Gerard Butler: King Leonidas
Messenger : Choose your next words carefully, Leonidas. They may be your last as king.
King Leonidas : [to himself: thinking] "Earth and water"?
[Leonidas unsheathes and points his sword at the Messenger's throat]
Messenger : Madman! You're a madman!
King Leonidas : Earth and water? You'll find plenty of both down there.
Messenger : No man, Persian or Greek, no man threatens a messenger!
King Leonidas : You bring the crowns and heads of conquered kings to my city steps. You insult my queen. You threaten my people with slavery and death! Oh, I've chosen my words carefully, Persian. Perhaps you should have done the same!
Messenger : This is blasphemy! This is madness!
King Leonidas : Madness...?
King Leonidas : This is Sparta!
[Kicks the messenger down the well]
Daxos : I see I was wrong to expect Sparta's commitment to at least match our own.
King Leonidas : Doesn't it?
[points to Arcadian soldier behind Daxos]
King Leonidas : You there, what is your profession?
Free Greek-Potter : I am a potter... sir.
King Leonidas : [points to another soldier] And you, Arcadian, what is your profession?
Free Greek-Sculptor : Sculptor, sir.
King Leonidas : Sculptor.
[turns to a third soldier]
King Leonidas : You?
Free Greek-Blacksmith : Blacksmith.
King Leonidas : [turns back shouting] SPARTANS! What is YOUR profession?
Spartans : HA-OOH! HA-OOH! HA-OOH!
King Leonidas : [turning to Daxos] You see, old friend? I brought more soldiers than you did!
Spartan King Leonidas : Spartans! Ready your breakfast and eat hearty... For tonight, we dine in hell!
Xerxes : Come Leonidas, let us reason together. It would be a regrettable waste. It would be nothing short of madness for you, brave king, and your valiant troops to perish. All because of a simple misunderstanding. There is much our cultures could share.
King Leonidas : Haven't you noticed? We've been sharing our culture with you all morning.
King Leonidas : This is where we hold them.
King Leonidas : This is where we fight!
King Leonidas : And this is where THEY DIE!
Captain : On these shield, boys!
Spartans : AU!
King Leonidas : Remember this day, men, for it will be yours for all time!
Persian General : [the Persian general advances from the crowd of the Persian warriors on horseback] SPARTANS! Lay down your weapons!
King Leonidas : [one of the Spartan men throws a spear directly at the Persian general, killing him; he falls from his horse dead] PERSIANS!
[the Spartans get into their shielding position]
King Leonidas : COME AND GET THEM!
Captain : [the angry Persian soldiers start charging towards the Spartans] HOLD!
King Leonidas : Give them NOTHING! But take from them EVERYTHING!
Captain : STAY READY!
King Leonidas : You have many slaves, Xerxes, but few warriors. It won't be long before they fear my spears more than your whips.
King Leonidas : Spartans! Prepare for glory!
Daxos : Glory? Have you gone mad? There is no glory to be had now! Only retreat, or surrender or death!
King Leonidas : Well, that's an easy choice for us, Arcadian! Spartans never retreat! Spartans never surrender! Go spread the word. Let every Greek assembled know the truth of this. Let each among them search his own soul. And while you're at it, search your own.
Xerxes : But I am a generous god. I can make you rich beyond all measure. I will make you warlord of all Greece. You will carry my battle standard to the heart of Europa. Your Athenian rivals will kneel at your feet if you will but kneel at mine.
King Leonidas : You are generous as you are divine, O king of kings. Such an offer only a madman would refuse. But the, uh, the idea of kneeling, it's- You see, slaughtering all those men of yours has, uh, well it's left a nasty cramp in my leg, so kneeling will be hard for me.
Spartan King Leonidas : [his last lines] My Queen! My wife. My love...
Xerxes : You Greeks take pride in your logic. I suggest you employ it. Consider the beautiful land you so vigorously defend. Picture it reduced to ash at my whim! Consider the fate of your women!
Spartan King Leonidas : Clearly you don't know our women! I might as well have marched them up here, judging by what I've seen.
King Leonidas : You there, Ephialtes. May you live forever.
[Ephialtes cringes and hangs his head]
Xerxes : There will be no glory in your sacrifice. I will erase even the memory of Sparta from the histories! Every piece of Greek parchment shall be burned. Every Greek historian, and every scribe shall have their eyes pulled out, and their tongues cut from their mouths. Why, uttering the very name of Sparta, or Leonidas, will be punishable by death! The world will never know you existed at all!
King Leonidas : The world will know that free men stood against a tyrant, that few stood against many, and before this battle was over, even a god-king can bleed.
Statesman : My good king! My good king! The oracle has spoken.
Second Statesman : The Ephors have spoken. There must be no march!
Theron : It is the law, my lord. The Spartan army must not go to war.
King Leonidas : Nor shall it. I've issued no such orders. I'm here, just taking a stroll, stretching my legs. These, uh, 300 men are my personal bodyguard.
Messenger : All that God-King Xerxes requires is this: a simple offering of earth and water. A token of Sparta's submission to the will of Xerxes.
King Leonidas : Submission? Well that's a bit of a problem. See, rumor has it the Athenians have already turned you down, and if those philosophers and, uh, boy-lovers have found that kind of nerve, then...
Theron : We must be diplomatic.
King Leonidas : [ignoring Theron] ... and, of course, Spartans have their reputation to consider.
Ephialtes : There is nothing to forgive, brave King. I know what I look like...
King Leonidas : [quietly] You wear the crimson of a Spartan.
Ephialtes : My mother's love led my parents to flee Sparta... lest I be discarded...
King Leonidas : Your shield and armor?
Ephialtes : My father's, sir!
Ephialtes : I beg you, bold King, to permit me to redeem my father's name by serving you in combat!
Ephialtes : My father trained me to feel no fear to make spear and shield and sword as much a part of me as my own beating heart!
Ephialtes : I will earn my father's armor, noble King, by serving you in the battle!
King Leonidas : [Ephialtes shows King Leonidas his thrust; it's good and the King is surprisingly impressed] A fine thrust.
Ephialtes : [smiles] I will kill *many* Persians!
King Leonidas : Raise your shield.
Ephialtes : Sire?
King Leonidas : Raise your shield as high as you can.
[Ephialtes tries to raise his shield; he cannot as his physical disability prevents it]
King Leonidas : [calmly] Your father should have taught you how our phalanx works. We fight as a single, impenetrable unit. That is the source of our strength. Each Spartan protects the man to his left from thigh to neck with his shield.
[Leonidas takes his sword and shield to demonstrate]
King Leonidas : A single weak spot and the phalanx shatters. From thigh to neck, Ephialtes.
King Leonidas : I am sorry, my friend; but not all of us were made to be soldiers.
Ephialtes : [shocked] But, I-!
King Leonidas : If you want to help in a Spartan victory, clear the battlefield of the dead, tend the wounded, bring them water. But as for the fight itself, I cannot use you.
King Leonidas : [on being told the Persians are coming to parley] Captain, I leave you in charge.
Captain : But, sire...
King Leonidas : Relax, old friend. If they assassinate me, all of Sparta goes to war. Pray they're that stupid. Pray we're that lucky.
[He takes another bite of apple, as the Captain notices a Persian soldier, still alive]
King Leonidas : Besides, there's no reason we can't be civil, is there?
Captain : [stabs the Persian] None, sire.
[while wrestling with his son]
King Leonidas : In the end, a Spartan's true strength is the warrior next to him. So give respect and honor to him, and it will be returned to you. First, you fight with your head...
Queen Gorgo : Then you fight with your heart.
King Leonidas : [sees the Captain] What is it?
Queen Gorgo : A Persian messenger awaits you.
King Leonidas : Do not forget today's lesson.
Pleistarchos : Respect and honor.
King Leonidas : Respect and honor.
King Leonidas : Children, gather round! No retreat, no surrender; that is Spartan law. And by Spartan law we will stand and fight... and die. A new age has begun. An age of freedom, and all will know, that 300 Spartans gave their last breath to defend it!
Spartan King Leonidas : A new age has begun, an age of freedom. And all will know that 300 Spartans gave their last breath to defend it.
Spartan King Leonidas : Unless I miss my guess, we're in for one wild night.
Spartan King Leonidas : Give them nothing! But take from them everything!
King Leonidas : Persian cowards.