Study Guide

Gladiator Scene 20

Scene 20

Scene 20

  • We're inside the senate building, and Gracchus is talking about the various issues that need to be handled: sanitation in the Greek quarter, for one. A plague is in progress.
  • Commodus is barely paying attention, contenting himself with spinning his sword instead.
  • Finally, he tells Gracchus to stop talking for a minute, before giving a talk about how his father spent all his time reading and studying and forgot about the people.
  • Gracchus and Commodus spar a little bit—in words, that is.
  • Lucilla, who's watching the whole thing, clearly can tell Commodus has no idea what he's doing, especially when he gives a speech about love and describes himself as the father of the people, one who will "embrace" them tightly.
  • Hmm, what happened to the last guy you embraced, Commodus, eh?
  • Gracchus knows Commodus is living in a fantasy world, and he asks him if he's ever embraced somebody dying of plague.
  • Commodus is irritated, and mildly threatens Gracchus before Lucilla intervenes, ushers Commodus away, and takes a list from Gracchus of things that need to be handled.