Study Guide

Gladiator Scene 2

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Scene 2

Scene 2

  • A man's walking through fields of tall grass (or wheat, or something or other). All we can see is his left hand. There's a ring on his finger.
  • The same ominous music is playing, but it's starting to pick up as the scene shifts out of this apparent vision.
  • Maximus looks up. He's dressed in some heavy-duty soldier's gear. It appears he was just in the middle of a reverie or dream or vision.
  • He's thinking about something, and looks around as the main theme of Gladiator kicks in. "Germania," the screen reads.
  • Roman troops on horseback ride into view, and pass a massive force of assembled troops.
  • A smaller group that definitely looks important looks on. The camera zooms in on an older gentleman, clothed in purple (the color worn by Roman emperors and other important folk).
  • Maximus walks by a line of troops—they all kneel as he walks by and acknowledge him as "general."
  • Battle preparations are underway as Maximus chats with a high-ranking soldier (Quintus). Somebody's been gone for about two hours.
  • Suddenly, a horse rides out from the forest. The rider's headless.
  • A bearded barbarian appears, holding a head (presumably the missing Roman emissary's), and shouting in a foreign tongue.
  • The barbarian throws the head towards the Romans, and the assembled barbarians who have emerged behind him begin cheering.
  • Maximus grabs some dirt, rubs it in his hands, and notices a dog nearby.
  • He rides off on his horse as the barbarians hanker for battle, and Quintus facilitates the Roman military preparations.
  • Maximus meets with a smaller group of cavalry in the forest and gives them a motivational pep talk (that same dog is there too).
  • The Romans begin the attack—with archers and catapults.
  • The cavalry, with Maximum in the lead, begins their charge. Maximus shouts "Hold the line."
  • The old man in purple's observing the whole thing, from a distance.
  • The Roman and barbarian infantries charge one another. When they collide, chaos ensues, with lots of hacking, chopping, and stabbing.
  • The Roman cavalry soon arrives…behind the barbarian line. Maximus kills a number of guys while on horseback, even as his counterpart on the other side (the bearded fellow from a few minutes earlier) does the same.
  • Maximus's unhorsed and fights from the ground for a while until he can get back up. He soon bumps into Quintus.
  • The barbarian leader is stabbed in the back as the fighting continues.
  • Maximus is almost killed, but a Roman cavalryman chops the guy down before he can stab him.
  • The friendly dog we keep meeting also does his part, and bites a barbarian's arm before it can harm Maximus.
  • The shouting dies down, and melancholy music starts playing as the Romans continue stabbing their enemies.
  • Many Romans are dead and wounded, but they've clearly won the battle.
  • Maximus observes the carnage, and shouts.
  • The old man from before has been watching it all. We notice that he's standing next to a sign that says "Praetorian."
  • If you're not a Roman history buff, that's okay because all you need to know about that word is this: the Praetorian Guard were basically the Roman equivalent of the secret service.
  • And that, folks, means this old dude we keep seeing who's wearing the royal purple is probably the emperor himself, Marcus Aurelius.
  • He seems relieved, but also a bit something else, after the battle. It's hard to read him.

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