October 2, 2014
Gladiator was a film of treachory and great heroism. It follows a hero named Maximus as he is betrayed by his own city and has to fight to restore order to the empire. The film gave insight on the Roman culture and their practices. It shows the empire as one where the people have a major influence on the government. One reviwer described the film as being "filled with brilliant filmmaking and features outstanding performances."(Saving General Maximus, Manohla Dargis, LA Weekly, May 2000) The movie is filled with thrilling, yet gruesome fights of warriors killing each other. The emotion filled scenes also showed how much Roman people cared for one another as well as wanting to see their city prosper. The story begins as Maximus, a Roman general, has just won a war and learns he can return home to his family. The Roman ruler, Marcus Aurelius, is dying however, and tells Maximus he is the heir to the throne. Commudus, Marcus’s son, learns of this and responds by killing his father and ordering the execution of Maximus and his family. Maximus however finds a way to escape and now has to fight his way back to Rome and seek his revenge.
The movie starts as Maximus is fighting in a battle, which he is victorious in. After returning back to camp he is greeted by Marcus Aurelius and Commudus. Later that night Marcus tells Maximus that he is dying and wishes for him to take the throne to restore order in Rome. Commodus is outraged by this and kills his father before he announces it to anyone. This allows him to take his father’s place, so he orders the guards to execute Maximus and his family. Maximus manages to escape his execution and returns to his home to find his family already dead. Maximus is captured to become a slave to fight and have to survive in gladiator tournaments. Maximus is eventually brought back to Rome to fight in games Commodus has created. Maximus joins up with Commodus’s sister, Lucilla, and a senator in a plan to dethrone Commodus and restore order to empire. Commodus learns of the plot against him and captures Maximus. Commodus arranges a fight between him and Maximus to gain respect from the people. Although Commodus injures Maximus before the battle, Maximus still kills Commodus before he himself dies. Maximus’s last dying words are for all of Marcus’s plans for the city to be put in effect.
Ancient Rome can be viewed as a patriarchal society. A patriarchal society is one in which “males have social and political dominance.” (Adler and Powells, World Civilization 7th ed., G-13) The Senate of Rome made up of only men, as well as every other political figure. The power of patria potestas is