Friday, March 23, 2007

Dieneces: Character Profile

"One of the Trachinians told him [that] such was the number of the barbarians, that when they shot forth their arrows the sun would be darkened by their multitude. Dieneces, not at all frightened at these words, but making light of the Median numbers, answered 'Our Trachinian friend brings us excellent tidings. If the Medes darken the sun, we shall have our fight in the shade.'"
--Herodotus


When I read that famous quote by Dieneces, the first thing I thought was: this guy is @#%* crazy! That's probably why when I read Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield it didn't occur to me until near the end of the book that one of the main characters was the same guy (OK that and the fact the author didn't use the Latin spelling).

While everyone has portrayed Dieneces as a handsome prince or a noble and couragous soldier, my potrayal is totally different. To me, this guy is the slightly-crazed marine that storms the beach screaming, the soldier who obeys orders but has to be kept on a tight leash becauase he's a few cans short of a six pack!

In my mind Dieneces is just short of his middle years. He has thick black cords of hair bound by iron rings that arch down his back. He's muscled, but short and bow-legged and not pretty of face. He sports a necklace of human teeth, a collection from helots he's hunted down and killed over the years. He's a wise ass who loves to push every button of every one of his commanders, save the Agiad king whom he likes and respects. He's not exactly evil but he's amoral. His background is one of terrible abuse by his elders, which causes him to seek out death in battle because to him things can't get much worse. In his warped mind only one person every loved or respected him, but that person was exiled and he's been even more unstable ever since...

7 comments:

Wynn Bexton said...

This is a fantasic character description.

Meghan said...

Thanks Wynn! That made my day. :D

Carla said...

I agree with Wynn. You could tell a great story about that guy :-)

Gabriele Campbell said...

Sounds like a very interesting character.

Get that book written already, lol.

Unknown said...

Meghan’s portrayal of Dienices is one of the most far-fetched and grossly imaginative designs I have ever read. How she comes up with such a portrayal is beyond me. Most obviously,Mehghan shows that she has absolutely little to no understanding of the historical background to this time-honored and pithy response of Dienices, but her wild imagination of how he looks and his character has no written evidence of it whatsoever. And lastly, Meghan has no grasp of what it means to be a Spartan. A suicidal U.S. Marine scrambling onto a beach wild with fury screaming like a mad man? Give us all a break Meghan and beware of your own wild-eyed imagination and prejudice to boot. You make me vomit!

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