Some Scenes to Observe
for Images of Masculinity
I Far From Home
Observe closely the details in the opening scenes of the film, especially the wedding ring, the hand on the wheat, the bird, Maximusí sigh, the sudden transition to the battlefield, Maximusí relationship with the soldiers, the motto "Strength and Honor", Maximus' command to "Unleash hell." Maximus' dog. What does each of these tell you about Maximus?
In what ways does this scene show hell?
What does Maximusí speech to his troops tell us about him? Why does Maximus imagine himself harvesting his crops in a few weeks. Why does he make a joke about Elysium. What does Maximus mean when he says that "What we do in life echoes in eternity"?
IV A Pleasant Fiction
Why is there a close-up of Maximusí hands?
What is his relationship with his companions?
Why is he called Maximus the farmer?
How does Maximus deal with issues of the Republic versus the empire? In discussion with senators? With Commodus?
What do you think is Maximusí attitude toward Lucilla? What was their earlier relationship?
Why does Marcus Aurelius tell Lucilla "If only you had been born a man"? What qualities would he have wanted her to have as a man?
Is this a picture of a loving daughter and a good father?
V "One More Duty"
What motivates Maximus as a solider and in his relationship with Marcus Aurelius?
How are Maximus's and Marcus Aurelius' views of Rome different? Who is right?
What does Maximus want to do after the war? What does Marcus Aurelius want him to do? Why does Marcus Aurelius call on Maximus to do this instead of a senator or Commodus? What do you think Maximus would have decided to do if Marcus Aurelius had not died?
Why does MA think that Maximus is the son he should have had?
Why does MA ask Maximus to describe his home? What does this tell us about Maximus?
IX Mark of the Legion
This scene begins with Maximus enslaved and hallucinating. What does he dream about? Which images are real and which are dream?
XXVII "Home Again"
What does Maximus order before he dies? What would Marcus Aurelius have thought of these commands?
XXVIII "Now We Are Free"
What does Juba do in this scene and why?
This material has been published on the web by Prof. Tom Sienkewicz for his students at Monmouth College. If you have any questions, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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