Themes Theme Characters Involved Events that show the theme Relevant Quotes Perseverance (Fighting despite the odds/adversi ty) Maximus: Won’t rest until 1. He kills Commodus (revenge) 2. He gives Rome back to the people (his commission) 3. Lucius is safe (Since he couldn’t save his own son) Marcus death and Maximus’ betrayal The murder of his own family Captured and sold into slavery/fighting Battle of Carthage Battle against Tigris His life is threatened Fights the Emperor with his side pierced “I am Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the armies of the north, father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife, and I will have my vengeance – in this life or the next” NB: The more the movie progresses, the more alone he is when he fights “What am I to do with you, you just won’t die” “He’ll be forgotten sooner than that… it’s been arranged” “Lucius is safe now” Lucilla Death of her father by her brother, now Emperor Threat of her son being next in line for throne Commodus discovers her treachery Gives Rome back to the people (Slap) “Hail Caesar” “I live in a prison of fear because my son is heir” “You’ve been a busy little bee” “You’ll watch me bathe in his blood” “Is Rome worth one good man’s life? Help us believe it again” Techniques that illustrate theme Costuming: Reflects both his situation and his increasing influence: the more power he has, the more his costume improves generally Special Effects: Emphasise the odds he has to overcome: Emphasises the vastness of the Coliseum Adds to the intensity/pressure he is under Adds to the influence he can have. Costuming: (see earlier notes): Wealthy Darkness descends Commodus’ Queen Bondage/Ties Gold, No Ribbons, No Jewellery Theme The Destructive Power of Jealousy Characters Involved Events that show the theme Commodus Father disapproves of him Father loves Maximus more Father chooses Maximus as the Guardian of Rome Lucilla’s feelings for Maximus Crowd favours Maximus Lucius favours Maximus The Senators favour Maximus Relevant Quotes “Commodus is not a moral man” “I have other virtues” “You (Maximus) are the son I should have had” “You will not rule. Rome is to become a republic again” “My father loved you (Maximus), I loved you” “Maximus! Maximus the Merciful” “Maximus the saviour of Rome” “I’ll be cheering for you Spaniard” “Marcus trusted you (Maximus), Lucilla trusts you, I will trust you” Techniques that illustrate the theme Costuming: Dark costume (Black sheep of the family) Part Senator, part soldier costume (Hitler reference) NB: The people love the Senate and Maximus the soldier, he’s trying to be both Darker, softer costume = descent into jealousy and paranoia Pure white costume/armour = trying to be Maximus the saviour (Jesus reference) of Rome Additonal Notes: Perseverance Throughout the entire film, we see the importance of perseverance to a person's survival in the worst situations. Maximus faces life with a strong-willed perseverance that encourages those around him. Even when things become unbearable and seemingly impossible, Maximus stays strong. Maximus finds that his Emperor is murdered and then Commodus comes after his life as well. When Maximus tries to return home to protect his family, he finds that they are already dead as well. Once he realizes that he has been taken into slavery, Maximus loses his faith for a while. He fights in the gladiator fights but he despises the spectators who gloat over the deaths of others. However, once Maximus discovers that he has the opportunity to once again face Commodus, he begins to perform well so that one day he can compete in Rome before the Emperor. Maximus realizes that succeeding as a gladiator is his only chance for revenge against Commodus for the deaths of Marcus Aurelius and his family. In addition, Maximus realizes that the only hope for Rome is to have a better Emperor than Commodus. Maximus remains faithful to his goals throughout the film. His perseverance is to be admired as he stays committed to his goals even when the odds against him seem impossible. The Destructive Power of Jealousy Commodus is destroyed by jealousy. Commodus harbors jealousy for everyone, but especially for Maximus. Maximus is loved by both Marcus Aurelius and Lucilla while Commodus is held in contempt by both. Over time, Commodus becomes more and more consumed with jealousy for Maximus and the love that he garners from everyone. Eventually, Commodus jealousy leads him to murder his own father and to kill Maximus and his family. Commodus shows no regret for his actions and seems to blame everyone else for his place in life. He considers himself to be innocent since he does not believe that he was loved as he should have been loved. Not only does Commodus destroy his family and Maximus' family, but also he begins to destroy the nation. In order to entertain the people, Commodus brings back the degrading sport of gladiator fighting. When he discovers that Maximus is still alive and winning the praise of all the people, Commodus is once again consumed by jealousy. Even his nephew, Lucius adores Maximus, and Commodus cannot deal with the rejection. Finally, he seeks any way possible to kill Maximus and ensure that this time he will die. Although Commodus does kill Maximus, he does not survive to enjoy his victory. Commodus is destroyed, both physically and spiritually, by his own jealousy.