“Troy” Movie Overview Analysis

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Table of Content

Background of the Study

Leadership is a human subject and as such is a complex matter. Leading others is not simply a matter of style, or following some how-to guides or recipes. Ineffectiveness of leaders seldom results from a lack of know-how or how-to, nor it is typically due to inadequate managerial skills. Leadership is even not about creating a great vision.

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It is about creating conditions under which all your followers can perform independently and effectively toward a common objective. In real life wherever two or more people gather together, one of them will be a leader. A leader will have a responsibility to his members. He will encourage his fellows to join in and play a central role in defining group goals and in determining the ideology of the group.

Kouzes and Posner (1987) as quoted stated that effective leaders recognize that what they know is very little in comparison to what they still need to learn. To be more proficient in pursuing and achieving objectives, you should be open to new ideas, insights, and revelations that can lead to better ways to accomplishing goals. This continuous learning process can be exercised, in particular, through engaging yourself in a constant dialogue with your peers, advisers, consultants, team members, suppliers, customers, and competitors.

According to Mouton (1985:5) leadership is the process of influencing the activities of an individual or group in efforts toward goal achievements in a given situation. An important measure of a leader’s own success is the success of his or her followers. The strength of a leader is measured by the ability to facilitate the self-leadership of others. The first critical step towards this goal is to master self-leadership. If leaders want to lead somebody, they must first lead themselves.

Lao Tzu (1988) as quoted form  stated that as an element in social interaction, leadership is a complex activity involving:

  • A process of influence
  • Actors who are both leaders and followers

A range of possible outcomes – the achievement of goals, but also the commitment of individuals to such goals, the enhancement of group cohesion and the reinforcement of change of organizational culture. Literary works and psychology have very close correlation, both directly and functionally.

Direct correlation means that literature and psychology have the same object, human life. Literature and psychology have a functional correlation because both of them learn about psychological condition. The difference is that psychology discusses something in real life, but literature discusses imaginary things. There are three approaches in studying literary psychology, one of them is expressive approach. It discusses the authors (movie’s director) psychological aspects when he/she expresses his/her creativity in the work (movie).

This expressive approach is focused on pragmatic theory as one of the literary discourse. This theory learns about how a producer means whether implicitly or explicitly. I try to find out producer’s expression revealed in this movie and manage to prove that the main character has a really great leadership aspect. In this recent time many films are based on narrative or story that develops characterization and mood. Motion picture, film or movie is an example of art. This form of literary work is considered as the easiest media to convey one’s idea or moral value to the audience.

Listiyani (2004:132) says that: A film or motion picture is one of literary work forms that can be considered effective to convey one’s idea, especially through the visualization and characterization of the actors, in which depict every event vividly to the audience. In the modernization and development of technology, films or motion pictures become the most popular and fascinating entertainment. Nowadays, people prefer watching movies on television or on theater to reading literary works to satisfy their need of entertainment.

A film differs from literary works because everything in the film appears to be life-like and natural; the movie characters walk and talk just as people actually do. The picture also does not stand still at the scene, it moves forward together. Nowadays, many movies are based on a literary work such as novel or drama; therefore, in the widest sense movie can be considered as a form of literature. Movie is based on a script which is written or printed which preserve the result of observation, thought or fancy and is often filled with work or taste and sentiment.

This script has become an important part of a movie. Motion picture or movie is also one of the media where one’s idea, feeling, or thought can be shared with other people. Keith Ridgway says in Encyclopedia America (1989:155): Like painting, motion picture presents a two-dimensional image within the confires of a frame. Like music, they manipulate their material within dimensional of time. Like dance moves are choreographed to utilize the space of aesthetics effect. Like theatre, films for the most part use human actors who are engage in a performance.

Like poetry, film can convey several meanings simultaneously. People prefer watching movies to reading drama or poetry to satisfy their needs in entertainment. Movies give more fun and make it easier to enjoy. Photography, film editing, camera movement, special effects and other elements are added to the film to create an art form that is more complex than any other literatures. These elements make movie become an art that are complete, in its part as an art and its function in life. Some script writers wrote new and interesting themes to make a high quality movie and to satisfy the viewer.

But some of the directors made the movie based on the legend or true story that happened in the past. Sometimes, this kind of movie is not made for selling purpose, but to honor the individual with special characteristic who has changed the world or a figure who has a big contribution toward human civilization. Troy is a movie released on May 14, 2004 concerning the Trojan War. It is loosely based on Homer’s Iliad, but includes material from Virgil’s Aeneid and other sources, and sometimes diverges from Greek’s myth. Troy was directed by Wolfgang Petersen and written by David Benioff.

It received an Oscar nomination for its costume design. Referring to the background above, I chose leadership of Achilles as the topic of his study as one subtopic; I focused the analysis on the characterization of the main character of the movie.

Reasons for Choosing the Topic

As I noted before that film is the most popular entertainment in the world. Almost all generation like watching film, such as children and adult. Not only film can give pleasure for the viewer, but it also can give moral values to them. They can learn many things about life from the film such as social relationship, politics, and science.

In the development of film, the film makers do not only want to get profit but also they have a special intention which they want to give to the society that is called moral values. Moral values will give us new knowledge about social condition such as how we should behave and how we should socialize with them in our society. From the elaboration above I have several reasons why I want to analyze the film Troy. Firstly, Leadership is one of the important aspects in our life because it will bring us to the self management, social management and life management.

Leadership knowledge will give us better understanding about social problem in our life. Secondly, Troy is an interesting movie to be discussed further since it performs leadership types in Greek’s kingdoms long time ago. As we know that Greece is a nation which has very high civilization so that it would be precious lesson for us learning Greece and its history. Third, by analyzing this movie, I try to help readers to have better understanding about leadership to face their leaders in real life. Some leaders may show different style of leading toward his or her followers.

Therefore, it is very important for us to understand what kind of person our leader is. The last, Troy shows some interesting leadership types that can be observed and analyzed using a psychological approach. By using psychological approach we are expected to explore the personal characters of our leader psychologically.

Statements of the Problem

In order not to discuss something irrelevant I had limited the discussion by presenting and focusing my attention to the following problems:

  • What are the personal characters of Achilles as a leader?
  • What is the significance of Achilles’ leadership viewed from Freud‘s psychological approach?

In this chapter, the study focuses on the analysis of the data. The data that have been taken from Troy movie script will be obviously presented in this chapter. This chapter consists of three subchapters which become the main answers of the problem statements stated on the previous chapter. The first is the history of Achilles; it covers the birth of Achilles, Trojan War and death of Achilles. The second is the personal characters of Achilles. The third is the significance of Achilles’ leadership.

The History of Achilles The first subchapter of the fourth chapter is talking about the history of Achilles. This subchapter elaborates the birth of Achilles, Trojan War and death of Achilles. The elaboration of each topic of the first subchapter will be presented as the following description.

Birth of Achilles In Greek mythology, Achilles was the son of mortal Paleus, king of Myrmidons in Phthia (southeast Thesally) and the nereid (sea Nimph) Thetis. He was the Greek hero in the Trojan War, the central character and the greatest Warrior of Hommer’s Illiad, which take of its theme the wrath of Achilles.

His mother dipped him in the river from the Hodes, the Styx, to make him immortal. But she held him on his heel, so that part of him was mortal. Later legends state that Achilles was invulnerable on all of part of his body except for his heel. These legends state that Achilles was killed in a battle by an arrow to his heel, and so an “Achilles’ hell” has come to mean person’s principal weakness. Achilles also has the tribute of being the most handsome of the heroes assembled against Troy, as well as the quickest.

Achilles’ name can be analysed as the combination of “Akhos” means grief and “Laos” means people, tribe, and nation. In other words, the name Achilles embodied the grief of the people. Achilles’ role as the hero of grief forms an ironic juxtaposition with the conventional view of Achilles as the hero of “Kleos” that means glory of war, while “Laos” can also be derived as a corps of soldiers. With this derivation, the name would have double meanings that are when the hero is functioning rightly, his men bring grief to his enemy and when the hero is functioning wrongly, his men get the grief or war.

Trojan War During the Thetis’ and Peleus’ wedding, all of the gods were invited except Eris, the goddess of Strife and Discord. Suddenly, she came by without permission and she threw a golden apple to the guests. There was a text saying” for the prettiest one”. And what Eris hoped for came true that Hera, Athena and Aphrodite were quarrelling, because they all thought they were the prettiest. Zeus decided to let the young and handsome Trojan Paris make a decision. Each of goddesses promised Paris a wonderful prize if he would pick her up.

Hera offered power, Athena offered military glory and wisdom, and Aphrodite offered him the most beautiful girl in the world as his wife. In his famous judgement of Paris, he gave the apple to Aphrodite. When Achilles heard his friend died, he was very angry and he was furious at Hector. He wanted to kill him, as fast as he could, to let him pay for what he had done. His mother Thetis heard his crying from deep down the sea, and she came too him. She dissuaded him to look for Hector, because he did not have any weapons. She let Hephaestus make new armor for him, and the next day Achilles went to Hector.

Achilles killed Hector. After Hector was killed by Achilles, Troy was leaderless. None of Trojan could lead the Trojan army as well as Hector, even Hector’s brother, Paris. But still, the wall of Troy could not be destroyed and the kingdom of Priam was untouchable. Finally the Greeks devised the strategy of the wooden horse filled with armed soldiers. It was built by Epeius and left in front of Troy. The Greek army then withdrew to Tenedos, an island off the coast, as if abandoning the war. Odysseus went into Troy disguised, and Helen recognized him.

But he was sent away by Hecuba, the wife of Priam. The Greek soldier Sinon stayed behind when the army withdrew and pretended to the Trojans that he had deserted from the Greek army because he had information about a murder Odysseus had committed. He told the Trojans that the horse was an offering to Athena and that the Greeks had built it to be so large that the Trojans could not bring it into their city. The Trojans determined to get the Trojan Horse into their city. They tore down a part of the wall, dragged the horse inside, and celebrated their apparent victory.

At night, when the Trojans had fallen asleep, the Greek soldiers hidden in the horse came out, opened the gates, and gave the signal to the main army which had been hiding behind Tenedos. The city was totally destroyed.

Death of Achilles Finally Paris wounded Achilles in his heel with an arrow, with Apollo’s help Achilles died. As stated by Graves in The Greek Myths (2000:613) that: Poseidon and Apollo pledge to avenge the death of Cycnus and Troilus, and to punish certain insolent boasts that Achilles had uttered over Hector’s corpse, took counsel together.

Veiled with cloud and standing by the Scaean Gate, Apollo sought out Paris in the thick of battle, turned his bow and guided the fatal shaft. It struck the one vulnerable part of Achilles’ body, the right heel, and he died in agony. After his death, many brave Greek warriors wanted his armor, and it was decided to give it to the bravest one. Ajax and Odysseys competed for the prize, by both explaining why they should have it. Ajax was the most powerful one of the two, and he thought he deserved it, because he was Achilles’ cousin and he took his body away from the battle field. Odysseus was the clever one. Odysseus won the armor, because everyone was impressed by his beautiful words. Ajax went mad and he committed suicide.

The Personal Characters of Achilles

Character develops over time. Many think that much of a person’s character is formed early in life. However, we do not know exactly how much or how early character develops. But, it is safe to claim that character does not change quickly. A person’s observable behavior is an indication of her character. This behavior can be strong or weak, good or bad. A person with strong character shows drive, energy, determination, self-discipline, willpower, and nerve.

He sees what he wants and goes after it. He attracts followers. On the other hand, a person with weak character shows none of these traits. He does not know what he wants. His traits are disorganized and he will attract no followers. A strong person can be good or bad. A gang leader is an example of a strong person with a bad character, while an outstanding community leader is one with both strong and good characteristics. An organization needs leaders with both strong and good characteristics, people who will guide them to the future and show that they can be trusted.

Achilles is one of the major characters in Troy movie. As he was the main character in the movie, he had important roles. Achilles was one of the greatest heroes in Greek mythology long time ago. He was also a leader of his army; Myrmidons who fought very well against the Trojan in the battle. Achilles could also give high spirit among the soldiers of Sparta during the Trojan War that was why he had significant roles among the soldiers.

It was like what was stated by Nurgiyanto (1995:176-178): main or major character is a character who has highest importance in the relate works. He or she is he most important part as subject or object of discussion. Even in certain movie, the character is always presented in every movie in the movie concerned. Achilles was the major character in the movie, he was an antagonist. And then the Trojan became the protagonist.

It was in a line with the statement of Alterbernd and Lewis (1980:59) that: the major character is divided into two; protagonist and antagonist. The protagonist is the manifestation of ideal forms and values manifestation that the viewers admire. He states that while watching a movie, viewers always identifies him with a certain character.

Sympathy and empathy engage him with a certain character. The character that is being treated is a protagonist. An antagonist is defined as a character who creates or causes a conflict. In some stories, the antagonist is opposed to the protagonist directly or indirectly, mentally or physically. From the understanding above we can assume that the characteristic of Achilles is the major character, and he is an antagonist. One of the ways to analyze the characteristics is through the dialogue related to the object, each dialogue scene may show more than one characters.

The Achilles’ characteristics analysis based on the dialogue in the movie script are as follows:

  • Brave Achilles was son of immortal goddess, Thetis. He was also prepared to be immortal by his mother by dipping him in the River of Styx so that most parts of his body were invulnerable. Achilles was brave enough to fight against his entire enemy without any fear. With his bravery and his skilled hands in the battle he could win many wars during his life.
  • Inspiring Enthusiasm must not be forgotten when talking about a great leader. A true leader inspires those around him with his passion and dedication.

By showing them how something is done, by having confidence and determination, the leader will make the teamwork towards the desired goal. Also, a real leader should not be scared to perform hard works, offering a good example to his or her followers. In the battle field Achilles’ figure inspires the Greek soldiers against the Trojan. His power and strength could increase the soldier’s spirit of fighting. He could wake up his men from weaknesses and hopelessness. Moreover, his figure could scare the Trojan army. The way how he led his army became inspiration among Greeks kings.

A leader should be able to display confidence in all what he or she do. By showing the spirit in mental, physical, and spiritual stamina, a leader will inspire others to reach for new high purposes. When Achilles has conflict with Agamemnon the Greek was defeated by Troy. Since Achilles did not want to fight against the Trojan consequently the enthusiasm of the soldiers decreased. The Trojan can defeat the Greek easily. Achilles became soldiers’ inspiration in the battle field. In the war, Achilles will encourage the soldiers to fight well.

Any good leader should always have high standard goals and he or she will strive for excellence in every past. In some cases, a leader should be an ambitious person who will guide the followers to great and glorious visions. It was in a line with Maslow’s statement (1971:42) the identification of the psychological need for growth, development, and utilization of potential. He describes the needs as a desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming better. Without any ambitious sense, a leader will not have high target to achieve.

Referring to Freudian psychoanalytic concept especially the Id, we will be able to note that Id is a part of the mind related to the person’s unconscious instincts and impulses. It is the source of all aggressions and desires. Moreover, ambition itself can be correlated to a desire as a part of the Id. Therefore, ambition and desire are two terms existing in person’s mind that can not be separated from each other. Achilles was an ambitious leader. He has a great purpose for his future and his followers as well. His ambition to be a great leader and historical Greek soldier had guided him to be a great person.

His ambition to be a great leader also had changed his way in leading his men, the Myrmidon. Achilles’ ambition had given inspiration among the Greek soldiers. His courage had awakened up many people that great victory and glorious deed would only be achieved with high motivation and hard struggle. People should sacrifice what he or she had such as, time, strength, and wealth even their single life to have glorious victory.

A true leader must have confidence in his role and position towards others. The result will be a trustful team that looks up to the leader, following his or her orders and performing the tasks well. The team members will be highly motivated to do a good job when the leader is confident in his or her powers and theirs, at the same time. Achilles was a person who has high confidence. He himself believed in his own power together with his people, Myrmidon, that he would be able to defeat the Trojan soldiers. Even in a certain scene he showed his own identity to Triopas, a king of Thessaly. He did not recognize Agamemnon as his king because he was so an arrogant king.

Caring A leader should have high social sense, the time when he or she should hear and feel the problem of his or her follower. Care is very important to be given by a leader to his follower; by showing this a leader will be very much appreciated and respected by his follower. Care will give comfort to the followers. Patroculus was Achilles’ cousin; he was his student as well. Achilles trained him how to fight, how to defend himself from the enemy. Achilles cared his cousin so well and loved him very much. (6) Respectful A respectful attitude is a very important quality in which a leader should have. The way of a leader in treating the others will determine what kind of leader he or she is.

Treating others with full of respect will ultimately earn respect. Achilles was a person who respected others, even his people, the Myrmidons. He appreciated what they had already done and gained by his men. He also realized that his victory was not only because of him but also of his men. Achilles not only respected kings or his men, even he respected his enemy as well. We can see the scene when the king of Troy, Priam came to his tent and wanted to take his son’s corpse, Hector. Priam’s elder son was killed by Achilles because he killed his cousin, Patroclus.

Achilles let Priam take his son body and bring him to his kingdom for the proper funeral. Deep inside his heart, Achilles felt so guilty by killing Hector, even he was crying before giving the body to Priam. In a line with the definition of superego, we will understand that superego makes one aware of right and wrong and act as conscience to control one’s behaviour. Moreover, superego controls people mind not to do something immoral. It usually gives understanding to people whether it is good or wrong and how people should act to face something in their life. It will guide people into the right way. Achilles himself finally realized that he was wrong by killing Hector and he felt so guilty.

The Significance of Achilles’ Leadership Referring to some theories of leadership above, I can conclude that a leader has significant functions or roles toward their people. The roles of leader are many and varied depend on the basic problem which the group must deal with. Here is the significance of Achilles’ leadership in which we can observe from the movie.

  1. Helping to Define and Reach Group Goals Some say that a leader may serve as the policy maker, helping the group to establish its goals and define the tasks. Having done this, the leader may then formulate a plan that would enable his followers to reach the goals. Achilles was a figure of leader who could define the goals of their own people, the Myrmidons. He set up a plan going to Troy together with his men to reach certain goals, the victory of the Greek. Moreover, he led his people well to step on the right path to gain the glorious victory in Troy.
  2. Maintaining Group Achilles was not only a leader who tried to define and reach the group goals but he was a leader who also maintained his people, the Myrmidons. Sometimes, there are inevitable disagreement among his men, together with tensions and hostilities and Achilles helped reduce tensions, arbitrary differences and generally maintaining harmony of his men. During the Trojan wars, Achilles won many battle, he led his people well and everything went good. But his arrogant king, Agamemnon, insulted him. He did not give any respect to him and his men who had given a victory to him.
  3. Providing Symbol for Identification In some circumstances, group members sometimes need a common symbol in which they can identify. By identifying the leader as a symbol, the group can maintain its unity. Achilles symbolized a great, quick and skilful warrior. He often makes his enemy afraid of him. His figure was identified as a strong soldier who had charismatic sense toward his men, the Myrmidons. In the battle field, he was known as fearless as god. He could defeat his enemy with a swing of his sword. Achilles’ presence brought comfort toward the soldiers. He could encourage the spirit of the soldiers during the war. The conflict in which he had with Agamemnon made him unwilling to go to the wars against the Trojan and the Greek was powerless. In a certain, scene we will see that Odysseus persuaded Achilles to come back in a war. He was a symbol of strength and spirit for the Greek soldier in a war.
  4. Representing the Group to Others The leader may help his follower to solve their problem. He often helps their followers to achieve their goals. The leader himself may also represent the group in its relationship with other groups of people. Achilles had brought the symbol of strength and spirit toward his people, the Myrmidons. He showed to his men that they are the best soldiers who did not depend on others. He believed in his own power to gain the group goals. Achilles himself represents his people as a strong soldier.

His soldiers were independent soldiers who did not depend on other army to get the victory of the Greek. Achilles was a soldier and a great leader as well. His roles among the soldiers gave inspiration, spirit etc. He could lead his men very well so he could win many wars together with his people. He represented a brave and tough Greek soldier in which the Greek had ever had. In a view of Freudian psychological theory Achilles could control himself and his followers very well. His ego’s effort eventually builds him a great number of skills and memories and he become aware of himself as an entity.

Achilles helped to define and reach the group goals in this case his own people, the Myrmidon as well as the Greece. Moreover, he provided the symbol of identification that he himself and his followers are the greatest soldiers in Greece. In relation with common leadership style in present, Achilles figure will give us inspiration on how a leader should act toward his followers. His ability in maintaining his people will motivate us what characteristics of leader we should or should not have. Therefore, it is totally true that good leaders are made not born. A good leader develops through very long processes of self-study, education, trainings and experiences.


The last chapter includes two subchapters, they are conclusions and suggestions. Conclusions of the data analysis are presented in the first subchapter as the summary of the final project and the second subchapter presents some suggestions that may be useful for the readers.

Based on the analysis in the previous chapter, I present the conclusion related to the movie of Troy, the personal characters of Achilles and his significant leadership toward the Greek. This movie is action and adventure movie. This movie involves high energy, physical stunt, battle and fight. This movie was produced by one of the “Big Five Studios” that is Warner Bros Picture and released on May 14, 2004. As one of the qualified film studios, Warner Bros Picture could achieve some nominations for its pictures quality. In relation to the personal characters of Achilles, he was a great historical hero of Greek gods. He had given big contribution to the Greek in the Trojan War. He was an antagonist, and the film producer exposed his personal characters as follows: first, he was a brave leader.

He was brave enough to fight against his entire enemy without any fear. With his bravery and his skilled hands in the battle, he could win many wars during his life. Second, he was inspiring. In the battle field Achilles’ figure inspires the Greek soldiers to be brave and tough soldiers in fighting against the Trojan. His power and strength could increase the soldier’s spirit of fighting. Third, he was an ambitious leader. His ambition to be a great leader and historical Greek soldier had guided him to be a great person. His ambition to be a great leader also had changed his way in leading his men, the Myrmidon.

Fourth, he was confident. It was proven when he had to fight against his enemy that he fought with his great bravery. Fifth, he was full of care. He cared his cousin, Patroclus, so much and he did not want him to be injured so he protected him carefully. Sixth, he was nationalist. He went to Troy not only because of his ambition to be historical hero through the ages but he also thought of his country honor, Greece. Last, he was respectful. He respected and appreciated others very well, his people and the kings as well. Then, Id is a centre of human desire. One of the Achilles personal characters in the movie was ambitious.

Ambition is a term which has very close correlation with human desire. His ambition to be a great leader had taken him to the great vision, the victory of Greek. In a line with the theory of Ego, Achilles’ ego effort at pragmatic satisfaction of urges eventually builds a great number of his skills Time and experience had built up Achilles’ skills as well as his personality. Superego makes one aware of right and wrong and act as conscience to control one’s behaviour. Achilles’ way of leading will show us how he controlled his behaviour toward his people. The last, his leadership was a very significant contribution for the Greek’s victory.

His roles as a leader were helping to define and reach the group goals, maintaining his group, providing symbol for identification, and also representing the group to others. On the basis of the conclusion above, there are several suggestions that the writer wants to give to the readers. First, the understanding of leadership is very important for any people especially for those who are leaders in any field. This study is also really suggested for those who are working in the similar field of study. Moreover, this movie also showed us many moral values to which we can use as references.

For example, how to be a good leader and how a leader should act toward his or her followers. Therefore, the explanation above is supposed to present a better description about leadership. This study is not only for leaders but for any readers as well. In addition, I do hope that this movie could be one of supplementary literary subject since the significant moral values conveyed by this movie.

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