Magua, the Warrior's Warrior

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Posted by Victoria on July 30, 1998 at 15:07:59:

Wes Studi has given us a superb characterization of Magua as the Warrior's Warrior. When he emerges from the shadow behind Webb, looking like a bird of prey doesn't it send a chill down your spine?

The thousand, or more, year old conflict between the English and the French has been transported across the Atlantic and now engulfs a new continent, igniting internecine conflicts between traditional rivals and upsetting the balance of power between the native peoples. Magua has been wrenched from all he holds dear and hardened at the hands of the Mohawk, the most dreaded tribe in the north east. As an adult male captive he would have endured the most painful of trials and the test of torture before impressing his captors with his own fearlessness and ability to withstand pain before they would have adopted him as their blood brother.

Magua has survived these experiences, hardened his heart and taken to the War Road. He has lain in wait for his revenge, manoevering into position and laying a well conceived trap for the man he holds responsible for his own capture and his family's demise. The strange little Frenchman, Montcalm, has sung the war song to those tribes alienated and disenfranchised by the Mohawk who have been goaded by the Grey Hair, thereby conveniently giving Magua the opportunity and the means by which to exact his repayment of kind for kind. He will at last be able to eat the heart of his sworn enemy, and so absorb his strength and courage to feed his own. At the Huron village his words are twisted by Hawkeye, who has other reasons for trying to sway the audience, when he announces to all that he would fight fire with fire, even if he has to use the backhanded methods imported by the Francais or Yengeese who steal his lands and swindle his people. He will fight any way he can, or will die trying. As a warrior we could expect no less.


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