Apocalypto analysis essay

The men are destined for bloody sacrifice to the gods in the raider kingdom's pestilence-stricken capital. An 'auspicious' solar eclipse renders their number superfluous, but the raiders' captain orders them killed as target practice. Jaguar Paw survives, killing the captain's son, and may now incarnate an apocalyptic prophecy or still perish without saving his family, while another danger looms unseen.

As the foundation of the Mayan civilization begins to crumble, one man's previously idyllic existence is forever changed when he is chosen as a sacrifice needed to appease the gods in director Mel Gibson's mythic, end-times adventure. The Mayan kingdom is at the absolute height of opulence and power, but leaders are convinced that unless more temples are constructed and more human sacrifices made, the crops, and ultimately the people, will suffer.

Jaguar Paw Rudy Youngblood is a peaceful hunter from a remote forest tribe whose life is about to be changed forever.

A Response to History Buff's: Apocalypto

When Jaguar Paw's village is raided and he is prepared as a sacrifice that the Mayan deities have demanded, the brave young hunter is forced to navigate a horrific new world of fear and oppression. Fearlessly determined to escape his captors and save his family from a harrowing demise, Jaguar Paw prepares to risk it all in one final, desperate attempt to preserve his dying way of life.

However, few who have seen the sacrificial alter of the Mayans have managed to live to see another day. Now, in order to rescue his pregnant wife and young son, Jaguar Paw will have to elude the most powerful warriors of the Mayan kingdom while using his vast knowledge of the forest to turn the tables on those who would rather see him dead than set free.

Apocalypto Summary Essay

Set in the Mayan civilization, when a man's idyllic presence is brutally disrupted by a violent invading force, he is taken on a perilous journey to a world ruled by fear and oppression where a harrowing end awaits him. Through a twist of fate and spurred by the power of his love for his woman and his family he will make a desperate break to return home and to ultimately save his way of life.

Find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, track your Watchlist and rate your favorite movies and TV shows on your phone or tablet! IMDb More. Edit Apocalypto Jump to: Summaries 5 Synopsis 1. The synopsis below may give away important plot points. The Aztecs are known to have sacrificed large numbers of people, though according to the archaeological record, we are unsure of how many would be sacrificed at one time. The evidence we have suggests that sacrifice was a very personal thing, and so even the captives were personal objects.

Even after death, the bones of those captives were owned [by the sacrificer]. Another form of [nonlethal] sacrifice to the Maya is auto-sacrifice, or bloodletting, which was carried out by males by perforating the penis and by women who would pull ropes through their tongues. This blood was used in ancestor veneration and other rituals. The captives the Maya wanted were the elites from opposing polities, because they represented competition.

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Capture, humiliation, and torture of an elite warrior meant usurpation of their goods and resources. The Maya didn't necessarily relish torture and violence, but they relished making their political opponents suffer. In the movie the king is shown as a bystander to two other individuals during the sacrificial ritual. The king was the one who supposedly conducted rituals in front of a large audience.


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He played a major ceremonial role. The Maya kings were seen as potent mediums in terms of communicating with their own ancestors, and the king would also impersonate deities.

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By doing so, the king could replay important mythological scenes that connected to events that were happening in the city at the time. It was a combination of religion and politics, but not in the sense that we think of an Egyptian pharaoh as a living god. The Maya calendar supposedly ends in , and people have hypothesized that [the Maya thought] the world will end at that time. But even in Mayan creation mythology, there is no explicit connection between the end of the Maya calendar and the end of the world.

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There are many causes for the fall of that form of Classic-period social organization. Multiple historical, economic, and environmental factors were in play simultaneously at that time. It was a time of particularly bad drought. There was heavy deforestation. The ancient Maya overused their land and were no longer producing the amount of food they needed.

At the same time, populations were going through the roof.


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  5. There were too many people, and the pie simply wasn't big enough. There was also increased warfare in some areas. Royals were trying to kill off each other.


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    This appeared to have occurred over a to year period, so it wasn't one single event. And it occurred largely in the southern Maya lowlands. In some areas in the north, the construction of pyramids and other buildings continued unimpeded [after A. It is important to remember that the Maya didn't disappear. They reorganized. So we should think of it more as a social reorganization than a collapse.

    By the time the Spaniards arrived, the social problems associated with the Classic period collapse, as portrayed in Apocalypto, did not exist. Spoiler warning: Readers who would like to keep the ending of Apocalypto a surprise should stop reading here. In terms of historical accuracy, the arrival of the Spaniards is a problem in itself, right?

    Apocalypto Summary Essay - Words | Cram

    The movie ends with the Spaniards coming [which didn't happen in Mexico until long after the Classic Maya collapse]. So basically we're looking at a year difference in architectural style and history. The movie is mixing two vastly different time periods. This Classic form of kingship ended around A. By Stefan Lovgren.

    'Apocalypto' a distorted view of Maya history

    Would Maya villagers have lived in stick huts, as they do in Apocalypto? The city features dazzling pyramids but is also seen to be in a great state of disrepair. This type of sacrifice is unknown within the Maya area.

    In the movie hundreds of people appear to be sacrificed at once. There are no data to support that the Maya carried out sacrifice on such a large scale.