Liberal Humanistic Critique of Gladiator Essay

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Ridley Scott’s epic film, Gladiator, won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture in 2000. Scott’s film, details the fall and rise of the great Roman General, Maximus Decimus Meridius. The Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius, tells Maximus that he wishes that he become his successor, instead of his son, Commodus. Angry, Commodus, murders his own father, thus becoming the emperor, and sentences Maximus and his family to death. He escapes, but the Emperor’s men murder his family and burn his home. Slave traders, then capture him, and sell him into slavery. Maximus swears revenge, and must fight for his murdered family, and destroyed life. A liberal humanistic critique reveals that the film has a self contained meaning, shows the…show more content…
His fall and rise, shows exactly what he believes, and reveals his quest for freedom. Throughout the film, Maximus wants nothing but revenge for his family and his eventual freedom. The film contians this theme within the scenes themselves, making background information unneeded. Scott’s film presents the overall purpose of he enhancement of life. Maximus, plays the role of the hero, who rises, and takes his revenge. Although Maximus kills many people, he does so righteously, trying desperately to avenge his murdered family, and gain his freedom again. Not once does maximus kill innocent people, or take the lives of those who did him no wrong. He only wants vengeance, on those who betrayed and wronged him; those who made him a slave, and murdered his family. At one point, Maximus screams to the crowd, “are you not entertained,” mocking their vile cheering, and death chants. The people however do not take notice of his mocking tone, only cheering louder. Maximus never betrays his fellow soldiers, or harms innocent people. He only kills the people who block him from his freedom and revenge. Maximus’ bravery and valor, give his men the courage to fight and die, protecting their beliefs and freedoms. Maximus’ bravery also gives the Roman people courage, allowing them to oppose the corrupt Emperor, Commodus. When Maximus reveals himself, and swears his revenge, the roman people who honor and respect him, are struck with courage.

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