Alexander (film)

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Alexander is a film (2004) directed by Oliver Stone and based on the life of the Greek King of Macedon Alexander the Great. The screenplay is by Christopher Kyle, Laeta Kalogridis and Oliver Stone.


  • I promise that I will beat you one day, Hephaistion.
  • (Of his father Phillip) This is the man who is going to take you from Macedonia to Persia?! He can't even make it from one couch to the next.
  • I didn't cross Asia to steal this victory, Cassander." And right not my butt.
  • If you were to fall Hephaestion, even if Macedonia were to lose a king I would avenge you, and follow you down to the house of death.
  • You've all honored your country and your ancestors and now we come to this most distant place in Asia where across from us Darius has at last gathered a vast army, but look again at this horde and ask yourselves, who is this great king who pays assassins in gold coins to murder my father, our king in a most despicable and cowardly manner? Who is this great king Darius who enslaves his own men to fight? Who is this king but a king of air? These men do not fight for their homes. They fight because this king tells them they must. And when they fight, they will melt away like the air, because they know no loyalty to a king of slaves! But we are not here today as slaves. We are here today... as Macedonian free men! And all their arms, their numbers, their chariots and their fine horses will mean nothing in the hands of slaves. Some of you, perhaps myself, will not live to see the sun set over these mountains today, for I will be in the very thick of battle with you. But remember this, the greatest honor a man can achieve is to live with great courage, and to die gloriously in battle for his home. I say to you what every warrior has known since the beginning of time: conquer your fear and I promise you you will conquer death! Someday I promise you, your sons and grandsons will look into your eyes. And when they ask you why you fought so bravely at Gaugamela, you will answer, with all the strength of your great, great hearts: "I was here this day at Gaugamela...for the freedom...and glory...of Greece!" Zeus be with us!
  • I am not my father!
  • I've taken you farther than my father ever dreamed!
  • It's a high ransom she charges for nine months lodging in the womb.
  • Stay with me tonight, Hephaestion.
  • In the end, all that matters is what you've done.
  • When I was a child my mother thought me divine and my father weak... which one am I Hephaistion? Weak or divine?
  • It is you that I love Hephaestion, no other.
  • Were we gods we'd breach these walls to the Eastern Ocean.
  • Each land, each boundary I cross, I strip away another illusion. I sense death will be the last. Yet still I push, harder and harder to reach this..."home." Where has our eagle gone? We must go on Ptolemy, until we find an end.
  • Aristotle be damned! By Zeus and by all the gods, what makes you so much better than them, Cassander! Better than you really are! In you and those like you is this.
  • What disturbs me most is not your lack of respect for my judgment, but your contempt for a world far older than ours.
  • Hephaestion loves me as I am, not "who".
  • You break my heart, you men... afraid!? Of course you have fears, we all have fears. Because no one has ever come this far before.
  • You know there’s not a part of me without a scar or a bone broken by sword, knife, stone, catapult, and club. I’ve shared every hardship with all of you.
  • Yes, you're right Crateros. I should have sent you veterans home sooner, and I will. The first of your shall be the Silver Shields, and then every man who has served seven years. Respected, rich, LOVED! You'll be treated by you wives and children as heroes for the rest of your lives. And enjoy a peaceful death. But you dream Crateros! Your simplicity long ended when you took Persian mistresses and children and you thickened your holdings with plunder and jewels... Because you have fallen in love with all the things in life that destroy men! Do you not see? And you, as well as I, know, that as the years decline, and the memories stale, and all your great victories fade, it will always be remembered, you left your king in Asia! Because I will go on...with my Asians!
  • Go on your way, father, rejoicing that with every step you may recall your valour.
  • Men of Macedon, we're going home.
  • May all those who come here after us know when they see this altar, that titans were once here.
  • Don't leave me Hephaestion!
  • My poor, poor, ill-fated son.
  • No one, not my vilest enemy, has ever spoken like you to me!
  • Cleitus spoke true. I am a tyrant.


  • Damn your sorceress soul! Keeping me like one of your snakes! I told you not! I told you not!
  • (of Bucephalus) Who would want such a beast? I already have a wife!
  • A broken neck comes free, you fool!
  • Ahhh! He's got some Titan in him yet!
  • A king isn't born, Alexander, he is made. By steel and by suffering. A king must know how to hurt those he loves. It's lonely. Ask Heracles. Ask any of them. Fate is cruel. No man or woman can be too powerful or too beautiful without disaster befalling. They laugh when you rise too high and crush everything you've built with a whim. What glory they give in the end, they take away. They... They make of us slaves.
  • It was a Iron Age. Blood-feuds. Fathers feared their son's treachery and would eat them.
  • You dream of glory Alexander. Your mother encourages you. But there's no glory without suffering and this she will not allow.
  • All your life, beware of women. They are far more dangerous than men.
  • (enraged at Alexander) Get out of my palace! You're exiled, you bastard! Banished from the land. You're not welcome here! You're no son of mine!
  • All greatness comes from loss. Even you the gods will one day judge harshly.
  • None will tell you this but your father: Men hate the gods! The only reason we worship any of them is because we fear worse. The Titans.
  • There's only one thing better than winning a battle, son, and that's the taste of a new woman! You'll find it far sweeter than self pity.
  • I'll marry the girl if I want and I'll have as many sons as I want and there's nothing you or your harpie mother can do about it!


  • By Ares chains he's got balls. I mean give the man his due, Parmenion. And lads, feast tonight for tomorrow we will dine in Hades.
  • Pay attention lad, your father's still watching over you!
  • I'll toast to Bagoas. And the 30,000 beautiful Persian boys were training to fight in this great army. And to memory of Phillip, had he lived to see his Macedonians transformed into such a pretty army.
  • Herakles did it by himself. Did you conquer Asia by yourself, Alexander? I mean, who planned the Asian invasion while you were being spanked on your bottom by my sister Lanike? Was it not your father? Or is his blood no longer good enough?
  • What freedom is this to bow before you?
  • Doesn't your great pride fear the gods any longer.
  • I don't serve your purpose?! What was I serving when I saved your puppy-life at Gaugamela?! Were you Zeus' boy?! What if I left you to die in the dust there? You think we'd be forced now to mate with brown apes?!!!
  • Evil tyrant you are! Evil tyrant you've become Alexander.
  • What about poor Parmenion?!
  • Hear what I say, guess what, false king!


  • It was said later that Alexander was never defeated, except by Hephaistion's thighs.
  • All men reach and fall...
  • Alexander once said to me that we are most alone when we are with the myths.
  • He was a god, Cadmus, or as close as anything I've ever seen. Tyrant, they yell so easily. I laugh; no tyrant ever gave back so much. What do they know of the world, these school boys? It takes strong men to rule. Alexander was more; he was Prometheus, a friend to man. He changed the world.
  • Before him there were tribes, after him all was possible. There was suddenly a sense the world could be ruled by one king and be better for all. Eighteen great Alexandrias he built across this world.
  • It was an empire, not of land and gold, but of the mind. It was a Hellenic civilization, open to all.
  • Did such a man as Alexander exist? Of course not! We idolize him; make him better than he was.
  • It was mad; 40,000 of us against 250,000 barbarians!
  • In Egypt and oracle in the desert had declared Alexander the true son of Zeus. It was a myth, of course. At least it started as a myth. I was there; I saw his eyes.
  • (when asked if he has found his home) More and more I think it will be Alexandria.
  • I never believed in his dream. None of us did. That’s the truth of his life. The dreamers exhaust us. They must die before they kill us with their blasted dreams.
  • The truth is we did kill him... By silence we consented. What, by Ares, did we have to look forward to but to be discarded in the end, like Cleitus?
  • By the tenth of June, a month short of his 33rd year, Alexander's great heart finally gave up, and, as he vowed, he joined Hephaistion.
  • But in his short life he achieved without doubt, the mythic glory of his ancestor Achilles, and more.
  • Within hours, we were fighting like jackals for his corpse.
  • (final words of the film) His tragedy was one of increasing loneliness and impatience with those who could not understand. And if his desire to unite Greek and barbarian ended in failure... what failure! His failure towered over other men's successes. I've lived... I've lived a long life, Cadmos. But the glory and the memory of man will always belong to the ones who follow their great visions. And the greatest of these is the one they now... call "Megas Alexandros" - the greatest Alexander of them all.


  • My king, I'm a fightin' man. I like no belly-aching, I won't tolerate it in any of my units.
  • I lost many a man. Young ones, never been with a woman. Some died of disease. Some were butchered in Scythia by the banks of the Oxus. Some died good. Some just didn’t get no luck. But they died. Forty thousand I come over with eight years ago. And we march after you more than 10,000 miles. In the rain and in the sun, we fought for you. Some of us 50 battles we’ve been in. And we killed many a barbarian. And now, when I look around, how many of them faces do I see?


  • All you desire! The world is yours! Take it...
  • (Of Philip) He calls me a barbarian! He makes a mockery of Dionysus every night.
  • In my womb I carried my avenger!
  • You will be nineteen this summer and the girls already say you don't like them, you like Hephaistion more. I understand it is natural for a young man.
  • Alexander, the world is yours. Take it!
  • Their skin is water. And their tongue is fire. She is your friend.
  • Look at you! Look at you! You are everything he (Philip) was not. He was coarse, you are refined. He was general, you are a king. He could not rule himself...and you, shall rule the world.


  • You strike me still, Alexander. You have eyes like no other. Ah, I sound as stupid as a schoolboy...
  • I found it in Egypt. The man who sold it to me said it came from a time when man worshipped sun and stars. I'll always think of you as the sun, Alexander and I pray your dream will shine on all men. I wish you a son.
  • Remember the fates of the heroes. They suffered greatly.
  • You're everything I care for and by the sweet breath of Aphrodite I'm so jealous of losing you to this world you want so badly.
  • The generals question your obsession with Darius... they say it was never meant for you to be King of Asia.
  • Sometimes, to always expect the best of everyone is arrogance.
  • You're mortal. And they know it. And they forgive you because you make them proud of themselves.
  • My Alexander... I remember the young man who wanted to be Achilles, and then out did him.


  • To love excellence is truly to love the gods.
  • Although an inferior race the Persians control at least four fifths of the known world. They rule and we sit around like frogs!
  • Excess in all things is the undoing of men!
  • If only these frogs could look outward from their favoured position in the centre, Greece could rule the world.
  • When men lie together in lust, it is a surrender to the passions and does nothing for the excellence in us. Nor does any other excess, Cassander, jealousy among them. But when men lie together, and knowledge and virtue are passed between them, that is pure and excellent. When they compete to bring out the good, the best in each other, this is the love between men that can build a city-state and lift us from our frog pond.
  • The east has a way of swallowing men and their dreams.
  • I can only warn you, not teach you. Beware of what you dream for; the gods have a way of punishing such pride.


Hephaistion: "What would you do if you ever reached the end of the world?" Alexander: "I'd turn around and conquer its opposite." Parmenion: “What benefit to Macedon?” Alexander: “It’s far richer than before!” Hephaistion: "I worry for you without me." Alexander: "I am nothing without you!"

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