Gladiator Quotes(Page 2)
Proximo: The young Emperor has arranged a series of spectacles to commemorate his father, Marcus Aurelius. I find that amusing since it was Marcus Aurelius, the wise, the all-knowing Marcus Aurelius, who closed us down. So finally after 5 years of scratching a living in flea infested villages we are finally going back to where we belong, the Colosseum. Oh you should see the Colosseum, Spaniard. 50,000 Romans watching every movement of your sword, willing you to make that killer blow. The silence before you strike, and the noise afterwards, it rises, rises like, like a storm, as if you were the Thunder God himself.
Maximus: [laughing] You knew Marcus Aurelius?
Proximo: I did not say I knew him. I said he touched me on the shoulder once!
Proximo: Then listen to me. Learn from me. I wasn’t the best because I killed quickly. I was the best because the crowd loved me. Win the crowd and you’ll win your freedom.
Maximus: I will win the crowd. I will give them something they have never seen before.
Proximo: Ha! So, Spaniard, we shall go to Rome together and have bloody adventures and the great whore will suckle us until we are fat and happy and can suckle no more. And then, when enough men have died, perhaps you will have your freedom.
Juba: It’s somewhere out there, my country, my home. My wife is preparing food. My daughter is carrying water from the river. Will I ever see them again? I think not.
Maximus: Do you believe that you will see them again when you die?
Juba: I think so, but then, I will die soon. They will not die for many years. I’ll have to wait.
Maximus: But you would wait?
Juba: Of course.
Maximus: You see, my wife and my son are already waiting for me.
Juba: You will meet them again. But not yet. Not yet.
[Juba takes Maximus’ hand as if to assure him that the time will come]
Maximus: Not yet. Not yet.
[upon seeing the Coliseum for the first time]
Juba: I didn’t know men could build such things.
Commodus: Will you stay with me?
Lucilla: Still afraid of the dark, brother?
Commodus: Still? Always. Stay with me tonight?
Lucilla: You know I won’t.
Commodus: Then kiss me.
[She kisses his forehead]
Lucilla: Sleep, brother.
Proximo: If you want to give away the best gladiators in the whole of the empire, I want double the rates.
Cassius: You will get your contract rates or you will get your contract cancelled. If you don’t like it, then you can crawl back down that shit hole that you came from.
[young Lucius is walking along the cells where the gladiators are placed on display for the crowds to inspect. Lucius motions to Maximus to come towards him]
Lucius: Gladiator, are you the one they call the Spaniard?
Lucius: They said you were a giant. They said you can crush a man’s skull with one hand.
Maximus: [teasingly] Man’s? No. A boy’s…
Lucius: I like you Spaniard. I shall cheer for you.
Maximus: They let you watch the games?
Lucius: My uncle says it makes me strong.
Maximus: And what does your father say?
Lucius: My father’s dead.
Servant: Master Lucius, it is time.
Lucius: I have to go.
Maximus: Your name is Lucius?
Lucius: Lucius Verus, after my father.
[realizing he has come closer to Commodus, Maximus withdraws into the corner]
[after Proximo’s gladiators have won the battle in the Colosseum arena]
Commodus: My history’s a little hazy Cassius, but shouldn’t the Barbarians lose the battle of Carthage!!
Cassius: Uh, yes, Sire. Um, forgive me, Sire.
[Commodus enters the Colesseum arena to greet the Spaniard]
Commodus: Rise. Rise.
[Maximus stands up, clenching an arrow head in his right hand and in that same moment Lucius runs to join Commodus standing in front of him]
Commodus: Your fame is well deserved, Spaniard. I don’t think there’s ever been a gladiator to match you. As for this young man, he insists you are Hector reborn. Or was it Hercules? Why doesn’t the hero reveal himself and tell us all your real name? You do have a name?
Maximus: My name is Gladiator.
[turns away from Commodus]
Commodus: How dare you show your back to me! Slave, you will remove your helmet and tell me your name.
[Maximus removes his helmet and turns around to face Commodus]
Maximus: My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius. Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.
[Commodus is clearly in shock and without words]
Commodus: Why is he still alive?
Lucilla: I don’t know.
Commodus: He shouldn’t be alive. It vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
Commodus: What did you feel when you saw him?
Lucilla: I felt nothing.
Commodus: He wounded you deeply, didn’t he?
Lucilla: No more than I wounded him.
[Maximus is taken to a cell where he is chained. The guards leave and out from the dark corner appears Lucilla]
Lucilla: Rich matrons pay well to be pleasured by the bravest champions.
Maximus: I knew your brother would send assassins. I didn’t realize he would send his best.
Lucilla: Maximus, he doesn’t know.
Maximus: My family was burned and crucified while they were still alive.
Lucilla: I knew nothing about it.
Maximus: Don’t lie to me!
Lucilla: I wept for them.
[Maximus reaches out and quickly grabs her by the throat]
Maximus: As you wept for your father? As you wept for your father?
Lucilla: I have been living in a prison of fear since that day. To be unable to mourn your father for fear of your brother. To live in terror every moment of every day, because your son is heir to the throne. Oh, I have wept.
Maximus: My son was innocent.
Lucilla: So is mine. Must my son die too before you’ll trust me?
[Maximus releases his hold on her throat]
Lucilla: There are some politicians who have dedicated their lives to Rome. One man above all. If I can arrange it, will you meet him?
Maximus: Do you not understand? I may die in this cell tonight or in the arena tomorrow. I am a slave! What possible difference can I make?
Lucilla: This man wants what you want.
Maximus: Then have him kill Commodus!
Lucilla: I knew a man once. A noble man. A man of principle, who loved my father and my father loved him. This man served Rome well.
Maximus: That man is gone. Your brother did his work well.
Lucilla: Let me help you.
Maximus: [lowering his voice] Yes. You can help me. Forget you ever knew me. Never come here again. Guard! The lady has finished with me.
[Lucilla’s eyes slightly tear as she stands helplessly, staring at Maximus]
Juba: [to Maximus] You have a great name. He must kill your name before he kills you.
[the senators are gathering for the upcoming fight at the Colosseum]
Falco: Senator Gracchus. Don’t often see you enjoying the pleasures of the vulgar crowd.
Gracchus: I do not pretend to be a man of the people, Senator. But I do try to be a man for the people.
[in the bowels of the Colosseum Maximus practices with his sword while awaiting his entrance to the arena. Proximo calls up to Maximus]
Proximo: He knows too well how to manipulate the mob.
Maximus: Marcus Aurelius had a dream that was Rome, Proximo. This is not it. This is not it!
Proximo: Marcus Aurelius is dead Maximus. We mortals are but shadows and dust. Shadows and dust, Maximus.
[Tigris before he begins his battle with Maximus turns to Caesar’s box, with swords crossed, he bows]
Tigris: We who are about to die salute you.
[after winning the battle with Tigris in the arena Maximus is about to exit the arena when the Praetorian enter and encircle him as Commodus enters the arena and approaches Maximus]
Commodus: What am I going to do with you, you simply won’t die. Are we so different, you and I? You take life when you have to, as I do.
[Maximus stares at him]
Maximus: I have only one more life to take, then it is done.
Commodus: Take it now.
[Maximus turns to walk away]
Commodus: They tell me your son…
[Maximus stops and slowly turns to face him]
Commodus: …squealed like a girl when they nailed him to the cross. And your wife, moaned like a whore when they ravaged her again, and again, and again.
Maximus: The time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end.
[bows his head]
[in his cell, Maximus opens the leather pouch handed to him earlier by Cicero, inside he finds the two figurines of his wife and son, he kisses them tenderly]
Juba: Can they hear you?
Juba: Your family, in the afterlife?
Maximus: Oh, yes.
Juba: What do you say to them ?
Maximus: To my boy, I tell him I will see him again soon, to keep his heels down when he’s riding his horse. To my wife, that is not your business.
[they both laugh]
Commodus: And now they love Maximus for his mercy. So I can’t just kill him, or it makes me even more unmerciful! The whole thing’s like some crazed nightmare.
Falco: He is defying you. His every victory is an act of defiance. The mob sees this, and so do the Senate. Every day he lives, they grow bolder. Kill him.
Commodus: No. I will not make a martyr of him.
[Commodus walks around agitated]
Falco: I have been told of a certain sea snake which has a very unusual method of attracting its prey. It will lie at the bottom of the ocean as if wounded. Then its enemies will approach, and yet it will lie quite still. And then its enemies will take little bites of it, and yet it remains still.
Commodus: So, we will lie still, and let our enemies come to us and nibble. Have every senator followed.
[in the Gladiator cells Maximus meets with Lucilla who has arranged for him to meet with one of the senators]
Gracchus: General. I hope my coming here today is evidence enough that you can trust me.
Maximus: The Senate is with you?
Gracchus: The Senate? Yes, I can speak for them.
Maximus: You can buy my freedom and smuggle me out of Rome?
Gracchus: To what end?
Maximus: Get me outside the city walls. Have fresh horses ready to take me to Ostia. My army is in camp there. By nightfall of the second day I shall return at the head of 5,000 men.
Lucilla: But the legion all have new commanders, Loyal to Commodus.
Maximus: Let my men see me alive and you shall see where their loyalties lie.
Gracchus: This is madness. No Roman army has entered the capital in a 100 years. I will not trade one dictatorship for another.
Maximus: The time for half measures and talk is over, Senator.
Gracchus: And after your glorious coup, what then? You’ll take your 5,000 warriors and leave?
Maximus: I will leave. The soldiers will stay for your protection, under the command of the Senate.
Gracchus: So, once all of Rome is yours, you’ll just give it back to the people. Tell me why?
Maximus: Because that was the last wish of a dying man.
[He turns back to Gracchus]
Maximus: I will kill Commodus, the fate of Rome, I leave to you.
Gracchus: Marcus Aurelius trusted you. His daughter trusts you. I will trust you. But we have little time. Give me two days and I will buy your freedom. And you, you stay alive. Or I will be dead. Now I must go.
[in Proximo’s quarters which is under guard by the emperor’s soldiers]
Proximo: It won’t work. The emperor knows too much. And as for me, it’s becoming dangerous.
[A soldier is seen outside, attempting to overhear their talk]
Maximus: You will be paid on my return. I give you my word.
Proximo: Your word! What if you don’t return?
Maximus: Do you remember what it was to have trust, Proximo?
Proximo: Trust? Who am I to trust?
Maximus: I will kill Commodus.
Proximo: Why do I want that. He makes me rich. Oh, I know that you are a man of your word, General. I know that you would die for honor. You would die for Rome. You would die for the memory of your ancestors. But I on the other hand, I am an entertainer. Guard!
[Maximus begins to leave but turns back]
Maximus: He killed the man who set you free.
[Lucilla walks into the Palace and finds Commodus. She attempts to leave but he stops her]
Commodus: Do you remember what our father said once? It’s a dream, a frightful dream, life is. Do you think that’s true?
Lucilla: I don’t know.
Commodus: I think it is. And I have only you to share it with.
[Proximo brings Lucilla to Maximus’ cell]
Proximo: Congratulations, General. You’ve got very persuasive friends.
Lucilla: My brother’s had Gracchus arrested. We daren’t wait any longer. We must leave tonight. Proximo will come at midnight and take you to the gate. Your servant, Cicero will be waiting there with horses.
Maximus: You have done all this?
Maximus: You risk too much.
Lucilla: I have much to pay for.
[Maximus shakes his head]
Maximus: You have nothing to pay for. You love your son, you are strong for him.
Lucilla: I am tired of being strong. My brother hates all the world and you most of all.
Maximus: Because your father chose me.
Lucilla: No, because my father loved you, and because I loved you.
Maximus: A long time ago.
[Maximus tenderly takes her hand and kisses it]
Lucilla: Was I very different then?
[shakes his head, gently stroking her face]
Maximus: You laughed more.
Lucilla: I have felt alone all my life, except with you. I must go.
[they exchange a long tender kiss]
[Lucilla finds Commodus talking to her son in his room]
Commodus: [to Lucius] And just wait until you hear what happened to our ancestors! If you’re very good, tomorrow night I’ll tell you the story of Emperor Claudius. He was betrayed, by those closest to him, by his own blood, they whispered in dark corners and went out late at night and conspired and conspired…
[Commodus looks at Lucilla who is looking very frightened]
Commodus: But the Emperor Claudius knew that they were up to something. He knew they were busy little bees. And one night he sat down with one of them and he looked at her and he said, “Tell me what you have been doing, busy little bee, or I shall strike down those dearest to you. You shall watch as I bathe in their blood.” And the emperor was heartbroken. The little bee had wounded him more deeply than anyone else could ever had done. And what do you think happened then, Lucius?
Lucius: I don’t know Uncle.
Commodus: [looking at Lucilla] The little bee told him everything.
[tears of fear slowly roll down Lucilla’s face]
[as Praetorian guards are trying to get into the Gladiator cells]
Proximo: Here. Everything is prepared. It seems you have won your freedom.
[Proximo hands Maximus a ring of keys for his getaway]
Maximus: Proximo, are you in danger of becoming a good man.
[in Proximo’s quarters, just before he is killed by the Praetorian, he holds his Rudius sword]
Proximo: Shadows and dust.
[at the palace Commodus is looking out over the city]
Commodus: [to Falco] And what of my nephew and what of his mother? Should they share her lover’s fate or should I be merciful? Commodus the merciful. Lucius will stay with me now and if his mother so much as looks at me in a manner that displeases me, he will die.
[turns to look at Lucilla who is seated and is in tears]
Commodus: If she decides to be noble and take her own life, he will die. And, as for you, you will love me as I loved you. You will provide me with an heir of pure blood so that Commodus and his progeny will rule for a thousand years. Am I not merciful?
[he gets close to her face and tries to kiss her but Lucilla turns away. Commodus grabs her by the jaw and turns her face towards him]
Commodus: [screams] Am I not merciful?!
[below the Colosseum Commodus walks up to the chained Maximus]
Commodus: Maximus. Maximus. Maximus. They call for you. The general who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an emperor. A striking story. Now the people want to know how the story ends. Only a famous death will do. And what could be more glorious than to challenge the emperor himself in the great arena.
Maximus: You would fight me?
Commodus: Why not? Do you think I am afraid?
Maximus: I think you have been afraid all your life.
Commodus: Unlike Maximus the invincible, who knows no fear?
Maximus: [laughing] I knew a man who once said, “Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back.”
Commodus: I wonder. Did your friend smile at his own death?
Maximus: You must know. He was your father.
Commodus: You loved my father, I know. But so did I. That makes us brothers, doesn’t it? Smile for me now, brother.
[Commodus embraces Maximus and with one fierce thrust stabs him with his knife, which penetrates through his back where no one would see him bleeding and going through his lung space, then he kisses Maximus on the neck]
Commodus: [to Quintus] Strap on his armor. Conceal the wound.
[during the fight with Maximus, Commodus loses his sword]
Commodus: Quintus, sword!
[Quintus does nothing]
Commodus: Give me your sword!
[Quintus does nothing]
Commodus: [to his guards] Sword, give me a sword!
[the guards unsheathe their swords]
Quintus: Sheathe your swords! Sheathe your swords!
[the guards sheathe their swords]
[after killing Commodus in the Colosseum arena]
Maximus: Quintus, free my men. Senator Gracchus is to be reinstated. There was a dream that was Rome, it shall be realized. These are the wishes of Marcus Aurelius.
[his last lines]
Maximus: [to Lucilla] Lucius is safe.
[Lucilla stands and turns to Senator Gracchus and the crowd in the Colosseum]
Lucilla: Is Rome worth one good man’s life? We believed it once. Make us believe it again. He was a soldier of Rome. Honor him.
Gracchus: Who will help me carry him?
[last lines; Juba buries the figurines belonging to Maximus where Maximus died]
Juba: Now we are free. I will see you again. But not yet, not yet…