|Loved the film, even if the history is questionable.|
The Battle of Falkirk was one of the most significant battles in the First War of Scottish Independence. In Braveheart, it’s the battle where Wallace is almost killed before he’s dragged from the field by Robert the Bruce, who had sided with the English at the behest of his sinister father.
Now Braveheart is a great movie and that was a dramatic and compelling scene, but many historians have criticized both the scene and the film as being historically inaccurate. For one, Robert the Bruce did not side with the English at Falkirk. He wasn’t even there, although during his reign he did change sides between the Scots and the English several times. Nevertheless, was the artistic license taken in Braveheart defensible in the name of crafting good fiction?
|Does Robert the Bruce look like a traitor?|
|A perfect use of artistic license!|
I did something similar in my own novel, whose antagonist is a French bishop. He’s not a nice man – and that’s being kind! So instead of slandering the name and memory of some real bishop, I made this character the Bishop of Blois, even though Blois’ real bishopric was not created until centuries later. I made this call for the sake of my story, and I stand by it.
But others may disagree. So what’s your view? When does artistic license go too far in the name of historical fiction?