Macbeth Unit Gladiator Directions

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Ms. Gallagher

English 2: Macbeth Unit

Directions: As you view the film, respond to the following questions with well developed and detailed responses. 75 total points.
Main Character List:

  • Maximus - Russell Crowe (Roman general)

  • Commodus - Joaquin Phoenix (son of Marcus Aurelius)

  • Marcus Aurelius - Richard Harris (emperor of Rome)

  • Lucilla – Connie Nielsen (daughter of Marcus Aurelius)

  1. List some similarities between the opening scenes of Macbeth and the opening scenes of Gladiator. What do you think is the purpose for opening both with a bloody battle?

  1. What does Maximus' speech to his troops tell us about him? Why does Maximus imagine himself harvesting crops in a few weeks?

  1. What does Maximus mean when he says that "What we do in life echoes in eternity"? In what ways is this similar to Macbeth's fear that evil plans return to plague the inventor?

  1. What kind of emperor do you think is Marcus Aurelius? How is he similar/different to King Duncan?

  1. What does Marcus Aurelius mean when he tells his daughter Lucilla, "If only you had been born a man"? What qualities would he have wanted her to have as a man? In what ways is Lady Macbeth similar to Lucilla? Consider Lady Macbeth's "unsex me" line.

  1. What do you think is Maximus' idea of power? What about Marcus Aurelius? Commdus? How are they similar/different?

  2. Whose idea of power compares most closely to Macbeth’s? Explain.

  1. Why does Marcus Aurelius think that Maximus is the son he should have had?

  2. How do you think Commodus feels when he learns that he will not be named emperor? Do you feel at all bad for him?

  3. Commodus murders his father, tries to murder Maximus, and murders Maximus' wife and child. Compare his murders to those of Macbeth. In what ways were the motivations similar/different?

  1. How is Commodus affected by the murders he commits? Do you notice any change in his appearance as the film progresses? What about his state of mind?

  2. With Commodus as emperor, how are conditions in Rome? In what ways are they similar to the conditions in Scotland when Macbeth is king?

  3. Why do you think Commodus' men turn on him in the end?

  4. How is order restored to Rome?

  5. In the final scene, what does Juba, Maximus' loyal friend do? Why do you think he does this?

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