A Hero's Journey: "Gladiator" (the movie).

Essay by jewboyp November 2005

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"Gladiator" is a movie meant to be remembered for many years to come. It is an action-packed; historical, tragic, emotional, vengeful, moral, amazing, exciting, breath-taking, and thrilling ride into the era of the Roman Empire. Maximus was the most honorable, respected, and skilled general Rome had ever has, and when everything is taken from him, he still manages to die as Rome's most respected, honorable, and skilled gladiators. Maximus is the definition of Gladiator.

"Gladiator" tells the tale of the general (Maximus) who became a slave, the slave who became a gladiator, and the gladiator who defied an empire. Maximus was the most honorable and respected general Rome had ever had, and when everything is taken from him, he still manages to die as one of Rome's most respected and honorable men.


Maximus' journey starts when the dieing Emperor, Marcus Aurelius, asks him to be Rome's new emperor when he passes.

He does not feel that his son, Commodus is fit to rule. When Marcus tells the news to Commodus, Commodus is outraged and suffocates his father while hugging him. Since the Emperor had not announced his wishes for Maximus to take the throne publicly, the heir, Commodus, became the new emperor of Rome. Commodus then asks for Maximus' allegiance to him and to be the general of his army, but Maximus would not have anything to do with this false emperor.

Commodus orders for Maximus to be executed away from the camp. He also orders for Maximus' wife and eight year old son to be burned alive and crucified. So two executioners took Maximus out into the middle of some woods to kill him, but being the amazing soldier he was, he killed both of the men, but had been cut very deeply in his lefts arm.