Scene 1: Opening scene (2 mins – 2.29.08 mins)
Scene 2: Slave collection scene (1.48.56 mins – 1.47.15 mins)
Intro: It it only when people are stripped of their own power and authority that their true intentions become clear. Ridley Scott’s ‘The Gladiator’ is based upon Roman empire history that evidently represents character traits through loss and gain of fortune. Much of Ridley Scotts techniques focus on animal symbolism and dialogue to portray the idea of tragedy. A close look at 2 very different scenes purposely reveals aspects of Maximus as a tragic hero, and what his role as a tragic hero proves to us as an audience.
What a tragic hero and tragedy is – role of tragic hero in tragedy, Aristotle:
Scene 1: Scene 1 begins with a close up shot of a man running his hand on top of a wheat field, which then proves to be the protagonist of the film in the following close up shots of Maximus’s face. Maximus seems to appear at the beginning of the final battle between Rome and the barbarian tribes of Germania, and we soon learn that he is great and heroic in being classified as the general. The scene then goes on to show the preparation of Maximus and his men for battle which signifies his image and place in the film. The first animal used in the film serves to be a small bird which catches Maximus’s eye before he continues into battle. The colourful bird seems to look directly at Maximus and into the camera before quickly fluttering away, and we see a subtle smile forming on his lips as the bird does so. Not only does the bird represent having the freedom to fly away leaving Maximus longing to do the same, it portrays innocence to the indifference of nature to the senseless battles forgone by humans. The bird and nature shall feel none if not any effects of the of battle outcome, showing just how meaningless war is.