Michael Andrews ENC 1102 Joseph Cottle 1 February 2013 “Are You Not Entertained” Gladiator is the story in which a fallen general must fight as a gladiator in order to seek his vengeance for his murdered family. Class is important to the movie because it shows how a man can go from having it all to have nothing but bloody “fame,” to becoming emperor.
In the beginning of the movie, the
general Maximus Decimus Meridius is leading his troops against a Germanic tribe. He is in the front of all of his men being acknowledged everywhere he goes for being the general. He is where the finest fur around his back, to symbolize his rank, while the common solider had nothing more than plain armor. After the battle has concluded we see Maximus return to his tent which compared to the average solider is a palace. As the general, Maximus is given the best which is available to be given. He doesn’t have to worry about not having equipment for himself. Then while talking to Marcus Aurelius we find out that Maximus is not just this general, but a normal farmer with a wife and child. Here in this class, he speaks to Marcus of his prized land producing different goods. He does not have the best house in the land but as long as he is content with his land he is happy to have the farm. In this class, it shows Maximus’ true self in that he is not one that needs the expensive furs and the biggest tent, but shows he is a truly humble. He is just a regular man making a living by using his hands planting the yearly crops. Then after the discovery of his murdered wife and child, Maximus in captured by a slave trader where he is bought by a man who produces gladiators. Maximus is stripped of all his belongs
except for the clothes on his back and given a dot to tell him whether he is a “good” or “bad” fighter.
He even takes his own name and uses “Spainard” because he is not the same person
anymore since all that was dear to him was taken from him. He then is reduced to a puppet for the people of the arena he is at. That is until he begins to win and win and win some more. After winning and making his name heard around the empire, he is taken to Rome to participate in the games the emperor has put on. Here is going against the best gladiators in the land. This is important because if he is able to beat them, then he is able to control the crowd and if he can do that. He will be able to gain his freedom in that those men who win and are fan favorite are about to buy their freedom and have the opportunity to once again try to live a normal life. But after Commodus recognizes him and the story continues and in the end the emperor and Maximus fight. In the end, Maximus stabs Commodus in the throat and with that Maximus is considered emperor until he is killed from a wound Commodus had given to him before their fight. So from this story we are able to see a man who goes from having it all to having nothing and then having the drive to get back to the top again. Race although very rarely seen in this movie does have a significant impact on the movie. We really don’t see a man of color until we meet Juba when he is healing Maximus cut on his arm. This character is accentual to the movie in that he is the man who saves Maximus’ life once he is found. Maximus had a cut in his arm, from when he was escaping from his execution, which was infected to no end. He was almost dead but Juba knew of a bacteria fighter which he covered the wound and by the time they have arrived in the gladiator training place, his wound was completely healed and Maximus was not killed to a bacterial infection and instead allowed to live and become a great gladiator. Also Juba was more than just the life saver to Maximus, he also became this best friend and loyal friend. They eagerly spoke often of their families and
what they would do when they get out. This is important because Maximus was able to tell Juba about his past and not have to hold it in and try to just cover up the pain of his past.
allows Juba to see why Maximus must be the best, in order to get to get to Emperor Commodus. After this we see when either of them is in need of assistance the other is not far behind ready to give hell to whatever is causing a problem. Also with race we pretty much see that whenever you are seeing a person other than a white man or woman. You are seeing a slave, maybe they come in different types but you are seeing a slave. This is important because throughout the story we see three different examples of black men and women (excluding Juba). First we see the drummers, although they have very little significance to the story they are the reason that the games began and came to an end, so in a way these black men are the reason that Maximus can begin and stop killing. Next we can look at the men and women who were black gladiators and we see that these men and women were meant to be an obstacle to Maximus’ journey. These gladiators where one the supposed “winning” side of a battle, so they where gladiators of a higher status the Maximus and his band of gladiators, but in the end Maximus’ group beats them all and leaves them dead in the arena. As I said they are gladiators, so even though they are highly praised gladiators they still are slaves and the crowd does not like a dead person. The last time we see a colored slave continuing the story would be the servants of Commodus which would play swords with his nephew, Lucius. After we see Lucius defeating both of the black servants in their fun fight we see Commodus asked if he was playing legioner. Then we find out he would playing as the “Spaniard” as a gladiator. This is significant because Commodus hates Maximus since earlier in the movie we find that Maximus would have become leader of Rome when Commodus’ father, Marcus Aurelius, dies. So Commodus is angered when he finds
Lucius wanting to be him. We would have found this out had the black servants not been practicing fighting with Lucius. Home is where you make, and Maximus has many different homes with many different families in this movie. This movie represents that family does not have to be by blood. It can be the relationships with the people you are closest with. Through each ones of his classes we find that Maximus has a new family in which he puts all of his time too. The story leads from one of his families to another. The first family that we see is himself with his men while he is a general. While he is the general, all of his men respect him and will follow him to death if they have to. We see this in the first war against the Germanic tribe where Maximus leads them to a victory. Afterwards, we see the caring general that Maximus is, when he visits his wounded soldiers in the infirmary and watching in vain as his men are being treated for missing limbs and other fatal injuries. He is also not afraid talk with his men on a person level when he walking around the camp. And from this mutual respect that Maximus and his men have, later on when Maximus is going to try to raid the city in order to get rid of Commodus we see his men are ready to back him. From this family another is born, between Marcus Aurelius and Maximus. Maximus once dated Marcus’ daughter and from that and being the General of the Army we see that the two are very close. Marcus believes Maximus to be the “son I should have had.” This is a significant relationship because Marcus Aurelius is a very old man and realizes he will die soon. So instead of intrusting his own son with the empire, he is willing trust Maximus with the task of returning the empire to the people. This cause Commodus to kill his father so he can take over the empire instead of Maximus. Maximus’ next family would be his normal family in his wife and child. They are the light of his life and he is willing to do anything in order to keep them safe. After not showing his loyalty to the Commodus when he proclaims himself emperor, Maximus is taken
to be killed and finds out that his next family could be hurt. He escapes the execution and hurries home to find that his family had been burned and crucified to the gate in front of their house. Maximus alls down in shock and after a few seconds goes over and kiss the feet of his dead wife. This is significant because after he buries them he passes out due to his injury and while still at the grave site he is taken and sold into slavery. For as long as he lives he is going to seek revenge on those that destroyed his family. Also we see the importance of his real family in that everywhere that Maximus goes after his family dies he carries along with him the figures of the son and wife that his son gave to him before he left as the general. In the end, his true is reunited in that Juba buries the figures in the middle of the Colosseum where Maximus died. His last family would be in his slave/gladiator days. Maximus at first does not participate in the fighting exercises that Priximo, the slave owner, puts in front of him. But once they start fighting and the other gladiators see the skill that Maximus possess they can do nothing but respect him. Since they respect him, he will respect them back and by the time that they have journey to Rome he is close with all his comrades. He wants them all to stay alive and this can be seen in the first battle in the Colosseum when he tells his men they must stay together in order to survive. We also see that the men are willing to give up their lives fighting the Roman army in order for Maximus to escape and get his army and lead them on Rome. Lastly when Maximus is about to die, he is the emperor so he tells Quintus to release his men and to let them be free. Then after he falls we see that all of his gladiator brothers are there to help carry him out of the arena. All these factors help to move the story along and to make this one of the best movie of all time.