“The judge will do some things to you which are thought to be terrifying; but how can he stop you from taking the punishment he threatened?” Epictetus
There’s a scene everyone remembers from Braveheart. It’s near the end of the movie, and William Wallace has been captured. He’s imprisoned, and the Princess comes to his cell, begging him to plead for mercy.
Wallace knows the brutality of the King and his executioners. He knows his death will be slow and painful. He knows the threat before him. The Princess offers him what seems to be a sedative or some other liquid meant to ease his imminent suffering. Wallace takes the liquid and then, once the Princess has left, spits it out.
Eventually, we witness a brutal re-enactment of the execution of William Wallace. Wallace’s body was stretched by horses, and he was disemboweled while still alive and conscious. I can’t even fathom the pain.
Wallace was a medieval freedom fighter. He was fighting a rebellion for freedom for his country of Scotland. His last act on this earth was one of freedom. He chose to exercise his freedom to take his punishment fully and completely the way he chose. As a result, his last act of freedom still echoes in the annals of time.
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