The Spartans are fighting an aggressive and overwhelming Persian invader headed by the self-appointed "God-King" Xerxes.
It is instantly clear that the sympathy in the movie lies with the Spartans who are glorified while the Persians are demonised.
The perspective of the movie lies overwhelmingly with the Spartans who, in the movie, declare to be great proponents of social virtues such as freedom, justice, liberty, law and order, reason, and emphatically: hope.
The Persians on the other hand are depicted as mostly faceless, hideous, deformed and barbaric beings headed by a callous and megalomaniacal tyrant.
The identification of the Persians with present day Iran requires not a terribly big stretch of imagination, if only for reasons of geographical coincidence. That the Spartans represent present day USA is not terribly hard to see judging from the laundry list of virtues attributed to the Spartans and which, courtesy of the hypnotic influence of the mass media, are today propagandized to belong to the US as well. The identification of Sparta with the US is further confirmed by the Spartans' battle-cry: HUA, which is US military jargon for heard, understood and acknowledged
In short, the 'noble' Spartans are, with 'honor and valour', fighting for freedom, justice and all the rest of it, from a 'hideous' and 'subhuman' foreign invader and oppressor.
Now that we've established the parallels between Sparta with the US and Persia with Iran, let's look at the predictive programming elements.
- Leonidas, representing Sparta, is fighting a glorious battle for freedom, justice and all the rest of it. By the identification of Sparta with the US, the US is hinted at having the moral upper hand in fighting the 'enemy'.
- Persia is demonized, with the bulk of their soldiers being ugly, hideous hardly human looking creatures, or with faces shrouded. This technique serves to minimize the Persians' (thus, Iranians') human character: the Persians/Iranians are monstrous hostile beings who but deserve to be slain like beasts.
- The Spartans are brave and noble soldiers, "hard and strong", who never surrender and never retreat. This technique seems to serve to embolden the morale of US troops fighting off 'the enemy'. The creation of "noble" martyrs through brainwashing never changes. :biggrin:
- Although the 300 ultimately are defeated and destroyed, they are posthumously glorified as martyrs who sacrificed their lives fighting nobly and honorably for their country. A recruitment drive for fresh US troops perhaps?
- After King Leonidas's demise his Queen vows to avenge her husband. And so she does. Perhaps a parallel may occur with newly elected president Hillary Clinton after a US contingent has been destroyed in the middle east by supposedly Iranian forces?