Gladiator Film Analysis

Over the next few weeks, you will be completing an online assessment that accounts for 20% of your overall grade. For this assessment, you will read the biographies of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus from Lives of the Late Caesars and view Ridley Scott’s film Gladiator. A link to watch the film online is provided on the course content tab. The prompt for this short paper is listed below. I have setup a dropbox for you to submit your 3-4 page assessment on D2L titled Gladiator Film Analysis. Please follow the instructions concerning format, and please only submit a paper in Microsoft Word, Pages, or PDF format.
Gladiator Paper Assignment

Complete your essay in 3-4 pages, double-spaced, with 12 point Times font.

History vs. Hollywood: View the 2000 film Gladiator.  In your paper you should discuss the relationship between the stories of the Emperors Marcus Aurelius and Commodus in the film and what you, as a historian, can reconstruct of what probably happened.  Your analysis should indicate at least 5 ways in which the film departs from historical sources, for which you must supply references to the texts, “Marcus Antoninus” and “Commodus” from Lives of the Caesars.  You should discuss the way that Ridley Scott interprets the history, and draw conclusions about how movies do not always reflect the way that history was, but can offer a valuable perspective on this event. Your focus will not be on the central story of Maximus, rather analyze the overall impression of Roman Emperorship portrayed in this film.


Formatting Requirements:

  1. Compose your essay in Microsoft Word or Pages.
  2. 3-4 full pages typed
  3. Double-spaced
  4. 12 pt font
  5. Times or Times New Roman font
  6. 1-inch margins all the way around the document
  7. Paper title and name at the top of page 1
  8. Do not use unnecessary, excessive spacing at the top of page 1.
  9. Use formal formatting and proofread.
  10. Do not use online resources.
  11. Only use or reference assigned readings and texts for this class.
  12. Cite any material you reference or quote from your textbooks.
  13. Be sure your essay is composed of your own words. Do not plagiarize.


Grading Criteria and Components:

  • Thesis Statement
  • Argument (compelling/convincing)
  • Mastery of the Readings, Lecture, and Video Material
  • Evidence/Examples
  • Accuracy
  • Answers Question
  • Formatting
  • Conclusion

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