Essay on "Gladiator": An Accurate Portrayal of Roman History

Essay on "Gladiator": An Accurate Portrayal of Roman History

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The Gladiator epic directed by Riley Scott (2000) is based on real life events of the Roman Empire, their society, as well as the role of gladiators. Scott tried to portray the Roman culture as accurately as he could, and even went further to ensure his authenticity by hiring several historians to do so . It is supported by the findings of historians’ research. The film is historically accurate in most parts, including the role of gladiators; gladiatorial games and the aspects of Roman society such as the religions and beliefs. Some characters such as Commodus, Lucilla and Marcus were loosely based on the real life characters. However some parts of the film were exaggerated such as the battles in the arena, where gladiators fought to death; and many of the outfits were historically inaccurate. Moreover, fictional characters like Maximus were created and these historical exaggerations were aimed to attract and entertain the audience, like every other Hollywood blockbuster, there are bound to be some historical inaccuracies in this film.

One of the main themes that the film revolves around was the role of gladiators and the gladiatorial games, which was accurately depicted throughout the film. A gladiator refers to a professional swordsmen or fighters that were trained to entertain in the amphitheatre. But they were generally slaves, condemned criminals or prisoners of war bought for the purpose of gladiatorial combat by a Lanista. They were the owners of gladiators who were also a gladiatorial trainer. Moreover, gladiators were seen as at the bottom of the hierarchy class chain, no higher than a slave as they were considered as a property. In the film, the character Proximo Palindromos is a Lanista who bought Maximus. Furthermor...


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...oman beliefs.

Therefore, it can be said that the film Gladiator accurately depicts most aspects of Roman society through the Colosseum, gladiatorial games, religion and beliefs. Overall, it can be seen that the film attempts to portray the themes correctly, but due to nature of the production and the fact that it was created solely for entertainment; it is not one hundred percent correct. As result of this, there are bound to be some inaccuracies and exaggeration. However if the film had been done in a documentary form, it surely would have been more accurate but would not have attracted such a wide range of audience this film managed to achieve. It has reached hundreds of millions of people around the world who otherwise would not know learn or know any history of the Roman Empire, making this film one of the most valuable historical recounts of the ancient Rome.

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