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Jose Batista
Mrs. Petty
10-16-2014
English 101
The Gladiator
As Arthur Ash said True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the
urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.(Ash1)
It all began with Roma Invicta General Maximus DecimusMeridius Lead the Roman army to
victory against Germanic barbarians in 180 AD. Commodus taking charge of Rome after the
emperors death, asks for Maximus for loyalty where he denies loyalty. Commodus fearing that
the general had too much power, orders the execution and of his family and Maximus himself.
He escapes the assassins and returns home. Here where he finds his wife and child dead.
Maximus collapses and is kidnapped, taken to an arena to train as a gladiator. Nobody knew who
he was but himself. Maximus follows Joseph Campbells monomyth of the hero by Separation
from their loved ones and the normal farming life, Initiation/fulfillment in training to be a
gladiator in order to win his freedom, and finally the Return by returning to back home with his
loved ones, where he belongs.
As general Maximus was finishing his last battle return was his plan. He missed loved ones and
home. The Journey of the hero always begins with the separation, with the first stage which is
the call to adventure. Maximus receives the call to adventure from the emperors helpers. The
emperor was requesting maximus to succeed after him, and to give control of Rome to the
senate.A blunderapparently the merest chancereveals an unsuspected world, and the

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individual is drawn into a relationship with forces that are not rightly understood (Campbell 1).
Initially the hero denies the call to adventure or as Joseph Campbell refers as the refusal to the
call. Maximus wants to return home, he has been in war for nine years, he is longing for his wife
and child. Yet the hero denies the call but he is still thinking of the opportunity, looking for a
motive or a reason of why he should go into this adventure. He is meditating, thinking if he is the
chosen one for this adventure and this is when the search for supernatural aid is looked for.
Usually this aid is a religious figure or another object that will help him in this journey. The aid
assists the hero to make a decision or to prepare himself for a major challenge. Maximus prays to
his ancestors and family religious figure seeking for guidance and protection in this journey he is
going to take. The hero takes the adventure and takes the road to his goal. As in every movie or
story the first threshold comes and that is where the challenge starts; usually where the hero
arrives to the unknown. Maximus refuses loyalty to Commodus which in cause orders the
assassination of maximus. This is when the stage of the belly of the whale occurs. Maximus kills
his assassins, and returns home severely injured. Arriving home he finds his wife and child dead.
Maximus felt destroyed, depressed, dispirited weeping for his family he passes out right where
he was standing. Poximo takes Maximus as a prisoner and trains him to become a gladiator. This
stage in the hero of a thousand faces is called the road of trails. In definition means the hero goes
through a series of training or tests in order to change. To convert himself from normal to a more
prepared and more spiritual person. Or how it is called a spiritual rebirth in that way he prepares
to take the challenge that is ahead.
Before every challenge or competition there is always preparation and hard work. Next in
order in the heros journey is the initiation. The initiation stage as stated by Campbell The hero
is covertly aided by the advice, amulets, and secret agents of the supernatural helper whom he

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met before his entrance into this region. Or it may be that he here discovers for the first time that
there is a benign power everywhere supporting him in his superhuman passage(Campbell1).
This stage is where the story really starts. The story is starting to build up towards the climax.
This stage starts with the meeting with the goddess. This part is when the hero gets an extra
boost, gains respect or gets complemented by something or someone. In most of the cases it is a
women or a maternal figure. Maximus starts doing great performances as a gladiator that he
starts wining the crowd. The crowd started liking him and liked how he fought with other
gladiators. After several fights, his master Priximo tells him that he was also a gladiator, but he
won his freedom by getting the crowds to like him. This part of the heros journey is when the
main goal of the journey is accomplished or the goal is met. This is also called the ultimate boon.
Commodus challenged Maximus on the arena but before that to insure his victory Commodus
stabbed Maximus. He covered the wound with armor. In that way he could insure his victory.
Even though Maximus was stabbed he still defeated and killed Commodus. They battled sword
on sword surrounded roman soldiers. They start the duo and Commodus strikes Maximus,
slashing his foot. Maximus hurting takes vengeance and slashed Commodus on the back, and he
loses his sword. Maximus like a real man drops his sword and fight by hand, Commodus takes
out a dagger an attacks Maximus. The fight and by the end Maximus stabs Commodus in the
chest, consequently freeing Rome from oppression.
After the conversion of the hero and meeting the goal of the journey comes the last stage
which is the return of the hero. When the hero-quest has been accomplished, through
penetration to the source, or through the grace of some male or female, human or animal,
personification, the adventurer still must return with his life transmuting trophy (Campbell 1) .
The return on each story or movie is different. The refusal of the return, the hero does not want

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to return to the real life to where he belongs. Because the found enlightment, or feels that he is
where he belongs. Maximus dies after the battle with Commodus and He died being a hero. Even
though the hero does not want to return he has to return because other people are waiting for him
where he belongs. Maximus dies and he travels to the afterlife, which is where he belongs now,
after he completed his journey. But before returning where the hero really belongs he has to
cross the return threshold. This crossing of the threshold marks the end of the journey for this
hero. In this case maximus marked the end of his journey by dying for his people and returning
back to his family. After the hero returns he will gain the power to master both of his worlds,
which is called in the journeys hero mastery of the two worlds which is mastery spiritually and
materially. Maximus masters both of his worlds by freeing his people from oppression, and by
returning back to his family even though they are in the after world. The hero is now free to live,
he has done what is mission was now he is free. He has completed his task. Not only did he free
himself but he freed his people and all Rome from the oppression. Last the hero is always
appreciated or sometimes seen as a saint. The hero as a saint, Lucille demands honor and respect
for Maximus since he freed them from the oppression of commodus, and demands for the people
to honor him and in a way thank him for what he did.
Overall the heros journey is made up of three main stages. In conclusion Maximus in
the movie The Gladiator follows the monomyth of The Hero of a Thousand Faces by
J.Campbell. In following the sequence of the Call to Adventure, Initiation and Return of the
Hero.

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Works Cited
Ashe, Arthur. Good Reads. nd nd 2014. 23 10 2014 <http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/58200-trueheroism-is-remarkably-sober-very-undramatic-it-is-not>.
The Gladiator. Dir. Ridel Scott. Perf. Russel Crowe. 2000.
Hero of a Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell, Bollingen; Cmv edition (February 17, 2004)

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