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Eve of Battle
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cindoo15



Joined: 29 Nov 2004
Posts: 1282
Location: Dallas TX

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 7:20 am    Post subject: Eve of Battle Reply with quote

After reviewing the sceen before Alexanders tent prior to the battle at Gaugamela I am confused.

First, Hephaestion looks beyond Alexander into his tent. Then Alexander states "On the eve of battle it is hardest to be alone". Who appears to be asking for togetherness that night?

In some way it seems that Hephaestioin is by looking into Alexanders tent. But, maybe this is just a glance and doesn't mean anything. Although, it seems in a way to be a request for an invitation. I don't know.

Then, when Alexander says "On the eve of battle.....", well, this seems that he is asking Hephaestion to stay with him that night. But, then Hephaestion goes on to say that "maybe this is farewell" Crying or Very sad

I can't stand it, what does all this mean? Who is asking who to say the night - if anyone? AND, why don't they end up together that night? At least as far as the film is concerned. I have read that in reality, Alexander stayed up half the night reviewing battle plans (good thing he did). But here, I am asking about hypotheticals in the film. What do you all think?
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cindoo15



Joined: 29 Nov 2004
Posts: 1282
Location: Dallas TX

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now I've just watched the wedding feast again. Too much for me to take in after a couple glasses of wine LOL!!!!! There is a lot going on here, especially in the beginning. One thing that struck me, Hephaestion seems to be close to someone that is not Alexander and then Alexander appears quite sad. Crying or Very sad I'll have to check that out again.

What I wanted to say though was: YEAH!! You go Alexander!!! Don't let them get the best of you. I am very impressed by the way he responded to Attalus and Phillip during this scene (as supposedly it was in history); stand up for yourself - that is exactly what he did. I commend him for this; very tough to do what he did then. Wish I was so strong. I would have caved for sure!
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joanna



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
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Location: Greece/USA/Italy/UK/

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I spent most of the morning today watching my clips,too.Until I get the DVD , these clips mean a lot to me. They're my treasure!
I read somewhere that before the battles Alexander slept a lot. As a matter of fact, he loved sleeping.
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lardvaark



Joined: 13 Jan 2005
Posts: 169
Location: Southampton, UK

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2005 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh, he liked sleeping eh? Good old Al. He would've made a cracking student Wink

Glad other people liked the wedding celebration scene, that's probably my most-watched one. I sit there going "Yeah! Go on, 'ave 'im!"

On another note, sorry I was a bit of an absentee - I don't think I can remember being this busy. I had to spend quite some time marking third-years' coursework who can't even copy each other properly... Rolling Eyes
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cindoo15



Joined: 29 Nov 2004
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Location: Dallas TX

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually from what I have read, Alexander really didn't sleep much so who knows! He did sleep late the morning of Gaugamela because he had been up very late reviewing battle plans the night before though and his officers had to wake him.
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Adriv



Joined: 17 Jan 2005
Posts: 1144
Location: Maryland, USA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Eve of Battle Reply with quote

cindoo15 wrote:
After reviewing the sceen before Alexanders tent prior to the battle at Gaugamela I am confused.

First, Hephaestion looks beyond Alexander into his tent. Then Alexander states "On the eve of battle it is hardest to be alone". Who appears to be asking for togetherness that night?

In some way it seems that Hephaestioin is by looking into Alexanders tent. But, maybe this is just a glance and doesn't mean anything. Although, it seems in a way to be a request for an invitation. I don't know.

Then, when Alexander says "On the eve of battle.....", well, this seems that he is asking Hephaestion to stay with him that night. But, then Hephaestion goes on to say that "maybe this is farewell" Crying or Very sad

I can't stand it, what does all this mean? Who is asking who to say the night - if anyone? AND, why don't they end up together that night? At least as far as the film is concerned. I have read that in reality, Alexander stayed up half the night reviewing battle plans (good thing he did). But here, I am asking about hypotheticals in the film. What do you all think?


You know cindoo 15, I got the same thoughts about that scene. I still don't understand it. I would have just dragged Hephaestion or Alexander to the tent and have my way with him. I'm thinking, if I'm going to get kill in battle next morning, I will try to have some fun the night before with my favorite person. Don't you think?
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Goldsnail



Joined: 08 Oct 2004
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, it tied in nicely with the Mary Renault books (I really think she should have been credited, they borrowed a LOT from the Trilogy), you know, about Alexander considering sexual passion to be a weakness, something which he didn't give into lightly. It makes perfectly sense then that he wanted to be alone before a battle.
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Alexandros_19



Joined: 15 Feb 2005
Posts: 1230
Location: Argentina

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 11:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Eve of Battle Reply with quote

cindoo15 wrote:
After reviewing the sceen before Alexanders tent prior to the battle at Gaugamela I am confused.

First, Hephaestion looks beyond Alexander into his tent. Then Alexander states "On the eve of battle it is hardest to be alone". Who appears to be asking for togetherness that night?

In some way it seems that Hephaestioin is by looking into Alexanders tent. But, maybe this is just a glance and doesn't mean anything. Although, it seems in a way to be a request for an invitation. I don't know.

Then, when Alexander says "On the eve of battle.....", well, this seems that he is asking Hephaestion to stay with him that night. But, then Hephaestion goes on to say that "maybe this is farewell" Crying or Very sad

I can't stand it, what does all this mean? Who is asking who to say the night - if anyone? AND, why don't they end up together that night? At least as far as the film is concerned. I have read that in reality, Alexander stayed up half the night reviewing battle plans (good thing he did). But here, I am asking about hypotheticals in the film. What do you all think?


Pam, I am glad you brought this up. Despite how many here feel about how the scene should have ended Laughing , the thing is that one gets confused by the gestures and the parallel dialog. I mean: as you stated, Hephaestion looks inside Alexander's tent as if he were proposing something; then, Alexander says: "On the eve of battle, it is hardest to be alone", but then Hephaestion says "Then perhaps this is a farewell, my Alexander".
I think there is certainly a contradiction there between the gestures and the dialog. I believe what happens is that Hephaestion looks inside the tent expecting an invitation from Alexander to stay, but Alexander prefers to be alone on the eve of battle. He uses the word "hardest" as if he were saying "On the eve of battle, it is better (more prudent) to be alone." It is definitely a strange way to use the superlative "hardest", almost in a opposite meaning to the regular use of the word. That is why then Hephaestion looks disappointed and is afraid of not being with Alexander ever again if any of the two falls in battle.
Well, this is my interpretation, but I would like to know what you think. I believe this is the only way to combine the dialog and the images in a meaningful way.
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cindoo15



Joined: 29 Nov 2004
Posts: 1282
Location: Dallas TX

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alexandros - that does seem to make sense the way you explained it. You are right about the word 'hardest' seeming to be a strange choice here but when I think about it, it can make sense.

Adriv - I must agree that I would have pulled the other one into the tent and enjoyed what could have been a last night.

However, I must assume that Alexander had no notion of it being an end. I suppose that is why he was Alexander and I am not.

It would have been helpful to me, after Hephaestion said his farewell line if Alexander had said something along the lines of 'fear not, my Hephaestion, we shall hold each other again after the battle.'
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Leonnatus



Joined: 06 Feb 2005
Posts: 124

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 12:52 pm    Post subject: Their core mindset Reply with quote

Interesting discussion. The way I read that scene was: these guys are two ideologues on a mission.They are also lovers. Historically they have already beaten Darius's forces twice at Granicus and Issus but tomorrow is the big one. There is no way they would have got hot and heavy on the eve of battle. It's a physiological thing, it destabilises the psyche.Even boxers today dont do it before a fight if they care about winning.Alexander and Hephaestion cared.What that scene was trying to convey was spiritual/'platonic' love as a substitute for something more radical.It succeeded as they did next day Cool
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halfaery



Joined: 03 Dec 2004
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Location: Finland

PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 5:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leonnatus: I agree 100%
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joanna



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 1270
Location: Greece/USA/Italy/UK/

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excuse me, everybody,but what I understood(and my friends ) is that Al and Hehp DID spend the night t o g e t h e r before the battle. Maybe the dubbing(damn it!) is not so accurate.Of course I have my clips but I have watched it so many times in Italian that I can think it in English.For the ones that speak Italian is like this:"...è la sera di battaglia.E' difficile stare soli." Exact traslation :"...it's the eve of the battle. It's difficult to stay alone."That means.... 'I want to stay with you.I don't want to stay alone.' There isn't any superlative form (hardest) in the Italian dubbing (damn it ,again!).Then Hehp says:"quindi, forse ...è un adio, mio Alessandro"In English :"so, maybe this is... farewell ,my Alexander" That means:'ok. we're spending the night together and... maybe this is gonna be our last one.We may die tomorrow.'I think i'm the only one that has seen the movie the most times (we should have a poll on that) Have you noticed a small detail? After Hehp said his last sentence Al put his hand on his friend's chest and made a gesture with his head to follow him into the tent. Have you noticed that ? No? I have. Ok, that's it. I don't know if I'm right but I'd like to think that they spent the night together. Yes, I agree. Maybe it's not wise to make love before ...a battle but if I were Al I'd like to spend that night with the person I loved most. I'd like to lie on bed with him and hug him all night long. A very tender moment. Don't you think so? Maybe that was what Al asked. Well, this is what I believe. There are many interpretatons for this scene.
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joanna



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
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Location: Greece/USA/Italy/UK/

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's late and I'm a little tired ,I guess. On my post above ,on the 3rd line I wanted to write:'I cannot think it in English'. And I'm dying to watch it in the original language. I love all this Irish accent.
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Rachel25



Joined: 14 Aug 2004
Posts: 68

PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually Joanna, despite what the dialogue would make any of us think we know they don't spend that night together because Heph doesn't follow him into the tent. In fact he kind of looks at that tent with a very dissappointed expression before the scene ends (Awww!).

And folks, am I the only person that actually heard Alex use the phrase 'Not on the eve of battle" before he talked about how hard it was to be alone? Because I always interpretted those two lines together as saying, "We can't tonight. Not that I don't want too, but still. . . "
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Alexiel



Joined: 18 Jan 2005
Posts: 169
Location: Italy

PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agreee with Alexandros_19
I've said it before,and I'm repeating it now,but Heph at the beginning,makes a gesture towards Alex's tent that looks like a "may I get in",but Alex stops him with the "in the eve of battle,it's hardest to be alone",that means that it's not the case...then Heph says "yes...and perhaps...perhaps this is a farewell my Alexander" with kind of a slu**y look haha,it really looks like he means something like "are you sure you don't want me to get in???maybe this is our last night togheter" but then,Alex cools him down with a hug,and Heph turns on his heels and walks away pretty destroyed but he turns over to look at Alexs tent one last time with sadness in his eyes
that's what I got,at least
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