Gladiator is an epic historical drama from the year 2000. The film was written by John Logan, David Franzoni, and William Nicholson, and directed by Ridley Scott. In this article, we bring you the best and most memorable Gladiator quotes from the movie.
Gladiator stars actors Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Oliver Reed, Connie Nielsen, Ralf Möller, and others. The movie follows Roman general by the name of Maximus Decimus Meridius (played by Russell Crowe), who is betrayed when Commodus (played by Joaquin Phoenix), the son of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, murders his father and seizes the throne.
The movie was a huge success at the movie theatres, with production cost and film budget amount at $103 million, and earning $460.5 million at movie theatres worldwide. This made Gladiator the second highest grossing movie of the year 2000.
Gladiator wasn’t only a box office success, as it also won 5 Academy Awards (Oscars) for Best Picture, Best Actor (Russell Crowe), Best Sound, Best Visual Effects, and Best Costume Design. Gladiator also received 4 BAFTA Awards for: Best Film, Best Production Design, Best Editing, and Best Cinematography.
Here is a sneak peek at the quotes in this article:
Table of Contents
- Maximus Quotes from Gladiator
- Commodus Quotes from Gladiator
- Lucilla Quotes from Gladiator
- Proximo Quotes from Gladiator
- Interesting Facts about Gladiator
Maximus Quotes from Gladiator
Maximus: Do you not understand? I may die in this cell tonight, or in the arena tomorrow. I am a slave! What possible difference can I make?
Maximus: My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius. Commander of the armies of the north, general of the Felix Legions. Loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.
Maximus: Brothers, what we do in life, echoes in eternity.
Maximus: Are you not entertained?! Are you not entertained?! Is this not why you’re here?!
Maximus: At my signal, unleash hell.
Maximus: Three weeks from now, I will be harvesting my crops. Imagine where you will be, and it will be so.
Maximus: A soldier has the advantage of being able to look his enemy in the eye.
Maximus: Dirt cleans off a lot easier than blood.
Maximus: If you find yourself alone, riding in green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled. For you are in Elysium, and you’re already dead!
Maximus: 5,000 of my men are out there in the freezing mud. 3,000 of them are bloodied and cleaved. 2,000 will never leave this place. I will not believe that they fought and died for nothing.
Maximus: I’ve seen much of the rest of the world. It is brutal and cruel and dark. Rome is the light.
Maximus: The time for honouring yourself will soon be at an end… Highness.
Maximus: I will win the crowd. I will give them something they’ve never seen before.
Maximus: The time for half measures and talk is over.
Maximus: Nothing happens to anyone that he is not fitted by nature to bear.
Maximus: Proximo, are you in danger of becoming a good man?
Maximus: Free my men. Senator Gracchus is to be reinstated. There was a dream that was Rome. It shall be realized. These are the wishes of Marcus Aurelius.
Maximus: I knew a man who once said, “Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back.”
Maximus: Ancestors, I ask you for your guidance. Blessed mother, come to me with the Gods’ desire for my future. Blessed father, watch over my wife and son with a ready sword. Whisper to them that I live only to hold them again, for all else is dust and air. Ancestors, I honour you and will try to live with the dignity that you have taught me.
Maximus: Whatever comes out of these gates, we’ve got a better chance of survival if we work together. Do you understand? If we stay together, we survive.
Maximus: I am required to kill, so I kill. That is enough.
Maximus: My name is Gladiator.
Marcus Aurelius: When was the last time you were home?
Maximus: Two years, two hundred and sixty-four days and this morning.
Commodus: The general who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an emperor. Striking story! But now, the people want to know how the story ends. Only a famous death will do. And what could be more glorious than to challenge the Emperor himself in the great arena?
Maximus: You would fight me?
Commodus: Why not? Do you think I am afraid?
Maximus: I think you’ve been afraid all your life.
Juba: Can they hear you?
Juba: Your family. In the afterlife.
Maximus: Oh yes.
Juba: What do you say to them?
Maximus: To my son, I tell him I will see him again soon. To keep his heels down while riding his horse. To my wife… that is not your business.
Maximus: Strength and honour.
Quintus: People should know when they are conquered.
Maximus: Would you, Quintus? Would I?
Marcus Aurelius: Won’t you accept this great honour that I have offered you?
Maximus: With all my heart, no.
Commodus: What am I going to do with you? You simply won’t… die. Are we so different, you and I? You take life when you have to… as I do.
Maximus: I have only one more life to take. Then it is done.
Gracchus: So, after Rome’s all yours, you just give it back to the people. Tell me why.
Maximus: Because that was a dying man’s last wish. I will kill Commodus. The fate of Rome, I leave to you.
Lucilla: This man wants what you want.
Maximus: Then have him kill Commodus!
Maximus: Roma Ignis.
Maximus: Do you remember what it was to have trust, Proximo?
Commodus Quotes from Gladiator
Commodus: Rise. Rise. Your fame is well deserved, Spaniard. I don’t think there’s ever been a gladiator to match you. As for this young man, he insists you are Hector reborn. Or was it Hercules? Why doesn’t the hero reveal himself and tell us all your real name? You do have a name.
Maximus : My name is Gladiator.
Commodus: The general who became a slave. A slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an emperor. Striking story! Now, the people want to know how the story ends. Only a famous death will do. And what could be more glorious than to challenge the Emperor himself in the great arena?
Commodus: You wrote to me once, listing the four chief virtues: Wisdom, justice, fortitude and temperance. As I read the list, I knew I had none of them. But I have other virtues, father. Ambition. That can be a virtue when it drives us to excel. Resourcefulness, courage, perhaps not on the battlefield, but… there are many forms of courage. Devotion, to my family and to you. But none of my virtues were on your list. Even then it was as if you didn’t want me for your son.
Commodus: All I’ve ever wanted was to live up to you, Caesar. Father.
Commodus: It’s a dream, a frightful dream… life is…
Commodus: Father. I would have butcher the whole world… if you would only love me!
Commodus: If you’re very good, tomorrow night I’ll tell you the story of emperor Claudius who was betrayed by those closest to him, by his own blood. They whispered in dark corners and went out late at night and conspired and conspired but the emperor Claudius knew they were up to something. He knew they were busy little bees. And one night he sat down with one of them and he looked at her and he said, “Tell me what you’ve been doing busy little bee or I shall strike down those dearest to you. You shall watch as I bathe in their blood.” And the emperor was heartbroken. The little bee had wounded him more deeply than anyone else could ever have done.
Commodus: Lucius will stay with me now. And if his mother so much as looks at me in a manner that displeases me, he will die. If she decides to be noble and takes her own life, he will die. And as for you, you will love me as I loved you. You will provide me with an heir of pure blood, so that Commodus and his progeny will rule for a thousand years. Am I not merciful? AM I NOT MERCIFUL!
Commodus: He sleeps so well because he is loved.
Commodus: I think I understand my own people. I call it love, Gracchus. The people are my children, I am their father. I shall hold them to my bosom and embrace them tightly…
Gracchus: Have you ever embraced someone dying of plague, sire?
Commodus: No, but if you interrupt me again, I assure you that you will.
Commodus: Your Emperor asks for your loyalty, Maximus. Take my hand, I only offer it once.
Commodus: And now they love Maximus for his mercy. So I can’t just kill him, or it makes me even more unmerciful! The whole thing’s like some crazed nightmare.
Commodus: It vexes me. I’m terribly vexed.
Lucilla Quotes from Gladiator
Lucilla: What did my father want with you?
Maximus: To wish me well before I leave for home.
Lucilla: You’re lying; I could always tell when you were lying because you were never any good at it.
Lucilla: I am tired of being strong. My brother hates all the world and you most of all.
Lucilla: Today I saw a slave become more powerful than the Emperor of Rome.
Lucilla: Is Rome worth one good man’s life? We believed it once. Make us believe it again. He was a soldier of Rome. honour him.
Lucilla: Please be quiet, brother! Your constant scheming gives me even more of a headache!
Proximo Quotes from Gladiator
Proximo: Those giraffes you sold me, they won’t mate. They just walk around, eating, and not mating. You sold me… queer giraffes. I want my money back.
Proximo: He knows too well how to manipulate the mob.
Maximus: Marcus Aurelius had a dream that was Rome, Proximo. That is not it. That is not it!
Proximo: Marcus Aurelius is dead, Maximus. We mortals are but shadows and dust. Shadows and dust, Maximus!
Proximo: Ultimately, we’re all dead men. Sadly, we cannot choose how but, what we can decide is how we meet that end, in order that we are remembered, as men.
Proximo: Congratulations, you have very persuasive friends.
Proximo: I am Proximo! I shall be closer to you for the next few days, which will be the last of your miserable lives, than that bitch of a mother who first brought you screaming into this world! I did not pay good money for your company. I paid it so that I might profit from your death. And just as your mother was there at your beginning, I shall be there at your end. And when you die – and die you shall – your transition will be to the sound of… Gladiators… I salute you.
Proximo: A long time ago, the emperor presented me with a rudis. It’s just a… a wooden sword. A symbol of your freedom. He touched me on the shoulder and I was free.
Maximus: You knew Marcus Aurelius?
Proximo: I didn’t say I knew him, I said he touched me on the shoulder once!
Proximo: Then listen to me. Learn from me. I wasn’t the best because I killed quickly. I was the best because the crowd loved me. Win the crowd and you’ll win your freedom.
Proximo: So Spaniard, we shall go to Rome together and have bloody adventures. And the great whore will suckle us until we are fat and happy and can suckle no more. And then, when enough men have died, perhaps you will have your freedom.
Proximo: Some of you are thinking that you won’t fight. Others, that you can’t fight. They all say that, until they’re out there.
Proximo: You’re good, Spaniard, but you’re not that good. You could be magnificent.
Proximo: I know that you are a man of your word, General. I know that you would die for honor, for Rome, for the memory of your ancestors. But as for me? I’m an entertainer.
Interesting Facts about Gladiator
After these touching and inspiring quotes, it’s time to share some interesting facts about Gladiator. Enjoy!
- It Could Have Been Mel Gibson – Today, we cannot imagine the movie Gladiator without Russell Crowe playing the part of Maximus, but it was actually Mel Gibson who was offered the part at first. Gibson, was the first choice to play the lead in the movie. However, he decided to turn in down, as he thought that he was too old for the part. You think he’s sorry for declining this opportunity or is it water under the bridge by now?
- The Screenplay of the Movie was Inspired by a Book – Gladiator is an original story, but was inspired by a 1958 novel that was titled “The Way of the Gladiator” by author Daniel P. Mannix. The title of the book was later changed, and it is now known as “Those About to Die.”
- During Production of the Movie an Actor Died – Sadly, Oliver Reed died during production of Gladiator, and never got to finish shooting the movie or see the end result. He had a drinking habit which could have been one of the causes to his death. During filming, Reed suffered a heart attack and found his death at the age of 61 years of age. In the movie, the character that Reed played (Proximo) was supposed to live all the way to the end, but Reed unfortunately died during production. So, production decided to use a computer-generated double instead, showing a few times during the movie.
- A Small Version of the Colosseum for the Movie – Most of the scenes of ancient Rome in Gladiator movie were shot in Malta, and this also included a small version of the Colosseum that was built especially for the movie. The replica that was built was one-third scale and if that sounds like something really small, then you should know that in reality, it was 52-feet tall and cost $1 million to build over 7 months.
- That’s Not a Real Wolf – In the movie, Maximus (played by Russell Crowe) has a pet wolf. However, due to the laws of England against importing wolves, production had to use a Tervuren Belgian Shepherd dog instead. Hey, who doesn’t like dogs, am I right?
- No Real Leather for Joaquin Phoenix – During the times of ancient Rome, leather was a big deal. However, Joaquin Phoenix is known to be a hardcore vegan. And so, all the leather you see him wear during the movie is in-fact synthetic and not animal by-product.
- Filming The Movie with an Unfinished Script – This may come as a surprise for a movie that won 5 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but production of the movie did not go smoothly. Filming of the movie began even before the script was finished. That is why William Nicholson was brought on to finish the script, making him the third screenwriter of the movie. There are those who say that Crowe was not so happy with the final version of the script, but it was enough so he will win an Academy Award for Best Actor, even if he thought the script was not good enough.