Study Guide

Gladiator Scene 44

Scene 44

Scene 44

  • Commodus is still lying on the bed. Lucius can be heard, playing some kind of game.
  • Commodus approaches him. Lucius is fighting with some servants with a wooden sword and Commodus gets a sword and starts participating as well.
  • Lucius reveals that he's pretending to be a gladiator. As the "fight" gets more heated, Lucius says he's Maximus, the "savior of Rome."
  • Commodus halts, puzzled. He asks Lucius where he heard that. Lucius whispers something in his ear.
  • The scene shifts to Lucilla, who has returned and is looking for Lucius. She's told he's with the Emperor.
  • She's alarmed.
  • She finds Commodus and Lucius. Commodus is telling Lucius the story of Cleopatra's death.
  • As soon as he sees Lucilla, he starts saying all kinds of things that have a double meaning: "Sometimes royal ladies behave very strangely and do very odd things in the name of love."
  • Commodus then proceeds to tell Lucius that the next night he will tell him about the emperor Claudius, who was "betrayed by those closest to him, by his own blood."
  • This makes Lucilla uneasy. Commodus continues by talking about how Claudius then forced the conspirators to tell him everything.
  • Commodus says that Claudius then threatened to strike down "those dearest to you [conspirators]" and to bathe in their blood.
  • Lucilla starts shedding tears in the middle of this story, as does Commodus. She knows Commodus has figured it out, and that he's threatening Lucius.
  • Claudius was "wounded…deeply," which is Commodus' way of saying that he is deeply, deeply wounded.
  • Lucius looks uneasy as Commodus asks him what he thinks happened next.
  • Commodus then says that the "little bee," i.e. the conspirator, told him (Claudius) everything.