Gates of Fire Essay

2755 Words 12 Pages
I. Subject
Gates of Fire is a story about the Spartan way of life and their fight to protect their country. The story is told by a dying Spartan squire named Xeones, who was captured by the Persian army after the battle at Thermopylae. He is telling the story to the Persian king. The story took place around 480 B.C. Xeones began the story in a small town where he grew up called Astakos. He tells of how his town was destroyed and how he was taken in by the Spartans. Eventually he became a servant for a Spartan youth name Alexandros, who was the protégé of Dienekes. Xeones finally became a squire for the Spartan officer Dienekes. Before Xeones became a squire he tells of the agoge, which is the thirteen year training program for
…show more content…
II. Theme
The theme of Gates of Fire is that men can serve their patriotic duty towards their country when the need to. Pressfield shows that men will fight for their country in times of war. The characters showed this in their loyalty to their country and to the other countries of Greece. They knew that the Persian invasion was coming and that they had to defend their country against them. The story starts with the town of Astakos where Xeones grew up. The town got attacked by a traitorous ally called the Argives, and during the attack Xeones’s family was killed and his farm destroyed. “Why was I not standing at my father’s shoulder, armed and possessed of a man’s strength, to defend our hearth or die honorably before it as he and my mother had?” (Pressfield 21). This shows that Xeones was willing to defend his house and family even to the point of death. It also shows that he is willing to eventually fight for a much larger cause when he has to defend his own country against the Persian invasion. Xeones joins the Spartan military and becomes a squire he starts to serve his whole country rather than his family and his home. When Sparta learned of the Persian invasion, they sent out a small force of three hundred troops to slow the enemy’s advance. “By Zeus and Eros, by Athena Protectress and Artemis Upright, by the Muses and all the gods and heroes who defend Lakedaemon and by the blood of my own flesh,
Open Document