Gladiator is a wonderful story and won Best Picture in 2000. Even though the movie is so well done it does not mean that the story is historically accurate. The movie includes many historically accurate facts ranging from some of the characters to the society of Rome. However, Gladiator is for pure entertainment, and just like the real gladiator battles, it is for the enjoyment of the viewers. The film added to the cinematic categories such romance and intrigue but at the same time took away from many historical aspects.
Even though the movie is on the whole historically inaccurate there are a few historically accurate details. In Gladiator, the hugeness of the Coliseum is very well and accurately portrayed. The Coliseum is larger then Shea Stadium, and that greatness and grandeur is shown correctly in the film. Also, the movie correctly portrayed the armory of the times. The breastplates were correct and so too were the facemasks and other such battle suits.
( http://www.online-shrine.com) The movie shows these true details in order for the viewer to think that the other more amazing parts of the plot are true. Also, by adding the truths it makes sure that the movie will not seem neither phony nor cartoonish.
The reason Gladiator can not be considered historically accurate is because of the glaring errors in the characters and the emotions and actions of the characters. Firstly, Crowe’s General Maximus Decimus Meridus is a total fake. He is not a real person nor is he very similar to any one else in history.
Maximus is instead a hodgepodge of many other people. The one true person who is totally shown incorrectly is Commodus. Commodus is shown as a grownup that never outgrows his childhood. However, he in fact was not like that at all.
In the film Commodus is shown killed is father because his father believed he wasn’t fit to rule. In truth Commodus did not kill his. Historians generally agree that, Marcus Aurelius died of the plague in Vienna on March 17, 180 CE (www.nmia.com). It is also untrue that Marcus found his son unfit to rule. He had Commodus named Caesar when he was 5 years old, and named Commodus as his successor when he was seventeen. As a Roman father he undoubtedly loved and spoiled his son terribly.
Gladiator is not a historically accurate film and is filled with hogwash. The film can not be used to study that time period and can only be used as a great Hollywood film but nothing more. Gladiator deserved all of its accolades because of the film in its own right but not because of the history it used to tell the story.
Gladiator 28 Feb. 2004 < http://www.online-shrine.com/reviews/gladiator.php>
Is Gladiator true 28 Feb. 2004 < www.nmia.com/~pslock/r_glad.htm>
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