes. Soon after that, the justices ordered his death. In the movie, before slowly vanishing into nothingness, William sees Murron, the love of his life in the sea of crowd, waiting for and smiling straight at him.

Meanwhile, Isabella avenged William’s death by telling King Edward, who was fatally ill at that time that she is pregnant and the child is William’s, in an attempt to worsen the King’s sickness by making him realize that his bloodline had reached its end. Robert, on the other hand, renounced his father when he learned about the treachery that was committed. He soon led an army of Scottish descendants to the last winning battle of the Scots for their freedom (Awesome Notes, n.d.).

William did not make it till the end. He suffered a worse death. He was not able to see his country be free from the English invasion. However, it cannot be denied that he fought his battles well. He was the one who initiated the uprising and who gave strength and hope to the Scots that all would be better in the end if they will fight for their freedom. While he was not the one who finished the battle, it is a remarkable noteworthy reminder that he was the reason why it started in the first place and why the Scots’ patriotism risen up. His thirst for vengeance and brave heart became the gateway to a very glorious victory for the people of Scotland.


  • Awesome Notes. (n.d.). Braveheart. Awesome Notes. Retrieved from
  • Ebert, R. (1995). Braveheart. Robert Ebert. Retrieved from
  • Fandango. (n.d.). Braveheart synopsis. Fandango. Retrieved from
  • Hutchinson, S. (2016). 15 things you probably didn’t know about Braveheart. Mental Floss. Retrieved from
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