"Gladiator" dir. By Ridley Scott (2000)
Masculinity, virtus (the Roman ideal
of honor), Rome (What is Rome? What is the greatness of Rome?), life and death,
survival, violent struggle
SPQR (“the senate and people of
Rome”) on the Eagles, birds, Elysium, dirt/earth (the dirt Maximus rubs between
his hands before battle), rose petals
Strength and honor, power and glory
of Rome, life and death
Emotional need plot line?
Maximus’ desire to get home and see
Material goal plot line?
- To restore Rome to a Republic,
thus fulfilling Marcus Aurelius’ wish
- To avenge Maximus’ family //
Begins with which scene? Far From
Home (see attached list of scenes)
Ends with which scene? A Soldier’s
What are the initiating events?
- Marcus Aurelius’ appointment of
Maximus as Rome’s Protector
- The murder of Marcus Aurelius
and Maximus’ family
What is the complicating event?
- The attempted murder and
subsequent enslavement of Maximus
Begins with which scene? Mark of The
Ends with which scene? Win the Crowd
What are the adjustments in material
and emotional goals?
At the beginning of Act 2, the
material goal (Protect Rome and avenge his family) seems all but unattainable,
and the emotional goal (Return to Family) is attainable only through death.
By the end of Act 2, when Maximus
realizes he will have a chance to “meet the emperor,” he has reason to believe
he may at least be able to attain the material goal of avenging his family
before his death.
Begins with which scene? I Shall
Cheer for You
Ends with which scene? Home Again
What is the goal climax?
Both material goals become possible
when Maximus wins the crowd (and thus Rome) and the Senators Gracchus and Gaius
along with Lucilla realize Maximus’ potential as a revolutionary. In killing
Commodus Maximus can both avenge his family and restore the Republic. These
material goals are met at the same time that he achieves his emotional goal of
reunion with his family, when he meets Commodus in the gladiatorial arena.
As Juba buries the icons of Maximus’
family in the black dirt of the Coliseum, the sun sets, the Coliseum is
darkened, and the camera pulls away for a long shot.
I Far From
Home (Main Title)
Have Missed the War
V One More
Will Not Be Emperor
IX Mark of
Gladiators, I Salute You
Greatness of Rome
Shall Cheer for You
Battle of Carthage
Name is Gladiator
Man for the People
Maximus the Merciful
Simply Won’t Die
Last Wish of a Dying Man
Shadows and Dust
XXV Am I
Smiles at Us All
We Are Free (End Credits)
Cast of Characters
Maximus (Russell Crowe), Marcus Aurelius’
Marcus Aurelius (Richard
Harris), emperor of Rome 161-180.
Phoenix), son of Marcus Aurelius, emperor 180-192.
Lucilla (Connie Nielsen), the daughter of Marcus
Aurelius and sister of Commodus.
Hounsou), Maximus’ fellow gladiator
Reed), a former gladiator and the magister (owner) of Maximus’ ludus
Jacobi), senator (pro-Republic)
Schofield), senator (pre-Empire)
Shrapnel) senator (pro-Republic)
Treat Clark), the son of Lucilla.
What is Rome?
Rome is a “dream”
MAXIMUS: 5,000 of my men are out there in the freezing mud. 3,000 are
cleaved and bloodied. 2,000 will never leave this place. I will not
believe they fought and died for nothing.
MARCUS: And what would you believe?
MAXIMUS: They fought for YOU and for Rome.
MARCUS: And what is Rome, Maximus?
MAXIMUS: I have seen much of the rest of the world. It is brutal and
cruel and dark. Rome is the light.
MARCUS: Yet you have never been there. You have not seen what it has
become. I am dying, Maximus. When a man sees his end he wants to know
that there has been some purpose to his life. How will the world speak
my name in years to come? Will I be known as the philosopher, the
warrior, the tyrant. Or will I be remembered as the Emperor who gave
Rome back her true self? There was once a dream that was Rome, you could
it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish. It was so fragile
and I fear that it will not survive the winter.
Rome is a “vision”
COMMODUS: Who deign to lecture me?
LUCILLA: Commodus, the senate has its uses.
COMMODUS: What uses? All they do is talk. Talk. ...It should have been
only me, and you, and Rome.
LUCILLA: Don't even think that, Commodus. There has always been a
COMMODUS: Rome has changed. It takes an Emperor to rule an empire.
LUCILLA: Of course, but leave the people their....
COMMODUS: My father's war against the barbarians, he said himself it
achieved nothing. But people still loved him.
LUCILLA: People always love victories.
COMMODUS: But why? They don't see the battles? What do they care about
LUCILLA: They care about the greatness of Rome.
COMMODUS: Greatness of Rome? But what is that?
LUCILLA: It's an idea, greatness. Greatness is a vision.
COMMODUS: Exactly. A vision. I will give the people a vision and they
will love me for it. They will soon forget the tedious sermonizing of a
few dry old men. I will give them the greatest vision of their lives.
- “Rome is the mob.”
GAIUS: Games! 150 days of games!
GRACCHUS: He's cleverer than I thought.
GAIUS: Clever. The whole of Rome would be laughing at him if they
weren't in fear of his Praetorian.
GRACCHUS: Fear and wonder. A powerful combination.
GAIUS: Will the people really be seduced by that?
GRACCHUS: I think he knows what Rome is. Rome is the mob. He will
conjure magic for them and they will be distracted. He will take away
their freedom, and still they will roar. The beating heart of Rome is
not the marble floor of the Senate, it is the sand of the Colosseum. He
will give them death, and they will love him for it.
- “The mob is Rome.”
LUCILLA: The gods have spared you. Today I saw a slave become more
powerful than the Emperor of Rome.
MAXIMUS: The gods have spared me? I am at their mercy with the power
only to amuse a mob.
LUCILLA: That is power. The mob is Rome. And while Commodus controls
them he controls everything. Listen to me. My brother has enemies, most
of all in the senate. But while the people follow him, no one would dare
stand up to him - until you.
Rome is the dream of Marcus Aurelius
MAXIMUS: Quintus, free my men. Senator Gracchus is to be reinstated.
There was once a dream that was Rome, it shall be realized. These are
the wishes of Marcus Aurelius.
Who is Maximus?
- “Rome’s greatest general”
- “My name is Gladiator”
My name is gladiator.
slowly turns around and begins to walk back to the other gladiators.]
COMMODUS: How dare you show your back to me, SLAVE. You will remove your helmet
and tell me your name...
[The Praetorian take a ready-stand, and the gladiators, without weapons, move
forward ready to fight with Maximus. Maximus stops, takes a deep breath, removes
his helmet, and turns to face Commodus.]
MAXIMUS: My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius. Commander of the armies of the
North, general of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor Marcus
Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife, and I will have
my vengeance in this life or the next.
- A noble man?
LUCILLA: : I knew a man once. A noble man. A man of principles, who
loved my father and my father loved him. This man served Rome well.
MAXIMUS: That man is gone. Your brother did his work well.
“Maximus, the savior of Rome”
A good man, a soldier of Rome
LUCILLA: Is Rome worth one good man's life? We believed it once. Make us
believe it again. He was a soldier of Rome. Honour him.