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 does the senate. Every day he lives, they grow bolder. Kill him.
Commodus: No. I will not make a martyr of him.
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. »
Commodus: Have I missed it? Have I missed the battle?
Marcus Aurelius: You have missed the war.
Commodus: Father, congratulations. I shall sacrifice a hundred bulls to honor your triumph.
Marcus Aurelius: Save the bulls. Honor Maximus. He won the battle. »
Commodus: He sleeps so well because he is loved. »
Commodus: I think I understand my own people.
Gracchus: Then perhaps Caeser will be so good as to teach us, out of his own extensive experience?
Commodus: I call it love, Gracchus. The people are my children, I am their father. I shall hold them to my bosom and embrace them tightly…
Gracchus: Have you ever embraced someone dying of plague, sire?
Commodus: No, but if you interrupt me again, I assure you that you will. »
Commodus: If you’re very good, tomorrow night I’ll tell you the story of emperor Claudius who 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 but the emperor Claudius knew 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’ve 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 have done. And what do you think happened then, Lucius?
Lucius Verus: I don’t know, uncle.
Commodus: The little bee told him everything. »
Commodus: It vexes me. I’m terribly vexed. »
Commodus: The general who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an emperor. Striking story! But 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’ve been afraid all your life. »
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: I have only one more life to take. Then it is done.
Commodus: Then take it now.
Commodus: They tell me your son…
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.
Maximus: Highness. »
Commodus: You and I are not much different. You take life when you have to, as I do.
Maximus: I have only one more life to take. Then it is done. »
Commodus: You wrote to me once, listing the four chief virtues. Wisdom, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance. As I read the list I knew I had none of them. But i have other virtues, father. Ambition, that can be a virtue when it drives us to excel. Resourcefulness. Courage. Perhaps not on the battlefield but there are many forms of courage. Devotion, to my family, to you. But none of my virtues were on your list. Even then, it was as if you didn’t want me for your son.
Marcus Aurelius: Oh Commodus, you go too far.
Commodus: I searched the faces of the gods for ways to please you, to make you proud. One kind word, one full hug while you pressed me to your chest and held me tight, would’ve been like the sun on my heart for a thousand years. What is in me that you hate so much?
Marcus Aurelius: Shh, Commodus.
Commodus: All I’ve ever wanted was to live up to you. Ceasar. Father. »
Commodus: Your Emperor asks for your loyalty, Maximus. Take my hand, I only offer it once. »
Marcus Aurelius: Tell me again, Maximus, why are we here?
Maximus: For the glory of the Empire, sire. »
Marcus Aurelius: There was a dream that wasRome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile. »
Marcus Aurelius: When was the last time you were home?
Maximus: Two years, two hundred and sixty-four days and this morning. »
Marcus Aurelius: Won’t you accept this great honor that I have offered you?
Maximus: With all my heart, no.
Marcus Aurelius: Maximus, that is why it must be you. »
Marcus Aurelius: You have proven your valor once again, Maximus. Let us hope for the last time.
Maximus: There is no one left to fight, sire.
Marcus Aurelius: There is always someone left to fight. How can I reward Rome’s greatest general?
Maximus: Let me go home.
Marcus Aurelius: Ah, home. »
Maximus’ Son: Mama, Isudosci! »
Maximus’ Son: Papa, Papa! »
Maximus: Ancestors, I ask you for your guidance. Blessed mother, come to me with the Gods’ desire for my future. Blessed father, watch over my wife and son with a ready sword. Whisper to them that I live only to hold them again, for all else is dust and air. Ancestors, I honor you and will try to live with the dignity that you have taught me. »
Maximus: Are you in danger of becoming a good man, Proximo?
Proximo: Ha! »
Maximus: At my signal, unleash hell. »
Maximus: Do you find it difficult to do your duty?
Cicero: Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to. »
Gracchus: And after you glorious coup, what then? You take you five thousand and… leave?
Maximus: Yes I will leave. The soldiers will stay here for your protection, under the guidance of the Senate.
Gracchus: So, after Rome’s all yours you just give it back to the people. Tell me why.
Maximus: Because that was a dying man’s last wish. 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. Give me two days, and I will purchase your freedom. And you, stay alive, while I’ll be dead. »
Gracchus: But the Senate IS the people, sire. Chosen from AMONG the people. To speak FOR the people.
Commodus: I doubt if any of the people eat so well as you, Gracchus. Or have such splendid mistresses, Gaius. »
Gracchus: Fear and wonder, a powerful combination.
Falco: You really think people are going to be seduced by that?
Gracchus: I think he knows whatRome is.Rome is the mob. Conjure magic for them and they’ll be distracted. Take away their freedom and still they’ll roar. The beating heart ofRome is not the marble of the senate, it’s the sand of the coliseum. He’ll bring them death – and they will love him for it. »
Gracchus: He enters Romelike a conquering hero. But what has he conquered?
Falco: Give him time, Gracchus. He’s young, he may do very well.
Gracchus: ForRome, Falco? Or for you? »
Gracchus: He will bring them death, and they will love him for it. »
Gracchus: I don’t pretend to be a man of the people. But I do try to be a man for the people. »
Gracchus: The beating heart ofRomeis not the marble of the Senate, it’s the sand of the Colosseum. He’ll bring them death and they will love him for it. »
Gracchus: The beating heart ofRomeis not the marble of the Senate. It is the sand of the Colosseum. »
Juba: And now we are Free. »
Juba: Can they hear you?
Juba: Your family. In the afterlife.
Maximus: Oh yes.
Juba: What do you say to them?
Maximus: To my son – I tell him I will see him again soon. To keep his heels down while riding his horse. To my wife… that is not your business. »
Juba: I didn’t know men could build such things. »
Juba: I will see you again… but not yet. Not yet! »
Juba: You have a great name. He must kill your name before he kills you. »
Lucilla: I want to help you.
Maximus: Yes, you can help me… Forget you ever knew me, and never come back here again. »
Lucilla: IsRomeworth one good man’s life? We believed it once. Make us believe it again. He was a soldier ofRome. Honor him. »
Lucilla: Is Romeworth 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? »
Lucilla: 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. »
Lucilla: Please be quiet, brother! Your constant scheming gives me even more of a headache! »
Lucilla: This man wants what you want.
Maximus: Then have *him* kill Commodus! »
Lucilla: Today I saw a slave become more powerful than the Emperor of Rome. »
Lucilla: What did my father want with you?
Maximus: To wish me well before I leave for home.
Lucilla: You’re lying, I could always tell when you were lying because you were never any good at it.
Maximus: I never acquired your comfort with it.
Lucilla: True, but then you never had to, life is more simple for a soldier. Or do you think me heartless?
Maximus: I think you have a talent for survival. »
Lucius Verus: Are you the one they call the Spaniard?
Lucius Verus: They said you were a giant. They said you could crush a man’s skull with one hand.
Maximus: A man’s? No. A boy’s? »
Lucius Verus: I like you Spaniard, and I shall cheer for you.
Maximus: They let you watch the games?
Lucius Verus: My uncle says it makes me strong.
Maximus: And what does your father say?
Lucius Verus: My father’s dead.
Lucius Verus: I have to go.
Maximus: Thy name is Lucius?
Lucius Verus: Lucius Verus, after my father. »
Marcus Aurelius: Let us pretend that you are a loving daughter, and I am a good father.
Lucilla: This is a pleasant fiction, is it not? »
Maximus: Five thousand of my men are out there in the freezing mud. Three thousand of them are bloodied and cleaved. Two thousand will never leave this place. I will not believe they fought and died for nothing. »
Maximus: I am required to kill, so I kill. That is enough.
Proximo: That’s enough for the provinces, but not enough forRome. »
Maximus: I knew a man once who 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. »
Maximus: I may die here in this cell or in the arena tomorrow. What possible difference can I make? »
Maximus: My name is Gladiator »
Maximus: Three weeks from now, I will be harvesting my crops. Imagine where you will be, and it will be so. Hold the line! Stay with me! If you find yourself alone, riding in the green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled. For you are in Elysium, and you’re already dead!
Maximus: Brothers, what we do in life… echoes in eternity. »
Maximus: Quintus! Release my men. Senator Gracchus is to be reinstated. There was a dream that wasRome. It shall be realized. These are the wishes of Marcus Aurelius. »
Maximus: Quintus! Release my men. There was a dream that wasRome. It shall be realized. These are the wishes of Marcus Aurelius. »
Maximus: Quintus, look at me. Look at me! Promise me that you’ll look after my family.
Quintus: Your family will meet you in the afterlife. »
Maximus: Roma Ignis »
Maximus: Strength and honor. »
Maximus: Three weeks from now, I will be harvesting my crops. Imagine where you will be, and it will be so. »
Maximus: What we do in life echoes in eternity. »
Maximus: You risk too much.
Lucilla: I have much to pay for.
Maximus: You have nothing to pay for. »
Quintus: Maximus, please be careful, that wasn’t prudent.
Maximus: Prudent? The Emperor has been slain. »
Quintus: People should know when they are conquered.
Maximus: Would you, Quintus? Would I? »
Quintus: Soldier! I told you to move those catapaults foreward. They’re out of range.
Maximus: Range is good.
Quintus: A danger to the cavalry…
Maximus: Is acceptable. Agreed? »
Tigris: We who are about to die, salute you! »
Proximo: Can any of them fight? I’ve got a match coming up.
Slave Trader: Some are good for fighting, others for dying. You need both, I think. »
Proximo: He knows to well how to manipulate the mob.
Maximus: Marcus Aurelius had a dream that was Rome Proximo. That is not it. That is not it!
Proximo: Marcus Aurelius is dead Maximus. We mortals are but shadows and dust. Shadows and dust Maximus! »
Proximo: I know that you are a man of your word, General. I know that you would die for honor, forRome, for the memory of your ancestors. But as for me? I’m an entertainer. »
Proximo: In the end, we’re all dead men. Sadly, we cannot choose how, or when. But what we can choose is how we decide to meet that end, so we are remembered forever as men. »
Proximo: Listen to me. Learn from me. I was not the best because I killed quickly. I was the best because the crowd loved me. Win the crowd and you will win your freedom. »
Proximo: So Spaniard, we shall go toRometogether 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. »
Proximo: Some of you are thinking that you won’t fight. Others, that you can’t fight. They all say that. »
Proximo: Those giraffes you sold me, they won’t mate. They just walk around, eating, and not mating. You sold me… queer giraffes. I want my money back. »