I am a generous god is a memorable quote uttered by the character of the Persian “God-King” Xerxes in the movie 300.
The meme usually appears in image macro or GIF formats, featuring a screenshot from the movie that shows Xerxes sitting on his throne while holding up his right hand.
I am a generous god is generally used on the internet as a reaction meme, usually captioned with an impact font style. These memes are utilized when somebody acts superior but genuine and helpful at the same time.
Originally, the story is based on the historical event of the Battle of Thermopylae (480 B.C.), a tale of the battle between the outnumbered, but very skilled Spartan warriors, and the invading Persian army.
Author Frank Miller released his book 300 which he based on this tale, and in 2006, Zack Snyder made his movie adaptation about Miller’s novel.
The movie shows us the drama of King Leonidas’ battle against Xerxes and his massive army consisting of millions of soldiers.
The scene that features the origin of the meme appears when Leonidas encounters Xerxes for the first time, trying to convince the Greek warrior to submit to his army. Upon trying to persuade Leonidas, the Persian emperor utters, referring to his own soldiers: “It’s not the lash they fear, it is my divine power… but I am a generous god.”
In 2011, the channel Movieclips uploaded the infamous scene on YouTube, generating more than 4.5 million views over the years.
As a meme, I am a generous god saw a large peak in interest from the year 2016, when it started to circulate on 9gag as a reaction image.
In the following years, the meme spread trough Reddit, Me.me and Memegenerator as a template, and also on Tenor, in a GIF format.