OB40mukEXQ6QZ1740xdjwF1LEQ4 Quote to Remember: ALEXANDER [2004]


Friday, February 1, 2013


Fortune Favors The Bold

 Fortune favours the bold.
~Virgil, The Aeneid

Parmenion: Your father taught you never to surrender your reason to your passion.
Now I urge you with all my experience, regroup, fall back to the coast, raise a larger force.
Alexander: I would, if I were Parmenion. But I am Alexander.
And no more than earth has 2 suns will Asia bear 2 kings. These are my terms.
And if Darius isn't a coward who hides behind his men then he'll come to me tomorrow.
And when he bows down to Greece, Alexander will be merciful.

Hephaistion: I've always belived, Alexander, but this seems so much bigger than us.
Alexander: Did Patroclus doubt Achilles when they stood side by side at the seat of Troy?
Hephaistion: Patroclus died first.
Alexander: If you do, if you were to fall, Hephaistion, even if Macedonia were to lose a king,
I will avenge you, and follow you down to the house of death.
Hephaistion: I will do the same.

You're all honored your country and your ancestors.
And now we come to this most distance place in Asia where across from us,
Darius has at last gathered a vast army.
But ask yourselves, who is this great king who pays assassins in gold coins to murder my father, our king, in a most despicable and cowardly manner?
Who is this great king, Darius, who enslaves his own men to fight?
Who is this king but a king of air?
These men do not fight for their homes, they fight because this king tells them they must.
And when they fight, they will melt away like the air, because they know no loyalty to a king of slaves.
But we are not here today as slaves.
We are here today as Macedonian freemen!
And though outnumbered, I say to you who know the price of tyranny, who've carried the Persian yoke too long,  you have the strength born of your hearts, 
and all their arms, their numbers, their chariots and all their fine horses will mean nothing in the hands of slaves.
Some of you, perhaps myself, will not live to see the sun set over these mountains today.
For I will be in the very thick of battle with you.
But remember this, the greatest honor a man can ever achieve is 
to live with great courage and to die with his countrymen in battle for his home.
I say to you, what every warrior has known since the beginning of time, conquer your fear.
And I promise you, you will conquer death.
Your sons and your grandsons will look into your eyes,
and when they ask why you fought so bravely at Gaugamela, you will answer,
with all the strength of your great great hearts,
"I was here this day at Gaugamela for the freedom and glory of Greece!"
Zeus be with us!

Some called his mother, Queen Olympias, a sorceress,
and said that Alexander was the child of Zeus. Others, Dionysus.
~Old Ptolemy

He will never be yours! Never!
In my womb I carry my avengers!
~Olympias, to Philips

Come on, Alexander, where's your hunger to twist Hephaistion's head off?
Is he stronger than you? Then beat him another way.
Who will respect you as a king? You think because of your father?
The first rule of war is to do what you ask your men to do. No more, no less.
~Wrestling Trainer

Cassander: Then what of Achilles at Troy, master? Was he not excessive?
Aristotle: Achilles simply lacks restraint.
He dominates others so completely that even when he withdraws from battle
crazed with grief over his dead lover, Patroclus, he seriously endangers his own army.
He is a deeply selfish man.
Cassander: Would you say the love between Achilles and Patroclus is a corrupting one?
Aristotle: When men lie together in lust, it is a surrender to the passions and does nothing for the excellence in us.
Nor does any other excess, Cassander, jealousy among them.
But when men lie together and knowledge and virtue are passed between them,
that is pure and excellent.
When they compete to bring out the good, the best in each other,
this is the love between men that can build a city-state, and lift us from our frog pond.
Hephaistion: But can a man love a woman equally, master?
Aristotle: A woman? Of course not. A woman is a slave to her passion, Hephaistion.
Naturally there are exceptions, and we must honor them.
Such as Pallas Athena, goddess of wisdom and war.
But never forget, she is sprung not from loins of Zeus, but from his mind.
Now, you think on all this, my young frogs, for in you resides the future of Greek civilization.
To strive for honor is the highest purpose of all.
To rule over our baser emotions.
To follow reason, the divine part in each of you.
Yes, to love excellence is truly to love the gods.

Aristotle: Is it possible that the source of Egypt's mighty River Nile could rise in these distant mountains of the outer earth?
If so, an experienced navigator could find his way here, by this river east,
down into the great plains of India, out into the eastern ocean at the end of the world, 
and by this route up the Nile, back to Egypt, into the Middle Sea and home to Greece.
Now, if only these frogs could look outward and act on their favored position at the center,
Greece could rule the world.
Alexander: Why is it, master, in myth, these lands you speak of are known?
India, where Herakles and Dionysus traveled.
All these men who went east, Theseus, Jason, Achilles, were victorious.
From generation to generation, their stories have been passed on.
Why? Unless there was truth to them? 
Aristotle: Tales of Amazons? Minotaurs, Gorgons, Icarus flying into the sun?
No, Alexander. Only common people believe these tales, as they believe most anything.
We are here precisely to educate ourselves against such foolish passions.
Alexander: But we are superior to the Persians, as you say, why do we not rule them?
It is, it has always been our Greek dream to go east. My father long wants it.
Aristotle: The East has the way of swallowing men and their dreams.
Alexander: But still, to think it's these myths that lead us forward to the greatest glory,
why is it wrong to act on them?
Aristotle: I can only warn you, not teach you.
Beware of what you dream for. The gods have a way of punishing such pride.

You don't like your shadow, do you? It's like a dark spirit coming up to get you.
Do you see? That's us.
It's just a trick of Apollo's. He's the god of the sun.
But I'll show you how to outwit him, you and me together.
Bucephalus, that's what I'll call you. Strong and stubborn.
Bucephalus and Alexander.
Come now, let's ride together.

 Philip: You remember Prometheus, who stole the secret of fire and gave it to man.
It made Zeus so angry, he chained Prometheus to a rock in the great Caucasus,
and each day, his eagle packed out the poor man's liver.
Each night, it grew back again so that it could be eaten the next day.
Miserable fate.
Oedipus tore out his eyes when he found out he'd murderer his father and married his mother.
Knowledge that came too late.
Jason, he went east and brought back The Golden Fleece and married a barbarian wife, Medea.
Later, when he left her for a younger wife, Medea slaughtered their 2 children in vengeance.
Alexander: My mother would never hurt me.
Philip: It's never easy to escape our mother, Alexander.
All your life, beware of women. They're far more dangerous than men.
I'm sure you remember Achilles from Tales of Troy.
Alexander: He's my favorite.
Philip: Why?
Alexander: Because he loved Patroclus and avenged his death.
Because he lived without fear, and slew Hector.
Philip: Some say he was a hotheaded fool who fought for himself and not the Greeks.
Alexander: But he was a hero, the greatest at Troy.
Philip: And his fate?
Alexander: That he must die young but with great glory.
Philip: Did he have a choice?
Alexander: Oh, yes, he could have a long life, but there would be no glory.
Philip: Your dream of glory, Alexander. Your mother encourages you.
There's no glory without suffering, and this she will not allow. She makes you weak.
The gods have never made it easy for man.
Look, Herakles. Even after he accomplished his 12 labors he was punished with madness,
slaughtered his 3 children. Poor Herakles. Great Herakles.
All greatness comes from loss.
Even you, the gods will one day judge harshly.
Alexander: When I'm king like you, Father?
Philip: Don't rush the day, boy, you risk all.
My father threw me into battle before I knew how to fight.
When I killed my first man, he said, "Now you know."
I hated him then, but I understand why now.
A king isn't born, Alexander, he's made by steel and by suffering.
A king must know how to hurt those he loves.
It's lonely.
Ask Herakles. Ask any of them. Fate is cruel.
No man or woman can be too powerful or too beautiful without disaster befalling.
They laugh when you rise too high and crush everything you've built with a whim.
What glory they give, in the end, they take away. They make of us slaves.
Truth is in our hearts, and none will tell you this but your father.
Men hate the gods.
The only reason we worship any of them is because we fear worse.
Alexander: What's worse?
Philip: The Titans.
If they were ever to be set free, it would be a darkness such as we have never seen before.
Alexander: Could they ever come back?
Can Zeus imprison The Titans forever under Mount Olympus?
Philip: It's said that when Zeus burned them to dust with his lightning bolt,
they took The Titans' ashes and, in cold revenge, mixed it with those of mortal men.
Alexander: Why?
Philip: Who knows these things?

One day, things will change. Men will change. But first, the gods must change.
But all this you'll forget, Alexander. That's why we call them myths. 
We can't bear to remember them.
Alexander: I'll remember. And one day, I'll be on walls like these.

Persian Chamberlain: The princess of the thousand roses and eldest daughter of the formerly Great King Darius, Stateira.
Stateira, to Hephaistion: Noble Alexander, I come to beg for the lives of my sisters, my mother, my grandmother...
[The chamberlain correct her and look at Alexander]
Alexander: You are not wrong, Princess Stateira, [point to Hephaistion] he, too, is Alexander.
Stateira: Please... I plead for my family's lives. Sell me as slave, great king, but...
Alexander: Look now, in my eyes, Princess, and tell me, how would you like to be treated?
Stateira: As I am, a princess.
Alexander: Then so be it. You and your family shall be treated as my family.
You shall live in this palace as long as you choose.
Have you any other requests for me, my noble Princess?
Stateira: No. Everything I wish, I have requested.
Alexander: You truly are a queen.

Yes, she would be a perfect match for you, but you do nothing.
3 months you've been in Babylon and leave me in Pella at the mercy of your enemies,
of which you have many.
Antipater, accustomed now to the power that you have given him, I must watch him grow stronger.
I'm certain thet he communicates secretly with Parmenion, who is dangerous.
But beware, most of all, of those closest to you.
They are like snakes and can be turned.
Cassander is Antipater's son.
Even Cleitus, your father's favorite.
And Ptolemy, your friend, yes.
But beware of men who think too much. They blind themselves.
Only Hephaistion do I leave out.
But all of them you make rich, while your mother and yourself, you leave in generous poverty.
Why won't you ever believe me?
It is only a dark mind like mine that can know these secrets of the heart.
For they are dark, Alexander, so dark.
But in you, the son of Zeus, lies the light of the world.
Your companions will be shadows in the underworld,
when you are an name living forever in history as the most glorious shining light of youth,
forever young, forever inspiring.
Never will there be an Alexander like you. Alexander The Great.
Remember, bring me to Babylon as you promised.
I can only help you, for they know if they harm you, they will face my wrath, as Queen of Babylon.
~Olympias' letter

Alexander: All I know is, I trust only you in this world.
I've missed you, I need you. 
It is you I love, Hephaistion, no other.
Hephaistion, hug him: You're everything I care for, and by the sweet breath of Aphrodite,
I'm so jealous of losing you to this world you want so badly.
Alexander: You'll never lose me, Hephaistion. I'll be with you always. Till the end.

On this glorious occasion, I toast this great army that has given so much.
And in honor of them, those of you who set out with us 7 long years ago, 
I pronounce all your debts paid forthwith from the royal treasury.
And in honor of my bride, my beautiful bride, 
we recognize the many women who've shared the long hard road with us,
and grant them dowries befitting a proper marriage.
And lastly, the gods demand no less of us, 
that your children be given a proper Greek education and military training under our protection,
so as to be the new soldiers of our kingdom in Asia.

Philotas: But what's the point, Alexander? 
She's your captive, just take her as your concubine.
Alexander: Because I want a son, damn you, Philotas.
Philotas: Then half of your nobles have sisters who'd make fine Macedonian mothers.
Alexander: To take an Asian as my queen, not a captive, is a sign of respect for our subjects.
It will bring us together, unify us.
Which is not to say I won't take a Macedonian.
Philotas: As a second wife? You insult Macedonia.
Antigonus: Never will our people accept this girl's son as king.
They'll be angry enough to find out their husbands all have second wives in Barbaria.
Alexander: Then they'll learn! By Athena's justice, this girl has spirit.
She'll breed a brave son.

Alexander, I've known you since you were born.
I supported you at your father's death.
At very least, for Zeus' sake, and in respect to the council that chose you king,
give us a Macedonian heir.
A Macedonian heir.

Alexander: I've taken us further than my father ever dreamed.
Old man, we're in new worlds.
Cassander: Alexander, be reasonable! 
Were they ever meant to be our equals? Share our rewards?
You remember what Aristotle said. An Asian?
What would a vow mean to a race that's never kept their word to a Greek?
Alexander: Aristotle be damned!
By Zeus and all the gods, what makes you so much better than them, Cassander?
Better than you really are. In you and those like you is this.
What disturbs me most is not your lack of respect for my judgement.
It's your contempt for a world far older than ours.

Her eyes tell me she cares for you, Alexander. Perhaps too much.
In the ways of my country, those who love too much lose everything,
and those who love with irony, last.
~Persian Chamberlain

[handed Alexander a ring]
 I found it in Egypt.
The man who sold it said it came from a time when man worshipped sun and stars.
I'll always think of you as the sun, Alexander, and I pray your dream will shine on all men.

 Attalus: I drink to our Greek friends and to our new union, Macedonia and Greece, equals in greatness!
And to Philip, our king, without whom this union could not be possible.
Philip: Come, Attalus, leave some damn air in the hall.
Attalus: And last, I drink to the king's marriage to my niece, Eurydice, a Macedonian queen we can be proud of.
To Philip and Eurydice, and to their legitimate sons!
Alexander, throw his cup to him: What am I, you son of a dog?
Philip: Shut up, shut up, all of you! This is my wedding, not some public brawl.
[to Alexander] Apologize, by Zeus, before you dishonor me.
Alexander: You defend the man who called my mother a whore and me a bastard.
And I dishonor you?
Philip: You listen like your mother.
Attalus is my family now, the same as you.
Alexander: Then choose your relatives more carefully.
Don't expect me to sit here and watch you shame yourself.
Attalus: You insult me!
Alexander: I insult you! A man not fit to lick the ground my mother walks on.
You dog, questioning your queen.
Philip: I'll marry the girl if I want, and I'll have as many sons as I want.
There's nothing you or your harpy mother can do.
Alexander: Why, drunken man, must you think, everything I do and say comes from my mother?
Philip: Because I know her heart, by Hera, and I see her in your eyes.
You covet this throne too much.
We all know that she-wolf of a mother of yours wants me dead.
Well, you can both dream, boy.
Parmenion: Philip, this is the wine talking. Leave the boy, it'll wait till morning.
Philip: Now! I command you to apologize to your kinsman.
Alexander: No kinsman to me.
Good night, old man.
And when my mother remarries, I'll invite you to her wedding.

 Alexander: Have you found your home, Ptolemy?
Ptolemy: More and more, I think it will be Alexandria.
At least it's hot. And Thais, she loved it there.
Alexander: Women bring men home. I have no such feeling.
Ptolemy: You have Babylon, Alexander, where your mother awaits your invitation.
Alexander: Yes, I have Babylon.
But each land, each boundary I cross, I strip away another illusion.
I sense death will be the last.
Yet still I push harder and harder to reach this home.

Cleitus: A toast to Bagoas, and the 30,000 beautiful Persian boys we're training to fight in this great army.
And to the memory of Philip. 
Had he lived to see his Macedonians transformed into such a pretty army.
To Philip, to a real hero.
Ptolemy: To Cleitus and his new appointment as satrap of Bactria.
Cleitus: That's a fancy way of putting it, Ptolemy.
But we all know what a pension and an exile is after 30 years' service.
Alexander: Exile? From where, Cleitus?
Cleitus: From my home, Alexander, Macedonia.
You could've asked me where I wanted to spend the rest of my life.
Alexander: You call governing this major province exile?
Cleitus: Has Your Majesty given any of his closest companions a province so far from home?
Alexander: Then you won't make a very good satrap, will you, Cleitus?
Cleitus: So be it. Let me rot in Macedonian rags, rather than shine in Eastern pomp.
I won't quake and bow down like the sycophants you have around you.
Hephaistion, Nearchus, Perdiccas.
Alexander: As governor of one of our most Asian of satrapies, Cleitus,
does it not occur to you that if my Persian subjects bow down before me, it's important for them to do so?
Do I insist on Greeks doing the same?
Cleitus: You accept Greek offerings as a son of Zeus, do you not?
Alexander: Only when offered.
Cleitus: Then why don't you refuse these vain flatteries?
What freedom is this, to bow before you?
Alexander: You bow before Herakles, and he was mortal but a son of Zeus.
Cleitus: How can you, so young, compare yourself to Herakles?
Alexander: Why not? I've achieved more in my years. Traveled as far, probably farther.
Cleitus: Herakles did it by himself. Did you conquer Asia by yourself, Alexander?
Who planned the Asian invasion when you were still being spanked on your bottom by my sister Lanice, was it not your father?
Or is his blood no longer good enough? Zeus-Amon, is it?
Alexander: You insult me, Cleitus. You mock my family, be careful.
Cleitus: Never would your father have taken barbarians as his friends,
asked us to fight with them as equals in war.
Are we not good enough any longer?
I remember a time when we could talk as men, straight to the eye, none of this scraping, groveling.
I remember a time when we hunted, when we wrestled on the gymnasium floor.
Now you kiss them?
Take a barbarian, childless wife and dare call her queen?
Alexander: Go quickly, Cleitus, before you ruin your life.
Cleitus: Doesn't your great pride fear the gods any longer?
This army... this army is your blood, boy!
Alexander: You no longer serve the purpose of this march!
Get him from my sight!
Cleitus: I don't serve your purpose?!
What was I serving when I saved your puppy life at Gaugamela?
Were you Zeus' boy? What if I left you to die in the dust there?
Do you think we'd be forced now to mate with brown apes?
Alexander: Turn out the guards! Arrest him for treason!
Who's with him? Who's with him?!
I call Father Zeus to witness, I call you to trial before him!
And we'll see how deep this conspiracy cuts!
Hephaistion: In the name of the gods, get him out of here!
Cleitus: Now look at you, great white ass Alexander, hide behind his fairy gods!
Or are you too great to remember whose life was saved by me?!
I am more a man than you'll ever be! Ever!
What a tyrant you are! An evil tyrant you've become, Alexander.
You speak of plots against you? 
What about poor Parmenion? He served you well, look how you repaid him.
You made me do your foul deed. Have you no shame?
Alexander: You ungrateful wretch!
No one, not my vilest enemy, has spoken like you to me.
Cleitus: Getting what I say?! Despot, false king!
You and your barbarian mother live in shame!
[Alexander stab him]

Alexander: Have I become so arrogant that I am blind?
Hephaistion: Sometimes, to expect the best of everyone is arrogance.
Alexander: Cleitus spoke true. I have become a tyrant.
Hephaistion: No. But, perhaps a stranger.
You've gone too far. They don't understand you anymore.
Alexander: They speak of Philip now, as if I were a passing cloud, soon to be forgotten.
I've failed utterly.
Hephaistion: You're mortal. And they know it.
And they forgive you because you make them proud of themselves.
Alexander: Philip once said that there's a Titan in all of us.
That they wait, mixed in our ashes.

Crateros: My King, I'm a fighting man.
I don't like no bellyaching. I won't tolerate it in any of my units.
I lost many a man.
Young ones, never been with a woman. 
Some died of disease, some were butchered in Sycthia by the banks of the Oxus.
Some died good, some just didn't get no luck. Bu they died.
40,000 I come over with 8 years ago.
And we march after you more than 10,000 miles.
In the rain and the sun, we fought for you.
Some of us, 50 battles we've been in. We killed many a barbarian.
And now when I look around, how many of them faces do I see?
Now you want us to fight more of these crazy monkey tribes east of here.
We hear talk of thousands of these elephants monsters, cross a hundred more rivers.
Alexander: Crateros, good Crateros.
Who better than you to speak, most noble of men.
But you know there's no part of me without a scar or a bone broken, by sword, knife, stone, catapult and club.
I've shared every hardship with all of you.
Crateros: Aye, you have, My King, and we love you for it.
But by Zeus, too many have died.
You have no children, Alexander, and we're just humble men, we seek no disturbance with the gods.
All we wish for is to see our children and our wives and our grandchildren one last time,
before we join our brothers in that dark house they call Hades.
Alexander: Yes, you're right, Crateros, I have been negligent.
I should've sent you veterans home sooner, and I will.
The first of you shall be the Silver Shields, and every man who's served 7 years,
with full pensions from our treasury, and respected, rich, loved.
You'll be treated by your wives and children as heroes for the rest of your lives,
and enjoy a peaceful death.
But you dream, Crateros.
Your simplicity long ended when you took Persian mistresses and children,
and you thickened your holdings with plunder and jewels.
Because you've fallen in love with all the things in life that destroy men, do you not see?
And you, as well as I, know that as the years decline and the memories stale
and all your great victories fade, it will always be remembered,
you left your king in Asia! For I will go on, with my Asians!

I confess a disappointment, especially on these reports of your taking on eastern ways.
Beware how these manners inflame the senses with pride.
However, I have lived long enough now to question
when so many others invest such emotion in their disrespect for you.
I can only hope that you continue what you began as the boy I knew at 12.
Be that man always, Alexander, and you will not slip.
And perhaps you will prove this old materialist as you always thought me, a dreamer after all.

Alexander: Who killed my father? Tell me.
Tell me, or shall I put you on trial for his murder?
Olympias: Pausanias.
Alexander: He had help! Did you help him?
Olympias: No. Never. Why? Why would I?
So many wanted it. Greeks, Persians, men, women.
I'd be shocked if there were not a god he had not profaned.
How ironic though, in the end, a boy he rutted with once too often returned the favor.
Alexander: You're mad, you're cursed.
You've unleashed Furies, you don't know their power.
Olympias: Now who is exaggerating? Even if it was the wish of your heart.
Alexander: That's a lie! He was my father! I loved him!
Olympias: He was not your father! You owe no blood debt to that man.
Alexander: You lie, and lie, and lie. So many lies you've spun like a sorceress, confusing me.
Olympias: Look at you, look at you... You are everything that he was not.
He was coarse, you are refined.
He was a general, and you are a king.
He could not rule himself, and you shall rule the world.
Alexander: You're so cursed by all the gods when you speak like this. 
Such thick pride and no mourning for your husband.
Olympias: Mourn him? What do you know of Philip?
No, Alexander. Zeus is your father. Act like it!
Alexander: My first act would be to kill you!
You murdered me in my cradle. You birthed me in a sack of hate.
Hate you have for those stronger than you. Hate you have for men!
Olympias: I taught you my heart, Alexander!
And by Zeus and Dionysus, you grew beautiful.
Alexander: Damn your sorceress soul.
Olympias: Your soul is mine, Alexander.
Alexander: No! No! You've taken from me everything I've ever loved and made me you!
Olympias, slaps him: Stop it! Stop acting like a boy! You're a king! Act like one!
Parmenion is with us, for once. Execute Attalus without delay.
Confiscate their lands and root out that family forever.
Alexander: Eurydice? Never. Laugh, you monster. You heartbreaker.
Olympias: How will you live out the year like this?
Have you learned nothing from Philip?
Alexander: No. From you, mother. [kiss her] The best.
Olympias spit him: What have I done to make you hate me so?
One day you will understand this. 
But I have only you in my heart. I know what you need.
Now is the time. The gods favor you. Great wealth, power, conquest. All you desire.
The world is yours! Take it.

Great Zeus, we have worshipped you in blood, look kindly on our homeward steps and smile upon our backs.
May all those who come here after us know, when they see this altar, that Titans were once here.

Hephaistion: I worry for you without me.
Alexander: I am nothing without you.
We will die together.
We'll have children with our wives, and our sons will play together as we once did.
A thousand ships we'll launch from here, Hephaistion.
We'll round Arabia and sail up the gulf to Egypt.
From there, we'll build a channel through the desert and out to the Middle Sea.
And then we'll move on Carthage. And that great island, Sicily, they'll pay large tribute.
After that, the Roman tribe, good fighters. We'll beat them.
And then explore the northern forests and out the Pillars of Herakles to the western ocean.
And then one day, populations will mix and travel freely.
Asia and Europe will come together.
And we'll grow old, Hephaistion, looking out our balcony at this new world.

He was a god, or as close as anything I've ever known.
'Tyrant!' they yell so easily. I laugh.
No tyrant ever gave back so much.
What do they know of the world, these schoolboys?
It takes strong men to rule.
Alexander was more, he was a Prometheus, a friend to man, he changed the world.
Before him there were tribes, after him all was possible.
There was suddenly a sense the world could be ruled by one king and be better for all.
Eighteen great Alexandrians he built across this world.
It was an empire, not of land of gold, but of the mind.
It was a Hellenic civilization, open to all.
~Old Ptolemy

I've lived long life, Cadmos.
But the glory and the memory of man will always belong to the ones who follow their great visions.
And the greatest of these of the one they now call Megas Alexandros, the greatest of them all.
~Old Ptolemy


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