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Alexander (2004) - Plot Summary Poster

(2004)

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Summaries

  • Conquering 90% of the known world by the age of 25, Alexander the Great led his armies through 22,000 miles of sieges and conquests in just eight years. Coming out of tiny Macedonia (today part of Greece), Alexander led his armies against the mighty Persian Empire, drove west to Egypt, and finally made his way east to India. This film will concentrate on those eight years of battles, as well as his relationship with his boyhood friend and battle mate, Hephaestion. Alexander died young, of illness, at 33. Alexander's conquests paved the way for the spread of Greek culture (facilitating the spread of Christianity centuries later), and removed many of the obstacles that might have prevented the expansion of the Roman Empire. In other words, the world we know today might never have been if not for Alexander's bloody, yet unifying, conquest.

  • 'Alexander' traces the short, but adventurous life of the Macedonian conqueror, Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.), who conquered almost the entire known world of his era. From his childhood as the son of King Philip, to acending the thrown at age 20 in 336 B.C. upon his father's murder, and starting in 334 B.C., Alexander crossed into Asia on his 11-year conquest of the known world. From his conquests of Egypt, to battles with the Persians and the capture of Babylon, operations near Maracanda and in Afghanistan, and pushing all the way to India where he reigned unchallenged before his sudden death at age 32. Though Alexander made use of the well-oiled army created by his father, he pushed the limits of Macedonian & Greek power to levels King Philip could not have dreamed of.

  • Historical, glamorous biopic (with mystical and religious elements) about the life of famous Macedonian ruler and conqueror Alexander, the Great (appr. 356-323 B.C.), mainly concentrating on his youth and his conquering of Persia and India. The son of Macedonian king Phillip II and his wife Olympias became king when he was 20 years old and died with 32, by this time having conquered 90% of the world as it was explored by the time he lived, ruling over parts of three continents and several countries.

  • Alexander, the King of Macedonia and one of the greatest army leaders in the history of warfare, conquers much of the known world.


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • The film is based on the life of Alexander the Great, King of Macedon, who conquered Asia Minor, Egypt, Persia and part of Ancient India. Shown are some of the key moments of Alexander's youth, his invasion of the mighty Persian Empire and his death. It also outlines his early life, including his difficult relationship with his father Philip II of Macedon, his strained feeling towards his mother Olympias and the conquest of the Persian Empire in 331 BC. It also details his plans to reform his empire and the attempts he made to reach the end of the then known world.

    The story begins 40 years after 323 BC, around 283 BC, with Ptolemy I Soter, who narrates throughout the film. We see Alexander's daily life and the strained relationship between his parents. Alexander grows up with his mother Olympias and his tutor Aristotle, where he finds interest in love, honor, music, exploration, poetry and military combat. His relationship with his father is destroyed when Philip marries Attalus's niece, Eurydice.

    After Philip is assassinated, Alexander becomes king of Macedonia. Having briefly mentioned his punitive razing of Thebes and burning of Persepolis, Ptolemy gives an overview of Alexander's west-Persian campaign, including his being declared as the son of Zeus by the Oracle of Amun at Siwa Oasis, his great battle against the Persian Emperor Darius III in the Battle of Gaugamela and his eight-year campaign across Asia.

    Also shown are Alexander's private relationships with his childhood friend Hephaestion and later his wife Roxana. Hephaestion compares Alexander to Achilles, to which Alexander replies that, if he is Achilles, Hephaestion must be his Patroclus (Achilles' best friend and possibly lover). When Hephaestion mentions that Patroclus died first, Alexander pledges that, if Hephaestion should die first, he will follow him into the afterlife. Hephaestion shows extensive jealousy when he sees Alexander with Roxana and deep sadness when he marries her, going so far as to attempt to keep her away from him after Alexander murders Cleitus the Black in India. After Hephaestion succumbs to an unknown illness either by chance or perhaps poison, speculated in the movie to be Typhus carried with him from India. Alexander distances himself from his wife, despite her pregnancy, believing that she has killed Hephaestion. He dies less than three months after Hephaestion, at the young age of 32, keeping his promise that he would follow him.

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