CEdwards BP_8 Terrorist? Outlaw?

For purposes of this blog, terrorism refers to the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In other words, a terrorist uses unlawful violence to try to persuade others to believe what he believes. However, the classification of actions as terrorism is relative. To the persons in which the unlawful violence is thrust upon, the actions are consider terrorist in nature; however, to the persons inflicting such violence, the actions are deemed necessary to further a particular ideology. William Wallace embodies the essence of a terrorist to the English crown but yet to his fellow Scots, he is the champion of freedom.

Wallace’s unlawful violence was exemplified in his unyielding pursuit and heinous murder of seventeen Scottish noblemen. Robert the Bruce, a Scottish noble in service to the English king, betrayed Wallace and set him up to be ambushed. The betrayal was a result of the noblemen’s fear of rebelling against England. In pursuit of revenge, Wallace systematically hunted and executed all of the noblemen who had gone against him. This raises the question “At what point does violence become too much?” I imagine audiences cheered Wallace on as he killed the English soldiers throughout the film; yet were taken aback as his violence grew in unlawfulness. In murdering those noblemen, Wallace was beating his chest almost as to say “I am Wallace, hear me roar!” (However, I do not necessarily think that he murdered the noblemen for the freedom of Scotland, rather than to feed his ego.)

He is violently trying to persuade other Scots and Englishmen to allow Scotland to be free of English control. Persuading through violence is the characteristic of a terrorist; thus Wallace is undoubtedly considered a terrorist by those he is trying to coerce. Wallace exemplifies the dichotomous relationship between freedom fighter and terrorist because the Scottish revered him for his violence, while the English feared him. In the present day, this dichotomy also presents itself with classified terrorist such as Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden was championed by his followers for his disapproval of the West and his acts of violence in the September 11 attacks. His followers classified him as a hero or freedom fighter; while the United States made him the number one fugitive on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. In these examples, hero versus freedom fighter is a classification that is undeniably subjective.

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This entry was posted in Blog 8 (Jan 15) Terrorists? Outlaw? Justice?. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

2 Comments

  1. Posted January 15, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    I completely agree with your post and found it very interesting. Although I think that Wallace was fighting for selfish reasons, his fellow Scots definitely believed in him and he gave them hope. I think that hero versus terrorist is completely subjective.

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  2. Posted January 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    I agree with your post. I think that Wallace acted a lot on revenge, especially the scene in the movie where his wife is killed, so he Wallace kills every guard in the town.

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