Braveheart

Comprehensive Storyform

The following analysis reveals a comprehensive look at the Storyform for Braveheart. Unlike most of the analysis found here—which simply lists the unique individual story appreciations—this in-depth study details the actual encoding for each structural item. This also means it has been incorporated into the Dramatica Story Expert application itself as an easily referenced contextual example.

Story Dynamics

8 of the 12 essential questions

Steadfast
Main Character Resolve

William steadfastly fights the English in spite of the odds. He neither yields to the persuasion of Robert the Bruce nor does he give in to Longshanks’ attempt to buy him off. And although eventually he has to change his attitude towards the Scottish nobles, his determination to get Scotland free of England remains as solid as a rock.

Stop
Main Character Growth

Wallace, like the audience, is waiting for England to stop its oppression and domination of Scotland; waiting for the Scottish lords to stop their cross-purposes and unite against England.

Do-er
Main Character Approach

Unlike the Scottish lords, who “do nothing but talk,” William’s first approach to conflict is to take action. While the Scottish nobles are quibbling over the rightful successor to their throne and “squabbling over the scraps from Longshanks’ table,” Wallace prepares for battle and the invasion of England.

Linear
Main Character Mental Sex

Wallace throws his whole effort into vanquishing the cause of Scotland’s (and his own personal) misery—-English rule and Longshanks’ treachery.

Action
Story Driver

The murder of Murron forces William to decide to give up his neutrality and fight. William’s victory at Stirling forces the Scottish nobles to decide to present this commoner with a knighthood. Wallace’s sacking of York forces Longshanks to decide to send Princess Isabella to negotiate with Wallace, while he sends Irish, Welsh, and his own troops in France to fight the Scottish at Falkirk. Mornay’s and Lochlan’s desertion forces William to decide to take revenge.

Optionlock
Story Limit

William can only do so much without the support of the Scottish nobles, their armies, and their clansmen. His last option for securing Scottish freedom is Robert the Bruce.

Success
Story Outcome

Wallace’s goal is taken up with success by Robert the Bruce, and Scotland’s freedom is secured.

Good
Story Judgment

William strives to get Robert the Bruce to lead the Scots in a united effort against the English, and although William never lives to see it happen, Robert in the end, on the field at Bannockburn, does exactly what William had hoped—-and wins Scotland’s independence.

Overall Story Throughline

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Universe
Overall Story Throughline

England has taken Scotland for itself, attempting to suppress the natives through harsh and unjust laws. The Scots fight for what is rightfully theirs.

Future
Overall Story Concern

Longshanks is concerned that if the French see that England cannot subjugate the entire island, there will be very little future for English interests and influence on the continent. William and his men are concerned that the Scots and their culture will have no future if they are ruled by England. The Scottish lords are concerned that if they support Wallace, Longshanks will take away all they have—-even their very lives.

Choice
Overall Story Issue

Longshanks chooses to subjugate Scotland; English lords choose to move to Scotland to avail themselves of the Right of Prima Noctes; Wallace chooses to fight; the Bruce first chooses to follow his father’s advice to play along with Longshanks, then seeing the devastating results, he finally chooses to follow his own conscience. The Scottish nobles choose protecting their own status over their obligation to the commoners.

Delay
Overall Story Counterpoint

Wallace delays his confrontation with the English until Murron’s murder drives him to retaliation and rebellion; Longshanks delays Wallace at York by sending Princess Isabella to negotiate in his stead. The Bruce delays his commitment to Wallace out of filial obligation. The nobles delay their commitment to Wallace for fear of losing what they have.

Overall Story Thematic Conflict
Choice vs.Delay

At the beginning, William’s choice to remain neutral to gain Murron’s father’s approval, delays his stand against Longshanks’ injustice. Longshanks’ choice to use Princess Isabella in order to delay Wallace, causes the Princess to aid Wallace. The Bruce’s choice of giving into his father’s strategies, delays his support of Wallace until it ultimately leads to Wallace’s capture and execution.

Conscience
Overall Story Problem

William is the only one who lives by his conscience. And this is a big problem for Longshanks because the rebel cannot be stopped by the usual methods. It becomes a problem for the Scottish nobles, too, because William will not compromise. He becomes a threat when he takes revenge on Lords Mornay and Lochlan for abandoning him on battlefield at Falkirk.

Temptation
Overall Story Solution

Longshanks and the Scottish nobility come to realize that the only way to stop William and the spread of his reputation of legendary proportions is to tempt him with the very thing Wallace wants: A promise of Scottish unity. So in the end William is lured—-tempted—-into an ambush at Edinburgh Castle. To do this, Lord Craig exploits the special bond of mutual respect between Wallace and the Bruce.

CRAIG
Meet us two days from now. Give us your pardon
and we’ll unite behind you. Scotland will be one.

WILLIAM
One? You mean us and you.

CRAIG
No, I mean this.
He hands him Murron’s thistle embroidery. William reaches up and grabs it, shocked to see it again.

CRAIG
It’s the pledge of Robert the Bruce.

Logic
Overall Story Symptom

Because Longshanks cannot manipulate Wallace like he can the less scrupulous Scottish lords, he has to use different logic. At first he doesn’t think about this because he has already formed a prejudiced opinion of the man.

LONGSHANKS
(noticing Isabella enter)
Ah, my son’s loyal wife returns unkilled by the heathen,
and therefore readily accepts Princess Isabella’s intentionally misleading (and one wonders if it is not really a bit sarcastic) description of Wallace as “a mindless barbarian,” and thus he continues to see and treat Wallace as such. But even when defeat at Falkirk only dampens the rebellion and doesn’t halt the spread of William’s overblown reputation, logic dictates the king’s future course of action.

HAMILTON
He rallies new volunteers in every Scottish town.
And when he replenishes his number—-

LONGSHANKS
They’re sheep, mere sheep. Easily dispersed
with if we strike the shepherd.

Feeling
Overall Story Response

William Wallace’s hatred of Longshanks’ tyranny becomes the “passion” behind his fight for Scottish freedom. And this aggravates and escalates the problem for both Longshanks and the Scottish nobles.

Delay
Overall Story Catalyst

Wallace delays his confrontation with the English until Murron’s murder drives him to retaliation and outright rebellion; Longshanks delays Wallace at York by sending Princess Isabella to negotiate in his stead, which leads her to aid the rebel. The Bruce’s delay in committing himself fully to Wallace’s cause, leads him to great anguish that finally pushes him to take up the fight after William’s death.

Approach
Overall Story Inhibitor

Longshanks’ approach is to “make [the Scottish lords] too greedy to oppose” him and to demoralize the Scots by depriving them of their culture and their brides. The Scottish nobles, out of fear and self-interest, are more than willing to negotiate with their pagan oppressor, which impedes William’s efforts.

Past
Overall Story Benchmark

Always keeping in mind Longshanks’ ruthlessness as it touched his own life, William is able to keep moving forward uncompromisingly. Bribing and “negotiation” always worked in the past to subdue the Scottish lords, so Longshanks attempts this approach with Wallace. The devastating results from following his father’s advice in the past compels Robert the Bruce to finally make up his own mind and follow his conscience instead.

Additional Overall Story Information →
Overall Story Throughline Synopsis

The King of England, Edward I, rules his domain with absolute authority. The Scottish peasantry are not pleased with this, and neither are their nobles. But the king knows how to control the Scottish lords. When the Scottish patriot and commoner, William Wallace, gains support, the king realizes he could lose Scotland, and maybe even his own life. He has to stop Wallace and put the Scots in their place.

Overall Story Backstory

“The King of Scotland had died without a son, and the King of England, a cruel pagan known as Edward the Longshanks, claimed the throne of Scotland for himself. Scotland’s nobles fought him and fought each other over the crown. So Longshanks invited them to talks of truce—-no weapons, one page only,” luring them “to a barn where he had them hanged.”

Main Character Throughline

William Wallace — Scottish patriot

Physics
Main Character Throughline

The hanging of the Scottish nobles in the MacAndrews’ barn, has a profound effect on the child William. When Murron, his wife, is killed by the English magistrate, William steps from neutrality to striking out at the oppressor. In fact, William’s entire adult life is centered around the activity of expelling the usurpers from his homeland.

Obtaining
Main Character Concern

After Murron’s murder, William puts all his energy into obtaining freedom from Longshanks’ tyranny and independence for Scotland. But ultimately he must obtain the cooperation of the nobles, and especially Robert the Bruce.

Approach
Main Character Issue

William’s approach is never to compromise. Indeed, he scoffs at those who do. To the Scottish Council before the battle at Falkirk, William says in sarcasm: “Don’t you wish at least to lead your men onto the field and barter a better deal with Longshanks before you tuck tail and run?” But the nobles see compromise as a necessary tool and sign of refinement.

LEPER
You admire this man, this William Wallace.
Uncompromising men are easy to admire. He
has courage, so does a dog. But it is exactly the
ability to compromise that makes a man noble.

Attitude
Main Character Counterpoint

William’s attitude towards the “squabbling” and “quibbling” Scottish nobles and their penchant for negotiating with Longshanks, is apparent in the way he deals with them on the field at Stirling.

LOCHLAN
Where is thy salute?

WILLIAM
(To Lochlan, Mornay, and Craig)
For presenting yourselves on this battlefield,
I give you thanks.

LOCHLAN
This is our army. To join it you must give homage.

WILLIAM
I give homage to Scotland.
Even in his words to the Bruce, his attitude shows:

WILLIAM
Nobles. Now tell me, what does that mean to be
noble? Your title gives you claim to the throne of
our country, but men don’t follow titles, they
follow courage.
Just the opposite of the Leper’s words.

Main Character Thematic Conflict
Approach vs.Attitude

In the end William realizes that his attitude towards the nobles and their approach must change.

WILLIAM
Look at this. We’ve got to try. We can’t do this
alone. Joining the nobles is the only hope for
our people.

Consider
Main Character Problem

The biggest problem for William is that he doesn’t consider any approach other than killing, destruction, and annihilation. He doesn’t even seem to hear when Robert points out that “we need the nobles.”

Reconsider
Main Character Solution

He reconsiders his passivity when Murron is murdered by the English magistrate. And at the end he reconsiders his attitude towards the Scottish nobles.

Logic
Main Character Symptom

William’s logic tells him that Longshanks can never be trusted to negotiate fairly. He must always focus on Longshanks’ treacherous logic in order to survive.

Feeling
Main Character Response

William is driven by a hatred so passionate that it is “beyond rage.” And it is just this passion that makes it impossible for him see until the end that he will have to listen to the nobles in order for Scotland to gain its freedom from England.

Self-Interest
Main Character Unique Ability

William is interested in having a home and a family in a peaceful and free land. It is what sustains him to the end and is what makes him able to resolve the story’s difficulties.

Openness
Main Character Critical Flaw

In accepting the Bruce’s invitation to meet with the Scottish lords at Edinburgh Castle, William has to open up and trust that the nobles are being honest and sincere with him.

Understanding
Main Character Benchmark

William understands Longshanks’ treachery very well. He understands military tactics and what must be done to defeat the English and drive them from Scotland. He understands the methods of the Scottish nobles, as well. But it is not until Falkirk that he comes to understand that he should not put his hope in Robert the Bruce.

Additional Main Character Information →
Main Character Description

An educated commoner with a handsomely rugged face. His eyes shine with sincerity, ingenuity, and a passion for life.

Main Character Throughline Synopsis

As a child, William loses all of his immediate family and is taken to live and travel with his Uncle Argyle. He returns to the family homestead as an adult with the hopes of settling down. To circumvent the English Right of Prima Noctes, William secretly marries Murron, a girl from his village. The magistrate kills her to egg William into a fight. When William kills the magistrate he finds himself the leader of a rebellion; other clansmen join him. He leads them to Lanark where they kill the English Lord Bottoms and burn the outpost, then on to a victory against the English at the battle of Stirling. William is knighted by the Scottish lords, after which he and his men invade northern England, taking the town of York and killing the governor, Longshank’s nephew. Princess Isabella as Longshanks’ emissary, attempts to bribe William. Instead, his knowledge of languages and his moral strength leave the princess with a very positive impression. Later, she informs him of Longshanks’ plans to attack him on Scottish soil, so William hurries his men back to Edinburgh where he attempts to bully and shame the Scottish nobles into uniting. But on the field at Falkirk, he is abandoned by these nobles, loses the battle, and nearly loses hope. He takes revenge on Lords’ Mornay and Lochlan for their desertion. At the end when the nobles say they will unite under him, he trustingly goes to meet them at Edinburgh Castle, only to be captured and taken to London, where he is judged and executed.

Main Character Backstory

As a young lad, William Wallace sees Longshanks’ treachery firsthand. It affects him even more personally when his father and brother are killed in a skirmish against the English.

Influence Character Throughline

Robert the Bruce — Scottish noble

Psychology
Influence Character Throughline

The Bruce always tries to persuade Wallace to accept the way the Scottish nobles are thinking. Though he promises Wallace he will unite the clans and fight beside him at Falkirk, he accepts his father’s manner of thinking and instead takes up Longshanks’ banner.

Becoming
Influence Character Concern

In order to become the leader under whom all of Scotland will unite, Robert must become passionate like Wallace. He must also become his own man, free of his father’s influence.

Rationalization
Influence Character Issue

Robert accepts his father’s rationalization that staying alive for the sake of his heritage is most important.

Obligation
Influence Character Counterpoint

It is Robert’s sense of filial obligation that keeps him from doing what in his heart he knows only HE can (and must) do.

Influence Character Thematic Conflict
Rationalization vs.Obligation

The Leper is good at giving Robert reasons for why staying alive by not overtly favoring either side of the issue is best—and Robert accepts all the rationale. But by doing so, he turns his back on his obligation to the commoners. As William says to those lords gathered at his knighting: “There is a difference between us. You think the people of this country exist to provide you with position. I think your position exists to provide those people with freedom.”

Conscience
Influence Character Problem

Robert knows what is right, but other people more ambitious and less scrupulous have a strong influence on him. He gives William his word to unite with him against Longshanks at Falkirk, but acquiesces to his father’s tactics instead. The Scots sustain great losses, losses that Robert knows would have been considerably less had he kept his promise. The consequences torment him.

ROBERT
I will never be on the wrong side again.

Temptation
Influence Character Solution

Inspired by Wallace, Robert is tempted to “charge off and fight as he did.” After William’s knighting, the seduction of William’s words is written all over Robert’s face.

WILLIAM
Now our people know you. Noble and common,
they respect you. And if you would just lead them
to freedom, they’ll follow you. And so would I.
But until he is able to reject his father’s self-serving and ambitious logic, and give into this temptation, he will never be free of his conscience and do what is right.

Control
Influence Character Symptom

Robert accepts his father’s point that to “charge off” like Wallace is not the way the Bruces can “survive” against Longshanks. He allows the Leper to control his life, to control the way the nobility think, and to ultimately to control Scotland’s future.

Uncontrolled
Influence Character Response

Robert the Bruce leaves everyone off-balance by one minute by saying he is going to support Wallace, and the next not getting involved or by siding with the enemy.

Commitment
Influence Character Unique Ability

The Bruce’s commitment to his father’s and the nobles’ approach finally makes Wallace accept that he will have to listen to them in order to gain their support.

Closure
Influence Character Critical Flaw

Robert doesn’t put a halt to his father’s scheming soon enough, for in the end it leads to the ultimate betrayal—-the capture and execution of Wallace. On the field at Bannockburn, he is well aware that he could fail again in his moral obligations if he doesn’t put an end to his own delay and indecision in confronting the English.

Conceptualizing
Influence Character Benchmark

Robert must envision his responsibility towards Scotland and the Scottish people, as well as his role in the fight for freedom if he is to have any effect.

More Influence Character Information →
Influence Character Description

Young, intelligent, and “a bit of a lost soul.” (MacFadyen’s comment, “A Filmmaker’s Passion”)

Influence Character Throughline Synopsis

From the start, Robert tells the nobles (and the audience) that he speaks for his absent father (The Leper) and for Scotland. Shortly after, he informs his father, who is leading a reclusive life in Edinburgh Castle, of Wallace’s rebellion. And although Robert subconsciously wishes to join Wallace, he accepts his father’s observation.

ROBERT
(slumping into a chair)
This Wallace, he doesn’t even have a knighthood,
but he fights with passion and he inspires.
LEPER
(laughs)
And you wish to charge off and fight as he did.
So would I.
ROBERT
Well, maybe it’s time.
LEPER
(sitting, getting serious)
It is time to survive. You’re the 17th Robert
Bruce. The 16 before you passed you land and
title because they didn’t charge in.
But again he is attracted to William’s position when the rebel leader says that if Robert would arise to lead, he’d follow him. Eventually Robert brings himself to give William his word that he would unite the clans, but again he listens to the Leper’s logic, much to his future regret. Robert is at Longshanks’ side against the Scots at Falkirk. Commanded to protect Longshanks, Robert knocks the injured Wallace from his horse. The shock and desolation on William’s face cuts Robert deeper that any knife. Yet with the help of Stephen, he is able to save William from onrushing English soldiers. And though Robert sorely laments that he followed his father’s disastrous counsel, he doesn’t fail to show his loving concern as his father lingers near death. Eventually, a meeting at Edinburgh Castle is called so that the Scottish nobles can give Wallace their pledge and unite against the English. This, however, unbeknownst to Robert, is a mere ruse. When William arrives alone, Robert witnesses how far his father’s scheming can go, and at last sees his father for what he truly is. On the field of Bannockburn after William’s death, waiting to receive the English acknowledgment of him as King of Scotland, Robert gives into his initial impulse to “charge in,” and leads Sir William’s men and the other Scots to a decisive victory, securing Scotland’s independence for the next four hundred years.

Influence Character Backstory

Robert, the 17th Earl of Bruce, is in line for the throne of Scotland. The Scottish nobles respect his family even if they don’t like their politics. And being born and raised in the lap of ease, he has no desire to see any radical changes, except to see Scotland ruled once again by its own king. Hate and true suffering have rarely touched him.

Relationship Story Throughline

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Mind
Relationship Story Throughline

William’s hatred of English rule is unbending, but Robert accepts his father’s attitude of playing both ends to the middle. Neither William nor Robert is much inclined to yield.

Subconscious
Relationship Story Concern

Robert subconsciously wants to be like William, he wants the respect that William commands. William subconsciously sees Robert as the ultimate hope for Scotland.

Dream
Relationship Story Issue

Both William and Robert dream of the same thing.

WILLIAM
If we win, well, then we’ll have what none of us
have ever had before: a country of our own.
However, William sees his dream as something worth fighting, and even dying, for. Robert sees it from a more pragmatic, albeit circumscribed, perspective.

ROBERT
I respect what you said, but remember that these
men have lands and castles. It’s much to risk.

Hope
Relationship Story Counterpoint

William’s hope for Scottish independence sustains him throughout the entire story; Robert is the symbol of this hope. And when the Bruce betrays him at Falkirk, this hope is well-nigh taken from him.

Relationship Story Thematic Conflict
Dream vs.Hope

Before Falkirk, William has hope. But with the Bruce’s betrayal, hope turns to an almost unattainable dream because the nobles will not support him. In the end, hope beckons again:

WILLIAM
Joining the nobles is the only hope for our people.
You know what happens if we don’t take that
chance?

HAMISH
What?

WILLIAM
Nothing.

Control
Relationship Story Problem

William has control over the commoners but not enough clout to gain the cooperation of the Scottish nobles and their armies. He knows he must get Robert the Bruce to take control. Little does he understand, however, that Robert is controlled by his conniving father.

Uncontrolled
Relationship Story Solution

The solution for the Bruce to break away from his father’s control, to follow his own conscience and arise to lead like Wallace wishes and like he knows he should. It is Wallace’s capture that pushes him over the edge. The Bruce storms into the Leper’s room in uncontrollable rage, shouting, “Die! I want you to die!” . . . “You’re not my father. And you’re not a man.”

Logic
Relationship Story Symptom

William’s logic tells him that Longshanks is never to be trusted; negotiation can only lead to the weakening or destruction of what he is fighting for. But Robert sees the logic behind keeping Longshanks at bay by neither actively supporting nor opposing him.

Feeling
Relationship Story Response

William’s feelings for the English go “beyond rage.” These make it possible for him to continue on. Not until Robert possesses the same sort of hatred, will he be an effective leader. Even his father realizes this.

LEPER
At last you know what it means to hate. Now
you’re ready to be king.

Hope
Relationship Story Catalyst

“Hope” accelerates the growth of William and Robert’s relationship. William has set his hopes on Robert uniting the clans to fight the English at Falkirk. But Robert’s father dashes this hope when he says to his son: “You said it yourself, the nobles will not support Wallace. So how does it help us to join the side that is slaughtered?” It is the discovery of the Bruce’s betrayal at Falkirk that nearly causes Sir William to lose all hope. Yet this hope is rekindled when the Bruce seemly calls a meeting with William and the nobles in order to create a unified Scotland.

Rationalization
Relationship Story Inhibitor

William’s rationale that the Scottish lords will never change their approach of negotiation and compromise, and therefore are not worthy of listening to, impedes his recognizing the truth of the Bruce’s counsel that he cannot do without the nobles. On the other hand, the Bruce’s taking to heart the Leper’s rationale that compromise and passivity for the sake of survival, blinds Robert to the fact that William’s uncompromising approach of never trusting or giving into Longshanks might be the only way to deal with a tyrant.

Memory
Relationship Story Benchmark

The memory of his own moral failure at Falkirk haunts the Bruce:

ROBERT
. . . he fights for something I’ve never had. And I
took it from him when I betrayed him and I saw
it on his face on the battlefield, and it’s tearing
me apart.
It is a turning point for the Bruce, as he declares to his father:

LEPER
Well, all men betray. All lose heart.

ROBERT
(shouting in anger)
I don’t want to lose heart.
(with passion)
I want to believe as he does.
(pauses as a tear rolls down his cheek)
I will never be on the wrong side again.
Remembering how Robert helped him escape at Falkirk, William trusts the Bruce to extend his protection at the meeting at Edinburgh Castle.

Additional Relationship Story Information →
Relationship Story Throughline Synopsis

The Scottish patriot, William Wallace, has the backing of a good percentage of the common Scottish population but knows that what Scotland really needs is a leader who can rally all the classes, and he sees that capability in the 17th Earl of Bruce. However, Robert the Bruce wavers, caught between his obligation to “survive” and what his conscience tells him is right.

Relationship Story Backstory

William is born a commoner whose hard life of physical labor has prepared him for difficulties and action. Robert is born into comfort and security, which leads him to compromise and passivity. Their dissimilar upbringings gives each a vastly different way of going about securing Scotland’s freedom.

Additional Story Points

Key Structural Appreciations

Future
Overall Story Goal

The central goal of all the characters revolves around the future of Scotland. What happens in and to the country will affect all their futures.

Subconscious
Overall Story Consequence

If Scotland fails to achieve independence, hatred and war will continue, with great loss of life on both sides, and loss of any kind of peaceful existence. This is a moral issue and even the Scottish nobles feel uneasy about it.

Becoming
Overall Story Cost

In order for Scotland to gain its independence from England, the clans must become united—costing many lives in the process.

Obtaining
Overall Story Dividend

By obtaining their independence from England, the Scots reap the bounty of peace, freedom, and justice, along with the return of their cultural heritage.

Past
Overall Story Requirements

The past has shown the Scots how ruthless Longshanks can be—-this can never be forgotten or forgiven, otherwise their fight for independence becomes “just a dream.” The past reminds them that they have just cause and that Scotland will have nothing if things remain status quo.

WILLIAM
I want to live. I want a home, and children, and peace.

HAMISH
Do ya? WILLIAM: Aye, I do. I’ve asked God for
these things. It’s all for nothing if you don’t have
freedom.

Memory
Overall Story Prerequisites

Just when things are getting desperate, Murron’s thistle embroidery returns to William, reminding him of just how important his struggle and sacrifices are, not only for himself personally, but for all the other Scotsmen and their families.

Conceptualizing
Overall Story Preconditions

The patriots insist that it is Wallace who must conceptualize how to defeat the English. After the execution of Murron, Wallace devises a plan to route the English soldiers from his village by pretending to be unarmed and alone. He then figures out a way to capture and burn an outpost and kill the English lord who claimed the Right of Prima Noctes. William even comes up with an idea of how to win against the English cavalry by crafting long spears, “twice as long as a man.”

Understanding
Overall Story Forewarnings

Longshanks finally understands that it is not the Scottish per se whom he must destroy in order to crush the rebellion, but that it is necessary to put an end to the legend surrounding William. And this can only be achieved by destroying the man.

Plot Progression

Dynamic Act Appreciations

Overall Story

Future
Overall Story Signpost 1

Longshanks thinks about England’s future in France; Wallace ponders his own future and that of his village and homeland if England continues to rule them; the Scottish nobles worry about how they are going to survive sandwiched between their need to be loyal to Longshanks and supporting Wallace’s struggle for independence. Bruce’s father wants to secure the future for his line.

ROBERT
Maybe it’s time
(to fight for Scotland’s freedom).
LEPER
Now’s the time to survive. You’re the seventeenth
Robert Bruce. The sixteen before you passed
you land and title because they didn’t charge in.

Overall Story Journey 1 from Future to Progress

In order to keep control over Scotland, Longshanks calls a meeting of truce with the Scottish nobility, where he has them hanged. Now he can go forward with other things, like his son’s marriage. He then enacts the Right of Prima Noctes. Robert the Bruce and the Scottish nobles “lull Longshanks into [their] confidence by neither supporting the decree nor opposing it.” A commoner on her wedding day rides away with the English Lord Bottoms in order to secure a peaceful future and get on with life.

Progress
Overall Story Signpost 2

The Scottish, under Wallace, progress from killing the magistrate to skirmishes to all out rebellion and confrontation at Stirling.

Overall Story Journey 2 from Progress to Present

William wins at Stirling and invades England as he progresses towards London. Longshanks is brought into the present when he returns to London to find that Wallace has taken York.

Present
Overall Story Signpost 3

Longshanks returns from France to deal with what is happening to his country—-Wallace’s sacking of York. He must deal with the here and now, because his son hasn’t. Wallace, getting news from Princess Isabella about Longshank’s plans for Falkirk, has to get his men back to Scotland as quickly as possible and talk to the Council.

Overall Story Journey 3 from Present to Past

Longshanks’ Advisor reminds him how Wallace has evaded past ambush attempts. The idea of an ambush is reminiscent of the hanging in MacAndrew’s barn. But having faith in Robert the Bruce, William forgets this and nobles’ past fickleness.

Past
Overall Story Signpost 4

Knowing from the past that the planned meeting at Edinburgh Castle is most likely an ambush, Hamish tries to make William realize this, but Stephen counters with his own interpretation of the past:

STEPHEN
If the Bruce wanted to kill you he would have
done it already at Falkirk. . . . I know, I saw.

Main Character

Doing
Main Character Signpost 1

William goes after the English magistrate for killing Murron; he and his men enter an outpost dressed as English soldiers and burn it; he “pick[s] a fight” at Stirling instead of letting the nobles negotiate.

Main Character Journey 1 from Doing to Learning

After killing the magistrate, William learns that the English will retaliate. But he also learns that there are other clans who will follow him. And when they take Lord Bottoms’ outpost, William learns that with his new recruits he and his men can be successful.

Learning
Main Character Signpost 2

At Stirling, William learns that with a little “wit,” the English can be defeated. And when Princess Isabella comes to negotiate on behalf of Longshanks, William learns that, although she is a strong and intelligent young woman, she is not aware of the full extent of her father-in-law’s ruthlessness. And it is through her that he eventually learns of Longshank’s plans to attack him “from behind.”

Main Character Journey 2 from Learning to Obtaining

From learning how to defeat the English cavalry at Stirling, William obtains a knighthood. He also learns he has obtained an ally in Princess Isabella. But he learns the hard way just how powerful Longshanks’ influence over the Scottish nobles is when he discovers the Bruce siding with the English at Falkirk.

Obtaining
Main Character Signpost 3

William appeals to Robert the Bruce in order to obtain the support he needs to win a decisive victory over the English. He obtains information from the princess. He continues to obtain followers through his courage, his wit, and unbound determination.

Main Character Journey 3 from Obtaining to Understanding

When William does not obtain the support of Robert and other Scottish nobles at Falkirk, he understands that he can no longer hold out any hope of uniting the clans. In obtaining knowledge of an ambush from Princess Isabella, he understands that Longshanks is out to get him personally.

Understanding
Main Character Signpost 4

William grows to understand the extent of Longshanks’ ability to control the Scottish nobles, and he grows to understand that the only way to gain the support of these nobles is to change his attitude towards them and use their approach with them—-talking.

Influence Character

Conceptualizing
Influence Character Signpost 1

Robert is energized by the vision of a rebellion fueled by a passion as great as William’s. “Maybe it’s time.”

influence Character Journey 1 from Conceptualizing to Being

Robert is drawn to the idea of “fight[ing] with passion” and “inspir[ing]” like Wallace does. But his father reminds him that he is the 17th Earl of Bruce because his ancestors didn’t “charge in.” He must accept being a noble obligated to see that his bloodline survives.

Being
Influence Character Signpost 2

Robert cannot help being who he is. And his noble rank is important, for it gives him the leverage necessary to unite Scotland.

Influence Character Journey 2 from Being to Becoming

Robert moves from being like the other nobles towards becoming an effective leader when he gives William his word to unite the clans before the battle of Falkirk.

Becoming
Influence Character Signpost 3

Once Robert sees for himself the suffering his betrayal at Falkirk causes, not only to William but to families of the Scots who died, he starts becoming the man of moral strength and righteousness that William knows him to be.

Influence Character Journey 3 from Becoming to Conceiving

When Robert learns that his father arranges for the capture of Wallace in the castle courtyard he not only at last becomes the stuff king’s are made of—-

LEPER
Now you are ready to be king
—-he has a good idea of just how devious, manipulative, and conniving his father really is, a person unworthy of being called a man.

Conceiving
Influence Character Signpost 4

On the field at Bannockburn, the idea of victory over England and of the nearness of Scotland’s independence becomes a conceivable possibility to Robert.

Relationship Story

Subconscious
Relationship Story Signpost 1

William wants to live in peace but, driven by the need and desire to avenge Murron’s death, he kills the British magistrate, starting a rebellion. Hearing of this, Robert subconsciously wants to join but is torn by his obligation to listen and heed his father’s counsel.

Relationship Story Journey 1 from Subconscious to ConsciousWilliam's intention in killing the magistrate was not to start a rebellion, but when the MacGregors show up to join "the fun," he must seriously consider becoming an aggressor. The Bruce, however, follows his father's advice about supporting both sides, without giving much consideration to the ultimate consequences.
Conscious
Relationship Story Signpost 2

When confrontation with the English seems inevitable, William gives consideration to how to win against their cavalry. And as usual, Robert only considers his father’s words. William succeeds at Stirling, then considers his next move—-invading England. He asks Robert to give consideration to leading the Scots, and asks again just before the battle at Falkirk. But Robert’s father has his son reconsider his promise to Wallace to unite the clans to fight against England at Falkirk:

LEPER
You said it yourself: The nobles will not support
Wallace. So how does it help us to join the side
that is slaughtered?

Relationship Story Journey 2 from Conscious to Memory

At William’s knighting, though conscious of his position as a noble, the Bruce still remembers the initial desire to fight like Wallace, when William says: “Noble and common, they know you. And if you would only lead them, they’d follow you. And so would I.”

Memory
Relationship Story Signpost 3

After the lose at Falkirk, William remembers Mornay and Lochlan’s desertion, and takes revenge. Robert is tormented by his own memories:

ROBERT
The men who bled the ground red at Falkirk,
they fought for William Wallace, and he fights
for something I’ve never had. And I took it from
him when I betrayed him and I saw it in his face
on the battlefield and it’s tearing me apart.

Relationship Story Journey 3 from Memory to Preconscious

Remembering how Robert helped him escape at Falkirk, William unthinkingly trusts that the meeting in Edinburgh is what it appears to be.

Preconscious
Relationship Story Signpost 4

On the field at Bannockburn, Robert, giving no consideration to the consequences or to whether that particular moment was the right one, at last goes with his initial impulse and takes up the fight against England.

Plot Progression Visualizations

Dynamic Act Schematics

OS: MC: IC: RS:

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