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Gladiator movie review essay: A Sociological Analysis

Gladiator Movie Free Essay Example 

The movie ’Gladiator’(Gladiator) offers us a gamut of situations to see the application of Social Sciences in action. The movie , which is a war-family saga, revolves around a son’s hunger for power , murdering his Father, the king, and how almost everyone turns against the main protagonist ‘ Maximus’ , who is the the bravest soldier of Rome and commander of the army. The king’s daughter, is shown as a practical woman , who holds the trust of her father and the senate.

The Conflict perspective(Cherlin) is evident all over the movie. All the loyal friends and subordinates of Maximus betray him, not because all of them are immoral, but mainly because of social tension and allocation of resources, including political representation, money, access to services. This provides us with almost a copybook definition of the Conflict perspective of Social Sciences. Even the King’s daughter, Lucilla, who is portrayed as a woman of wisdom, has to bow down to the circumstances or alter her behavior to avoid conflict and have political representation.

The Movie portrays Lucilla, Kings daughter, as a woman of  wisdom and practicality. The king describes her, in a scenario, as ‘ the son he wished he had’(Gladiator). The king knows he is dying and has no ready heir, with Commodus, his son, being immature, power hungry, and immoral. Yet the king cannot pass his powers to the deserving daughter. Women could not be in power, showing us the functional nature of the society in those days, a phenomenon we are not completely devoid of even today. The functionalist perspective(Cherlin) would explain that women have a function in the society , to take care in the upbringing of children and making the house a home. That is the way the society has been structured to maintain stability. The great king, Marcus Aurelius, knowing the potential of his daughter, still has to bow down to the norms of the society to find a male heir to his throne. It seems odd or ignorant on his part, but functionalist view makes us clear this misconception and gives the right explanation.

We see that the relationship of the Sister, Lucilla, and the brother Commodos, can be understood more with the Feminist Perspective(Cherlin), after the death of the king and in the later part of the movie. The woman becomes a subject of Male violence and dominance by her brother, when she tries to take the resurrection  of Rome in her hands. Her subordination and later suspension of her civil rights, when resisting oppression is a clear case of feminist perspective. Thus we see a situation which seems to have a grounding in Functionalist perspective, turning more towards the Feminist perspective.