Braveheart Vs. Gladiator Essay

431 WordsDec 8, 20112 Pages
Braveheart vs. Gladiator Both Braveheart and Gladiator are highly acclaimed movies with complex themes and motifs. Braveheart is the story of a Scottish man, William Wallace, who seeks to rid his homeland of English rule after his wife is murdered by English soldiers. Gladiator is the story of a Roman general named Maximus who escapes his execution and using an alias, rises in ranks to become a great gladiator in order to seek revenge against Commodus, a corrupt prince who murdered Maximus’s family. Both movies share the common themes of love, revenge, and freedom but present them in different ways. One of the greatest overriding themes in both movies is the concept of love. In both movies the protagonist’s love interest is murdered. In Gladiator, Maximus’s wife and children are murdered under the clear direction of the antagonist, Commodus. In Braveheart, William Wallace’s wife is murdered by those in league with the antagonist, but she is not killed specifically by the antagonist in order to punish the protagonist, as in Gladiator. Love drives the main characters in both movies to accomplish their goal, which is to exact their revenge on those who have wronged them. Revenge is the main downfall of both Maximus and Wallace. Even though their thirst for revenge is satisfied, they both meet their death as a result. Maximus is able to directly settle his score with the antagonist Claudius by killing him at the cost of his own life, while Wallace was only able to defeat some of his enemies. However, Wallace’s death caused a movement for freedom among his people, which eventually resulted in the English being forcefully driven from the country of Scotland, thus ultimately completely Wallace’s goal. Freedom is another prevalent theme in both movies. Even though it can be interpreted that each protagonist is striving for personal freedom from an internal conflict, the

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