Hamlet vs Gladiator essay

Essay by kirstieHigh School, 12th gradeA, March 2004

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When watching the movie Gladiator, one might notice how very similar this story is to the Shakespearean play, Hamlet. In Gladiator the main character seeks vengeance for the loss of his son and wife, as does Hamlet for the loss of his father. The vengeance sought out in Gladiator is a result of treachery involving loved ones as is the vengeance sought out in hamlet. Finally, both Hamlet and Gladiator are examples of dramatic tragedy where the main character ends up dying. Along with these similarities there are also many differences. There are the difference in characters, the difference in when these stories take place, and the difference in the endings. By comparing and contrasting a modern tragedy, Gladiator, with an ancient tragedy, Hamlet, it shows why dramatic tragedy has survived throughout the ages.

In the beginning of Hamlet King Hamlet's ghost pays a visit to Prince Hamlet. The ghost tells Hamlet that while "sleeping in [his] orchard, a serpent stung [him]." He then tells Hamlet "the serpent that did sting thy father's life now wears his crown." Hamlet, who already suspected his father's death to be murder, is furious upon learning that it was not only murder, it was his father's uncle that committed the act of treachery. In a rage of fury Hamlet swears to the ghost of his father that he will seek vengeance on Claudius, for his sake and that of his father's.

This is very similar in Gladiator when Commodus kills his father, the Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Maximus, a Roman General, was very close with Marcus who told Maximus "he [was] the son [he] should have had..." and wanted Maximus to carry on as Emperor instead of his son Commodus. Maximus seeks vengeance on Commodus not only for murdering Marcus, but also...