OB40mukEXQ6QZ1740xdjwF1LEQ4 Quote to Remember: GLADIATOR [2000]


Monday, May 14, 2012


Strength and Honor

Commodus: Here he is.
[introduce the senators to Maximus] Senator Gaius, Senator Falco.
Beware of Gaius. He'll pour a honeyed potion in your ear,
and you'll wake up one day and all you'll say is "Republic, Republic, Republic."
Senator Gaius: Well, why not? Rome was founded as a republic.
Commodus: Yes, and in a republic the senate has the power.
But Senator Gaius isn't influenced by that, of course.
Senator Falco: Where do you stand, General?
Emperor or Senate?
Maximus: A soldier has the advantage of being able to look his enemy in the eye, Senator.
Senator Gaius: Well, with an army behind you, you could be extremely political.

Maximus: 5000 of my men are out there in the freezing mud.
3000 of them are bloodied and cleaved.
2000 will never leave this place.
I will not believe that they fought and died for nothing.
Marcus Aurelius: And what would you believe?
Maximus: They fought for you and for Rome.
Marcus Aurelius: And what is Rome, Maximus?
Maximus: I've seen much of the rest of the world.
It is brutal and cruel and dark.
Rome is the light.
Marcus Aurelius: Yet you have never been there.
You have not seen what it has become.
I am dying, Maximus.
When a man sees his end, he wants to know there was some purpose to his life.
How will the world speak my name in years to come?
Will I be known as the philosopher?
The warrior?
The tyrant?
Or will I be the Emperor who gave Rome back her true self?
There was once a dream that was Rome.
You could only whisper it.
Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it so fragile.
And I fear that it will not survive the winter.

Marcus Aurelius: There is one more duty that I ask of you before you go home.
Maximus: What would you have me do, Caesar?
Marcus Aurelius: I want you to become the protector of Rome after I die.
I will empower you to one end alone.
to give power back to the people of Rome,
and end the corruption that has crippled it.
Will you accept this great honor that I have offered you?
Maximus: With all my heart, no.
Marcus Aurelius: Maximus, that is why it must be you.
Maximus: But surely a prefect, a senator,
somebody who knows the city, who understands her politics.
Marcus Aurelius: But you have not been corrupted by her politics.
Maximus: And Commodus?
Maximus: Commodus is not a moral man.
You have known that since you were young.
Commodus cannot rule. He must not rule.
You're the son that I should've had.

Lucilla: Commodus expects that my father will announce his succession within days.
Will you serve my brother as you served his father?
Maximus: I will always serve Rome.

Maximus: Cicero, do you find it hard to do your duty?
Cicero: Sometimes I do what I want to do.
The rest of the time, I do what I have to.

 Marcus Aurelius: Are you ready to do your duty for Rome?
Commodus: Yes, Father.
Marcus Aurelius: You will not be Emperor.
Commodus: Which wiser, older man is to take my place?
Marcus Aurelius: My powers will pass to Maximus,
to hold in trust, until the Senate is ready to rule once more.
Rome is to be a republic again.
[trying to embrace Commodus, but he refuse it]
My decision disappoints you?
Commodus: You wrote to me once, listing the 4 chief virtues.
Wisdom, justice, fortitude, and temperance.
As I read the list, I knew I had none of them.
But I have other virtues, Father.
Ambition, that can be a virtue when it drives us to excel.
Resourcefulness, courage,
perhaps not on the battlefield, but there are many forms of courage.
Devotion to my family, to you.
But none of my virtues were on your list.
Even then it was as if you didn't want me for your son.
Marcus Aurelius: Oh, Commodus, you go too far.
Commodus: I searched the faces of the gods for ways to please you, to make you proud.
One kind word, one full hug,
where you pressed me to your chest and held me tight,
would have been like the sun on my heart for 1000 years.
What is it in me you hate so much?
Marcus Aurelius: Commodus...
Commodus: All I ever wanted was to live up to you, Caesar... Father.
Marcus Aurelius: Commodus, your faults as a son is my failure as a father.

Thrust this into another man's flesh, and they will applaud and love you for that.
And you may begin to love them for that.
Ultimately, we're all dead men.
Sadly, we can't choose how, but we can decide how we meet the end,
in order that we are remembered as men.

Senator Gracchus, reffering Commodus: He enters Rome like a conquering hero.
But what has he conquered?
Senator Gaius: Give him time, Gracchus, he's young.
Senator Falco: I think he could do very well.
Senator Gracchus: For Rome, or for you?

Commodus: My father spent all his time to study, at books of learning and philosophy.
He spent his twilight hours reading scrolls from the senate.
And all the while the people were forgotten.
Senator Gracchus: But the senate is the people, sire,
chosen from among the people to speak for the people.
Commodus: I doubt many of the people eat so well as you do, Gracchus.
Or have such splendid mistresses, Gaius.
I think I understand my own people.
Senator Gracchus: Then perhaps Caesar will be so good as to teach us,
out of his own extensive experience.

Senator Gaius: You really think the people are going to be seduced by that?
Senator Gracchus: I think he knows what Rome is. Rome is the mob.
Conjure magic for them, and they'll be distracted.
Take away their freedom, and still they'll roar.
The beating heart of Rome is not the marble of the Senate.
It's the sand of the Colosseum.
He'll bring them death, and they will love him for it.

All you do is kill, kill, kill.
The crowd don't want a butcher, they want a hero.
We want them to keep coming back.
So don't just hack them to pieces, remember you are an entertainer.

Maximus: You were a gladiator?
Proximo: Yes, I was.
Maximus: You won your freedom?
Proximo: A long time ago, the Emperor presented me with a rudius.
It's just a wooden sword, the symbol of your freedom.
He touched me on the shoulder and I was free.
Maximus, laughing: You knew Marcus Aurelius?
Proximo: I did not say I knew him, I said he touched me on the shoulder once.
Maximus: You asked me what I want.
I, too, want to stand in front of the Emperor, as you did.
Proximo: Then listen to me, learn from me.
I wasn't the best because I killed quickly.
I was the best because the crowd loved me.
Win the crowd, and you'll win your freedom.
Maximus: I will win the crowd.
I will give them something they'll never seen before.

Commodus: Your fame is well deserved, Spaniard.
I don't think there's ever been a gladiator to match you.
As for this young man, he insists you are Hector reborn.
Or was it Hercules?
Why doesn't the hero reveal himself and tell us all your real name?
You do have a name.
Maximus: My name is Gladiator.
[walk away from Commodus]
Commodus: How dare you show your back to me?
Slave! You will remove your helmet and tell me your name.
Maximus, remove his helmet and turn to Commodus: My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius,
commander of the armies of the north, general of the Felix Legions,
loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius,
father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife,
and I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.

Maximus: My family was burnt and crucified while they were still alive.
Lucilla: I knew nothing.
Maximus: Don't lie to me!
Lucilla: I wept for them.
Maximus: As you wept for your father?
As you wept for your father?!
Lucilla: I have been living in a prison of fear since that day.
To be unable to mourn your father for fear of your brother.
To live in terror every moment of every day, because your son is heir to the throne.
I have wept.
Maximus: My son was innocent!
Lucilla: So is mine.
Must my son die, too, before you'll trust me?
Maximus: What does it matter if I trust you or not?
Lucilla: The gods have spared you, don't you understand?
Today I saw slave become more powerful than the emperor of Rome.
Maximus: The gods have spared me?
I am at their mercy, with the power only to amuse a mob.
Lucilla: That is power.
The mob is Rome.
And while Commodus controls them, he controls everything.
Listen to me, my brother has enemies, most of all in the Senate.
But while the people follow him, no one would dare stand up to him until you.
Maximus: They oppose him, yet they do nothing.
Lucilla: There are some politicians who have dedicated their lives to Rome.
One man above all.
If I can arrange it, will you meet him?
Maximus: Do you not understand?
I may die in this cell tonight, or in the arena tomorrow.
I am a slave!
What possible difference can I make?
Lucilla: This man wants what you want.
Maximus: Then have him kill Commodus!
Lucilla: I knew a man once, a noble man.
A man of principle who loved my father, and my father loved him.
This man served Rome well.
Maximus: The man is gone.
Your brother did his work well.
Lucilla: Let me help you.
Maximus: Yes, you can help me.
Forget you ever knew me, and never come here again.

You have a great name.
He must kill your name before he kills you.

Proximo: He knows too well how to manipulate the mob.
Maximus: Marcus Aurelius had a dream that was Rome, Proximo.
This is not it! This is not it!
Proximo: Marcus Aurelius is dead, Maximus.
We mortals are but shadows and dust, shadows and dust, Maximus.

Commodus: What am I going to do with you?
You simply won't die.
Are we so different, you and I?
You take life when you have to, as I do.
Maximus: I have only one more life to take, then it is done.
Commodus: Then take it now.
[Maximus walks away from Commodus]
Commodus: They tell me your son squealed like a girl when they nailed him to the cross.
And your wife moaned like a whore when they ravaged her, again and again and again.
Maximus: The time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end, [bow to him] Highness.

Maximus: You can buy my freedom and smuggle me out of Rome?
Senator Gracchus: To what end?
Maximus: Get me outside the city walls.
Have fresh horses ready to take me to Ostia.
My army is encamped there.
By nightfall of the second day, I shall return at the head of 5000 men.
Lucilla: But the legions all have new commanders, loyal to Commodus.
Maximus: Let my men see me alive, and you shall see where their loyalties lie.
Senator Gracchus: This is madness.
No Roman army has entered the capital in 100 years.
I will not trade one dictatorship for another!
Maximus: The time for half measures and talk is over, Senator.
Senator Gracchus: And after your glorious coup, what then?
You'll take your 5000 warriors and leave?
Maximus: I will leave.
The soldiers will stay for your protection, under the command of the senate.
Senator Gracchus: So, once all of Rome is yours, you'll just give it back to the people?
Tell me why.
Maximus: Because that was the last wish of a dying man.
I will kill Commodus.
The fate of Rome I leave to you.
Senator Gracchus: Marcus Aurelius trusted you.
His daughter trusts you.
I will trust you.

Proximo: I know that you are a man of your word, General.
I know that you would die for honor.
You would die for Rome.
You would die for the memory of your ancestors.
But I, on the other hand, I'm an entertainer.
Maximus: He killed the man who set you free.

Lucius will stay with me now.
And if his mother so much as looks at me in a manner that displeases me, he will die.
If she decides to be noble, and takes her own life, he will die.
And as for you, you will love me, as I have loved you.
You will provide me with an heir of pure blood,
so that Commodus and his progeny will rule for 1000 years.
Am I not merciful?

Commodus: The general who became a slave.
The slave who became a gladiator.
The gladiator who defied an emperor.
A striking story.
Now the people want to know how the story ends.
Only a famous death will do.
And what could be more glorious than to challenge the Emperor himself in the great arena?
Maximus: You would fight me?
Commodus: Why not?
Do you think I'm afraid?
Maximus: I think you have been afraid all your life.
Commodus: Unlike Maximus The Invincible, who knows no fear?
Maximus: I knew a man who once said,
"Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back."
Commodus: I wonder, did your friend smile back at his own death?
Maximus: You must know. He was your father.


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