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Quotes for
Maximus (Character)
from Gladiator (2000)

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Gladiator (2000)
[Maximus looks at images of his wife and son]
Juba: Can they hear you?
Maximus: Who?
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.

Cassius: On this day, we reach back to hallowed antiquity, to bring you a recreation of the second fall of the mighty Carthage!... On the barren plain of Zama, there stood the invincible armies of the barbarian Hannibal. Ferocious mercenaires and warriors from all brute nations, bent on merciless destruction, conquest. Your emperor is pleased to give you the barbarian horde!
[Crowd cheers]
Maximus: [while Cassius continues his introduction] Anyone here been in the army?
[an unknown gladiator responds yes and tells Maximus he served under his command at Vindobona]
Maximus: You can help me. 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.
Cassius: I'm pleased to bring to you the Legionnaires of Scipio Africanus!

Maximus: You don't find it hard to do your duty?
Cicero: Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to.

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.

Lucilla: I want to help you.
Maximus: Yes, you can help me... Forget you ever knew me, and never come back here again.

Maximus: I knew a man once who said, "Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back."
Commodus: I wonder, did your friend smile at his own death?
Maximus: You must know. He was your father.
Commodus: You loved my father, I know. But so did I. That makes us brothers, doesn't it? Smile for me now, brother.
[stabs him]

Maximus: At my signal, unleash hell.

Maximus: Five thousand of my men are out there in the freezing mud. Three thousand of them are bloodied and cleaved. Two thousand will never leave this place. I will not believe that they fought and died for nothing.
Marcus Aurelius: And what would you believe?
Maximus: They fought for you and for Rome.
Marcus Aurelius: And what is Rome, Maximus?
Maximus: I've seen much of the rest of the world. It is brutal and cruel and dark, Rome is the light.
Marcus Aurelius: Yet you have never been there. You have not seen what it has become. I am dying, Maximus. When a man sees his end... he wants to know there was some purpose to his life. How will the world speak my name in years to come? Will I be known as the philosopher? The warrior? The tyrant...? Or will I be the emperor who gave Rome back her true self? There was once a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish... it was so fragile. And I fear that it will not survive the winter.

Maximus: What we do in life echoes in eternity.

Maximus: I am required to kill, so I kill. That is enough.
Proximo: That's enough for the provinces, but not enough for Rome.

Maximus: [after swiftly dispatching another gladiator] Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?
Crowd: Spaniard, Spaniard, Spaniard...

Commodus: Rise. Rise.
[Maximus stands up, clenching an arrow head in his right hand]
Commodus: 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.
[turns away from Commodus]
Commodus: How dare you show your back to me! Slave, you will remove your helmet and tell me your name.
Maximus: [removes helmet and turns around to face Commodus] My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and 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.
[Commodus trembles in disbelief]
Quintus: Arms!
[Praetorians point their spears at the gladiators while the Colosseum crowd chants for them to live. Commodus shakes his head and motions the crowd for silence. He then raises his fist and reluctantly gives the thumbs-up signal]

Maximus: My name is Gladiator.

[Inspecting the gladiators through the bars, Lucius notices Maximus and motions him closer. Amused, Maximus complies]
Lucius Verus: Gladiator, are you the one they call the Spaniard?
Maximus: Yes.
Lucius Verus: They said you were a giant. They said you could crush a man's skull with one hand.
Maximus: [looks at his palm] A man's? No. A boy's...
[Lucius smiles, and points to the art on Maximus' armor]
Lucius Verus: They have good horses in Spain?
Maximus: Some of the best.
Maximus: This is Argento, and this is Scarto. They were my horses. They were taken from me.
Lucius Verus: I like you Spaniard, and I shall cheer for you.
Maximus: They let you watch the games?
Lucius Verus: My uncle says it makes me strong.
Maximus: And what does your father say?
Lucius Verus: My father's dead.
Lucius' Attendant: Master Lucius, it is time.
Lucius Verus: I have to go.
Maximus: Thy name is Lucius?
Lucius Verus: Lucius Verus, after my father.

Quintus: People should know when they are conquered.
Maximus: Would you, Quintus? Would I?

Marcus Aurelius: When was the last time you were home?
Maximus: Two years, two hundred and sixty-four days and this morning.

Maximus: Five thousand of my men are out there in the freezing mud. Three thousand of them are bloodied and cleaved. Two thousand will never leave this place. I will not believe they fought and died for nothing.

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 honor you and will try to live with the dignity that you have taught me.

Maximus: I may die here in this cell or in the arena tomorrow. What possible difference can I make?

Maximus: Strength and honor.

[addressing his troops]
Maximus: Fratres!
[Cavalry addresses Maximus]
Maximus: Three weeks from now, I will be harvesting my crops. Imagine where you will be, and it will be so. Hold the line! Stay with me! If you find yourself alone, riding in the green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled. For you are in Elysium, and you're already dead!
[Cavalry laughs]
Maximus: Brothers, what we do in life... echoes in eternity.

[as an executioner tries to draw his sword but can't]
Maximus: The frost, it sometimes makes the blade stick.
[kills the executioner]

Maximus: You risk too much.
Lucilla: I have much to pay for.
Maximus: You have nothing to pay for.

Proximo: Congratulations, you have very persuasive friends.
Lucilla: My brother's had Gracchus arrested. We daren't wait any longer. We must leave tonight. Proximo will be here t midnight and take you to the gate. Your servant, Cicero will be waiting there with horses.
[Maximus nods]
Maximus: You have done all this?
Lucilla: Yes.
Maximus: [sighs] You risk too much.
Lucilla: I have much to pay for.
[Maximus shakes his head]
Maximus: You have nothing to pay for. You love your son, you are strong for him.
Lucilla: I am tired of being strong.(sighs) My brother hates all the world and you most of all.
Maximus: Because your father chose me.
Lucilla: No because my father loved you... and because I loved you.
Maximus: A long time ago.
[kisses her hand]
Lucilla: [smiles] Was I very different then?
Maximus: (shakes his head, touches her face with his finger) You laughed more.
Lucilla: I have felt alone all my life, except with you. I must go.
Maximus: Yes.
[kisses Lucilla one last time]

Maximus: Are you in danger of becoming a good man, Proximo?
Proximo: Ha!

Lucilla: My brother hates all the world and you most of all.
Maximus: Because your father chose me.
Lucilla: No. Because my father loved you. And because I loved you.

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!

Marcus Aurelius: You have proven your valor once again, Maximus. Let us hope for the last time.
Maximus: There is no one left to fight, sire.
Marcus Aurelius: There is always someone left to fight. How can I reward Rome's greatest general?
Maximus: Let me go home.
Marcus Aurelius: Ah, home.

Marcus Aurelius: Won't you accept this great honor that I have offered you?
Maximus: With all my heart, no.
Marcus Aurelius: Maximus, that is why it must be you.

[after the final duel]
Maximus: Quintus! Release 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.

Commodus: You and I are not much different. You take life when you have to, as I do.
Maximus: I have only one more life to take. Then it is done.

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.
Maximus: I never acquired your comfort with it.
Lucilla: True, but then you never had to, life is more simple for a soldier. Or do you think me heartless?
Maximus: I think you have a talent for survival.

Quintus: Maximus, please be careful, that wasn't prudent.
Maximus: Prudent? The Emperor has been slain.

Maximus: [to Proximo] He killed the man who set you free.

Maximus: Roma Ignis

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.
Commodus: Then take it now.
[Maximus pauses, then turns around and walks away]
Commodus: They tell me your son...
[Maximus stops]
Commodus: ...squealed like a girl when they nailed him to the cross. And your wife... moaned like a whore when they ravaged her again and again... and again.
Maximus: The time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end.
[Bows head]
Maximus: Highness.

Gracchus: And after your glorious coup, what then? You take your five thousand and... leave?
Maximus: Yes, I will leave. The soldiers will stay here for your protection, under the guidance of the Senate.
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.
Gracchus: Marcus Aurelius trusted you. His daughter trusts you. I will trust you. Give me two days, and I will purchase your freedom. And you, stay alive, or I'll be dead.

Marcus Aurelius: Tell me again, Maximus, why are we here?
Maximus: For the glory of the Empire, sire.

[Maximus is about to ride out with the cavalry to fight the barbarians]
Quintus: Soldier! I told you to move those catapults forward. They're out of range.
Maximus: Range is good.
Quintus: The danger to the cavalry...
Maximus: Is acceptable. Agreed?

[to his men before a battle]
Maximus: Three weeks from now, I will be harvesting my crops. Imagine where you will be, and it will be so.

Maximus: Quintus, look at me. Look at me! Promise me that you'll look after my family.
Quintus: Your family will meet you in the afterlife.

[Lucilla tries to convince Maximus to conspire with Senator Gracchus]
Lucilla: This man wants what you want.
Maximus: Then have *him* kill Commodus!

Maximus: Do you remember what it was to have trust, Proximo?
Proximo: [unfamiliarly] Trust?

Maximus: [laughing] You knew Marcus Aurelius?
Proximo: [very quickly and defensively] I didn't say I knew him, I said he touched me on the shoulder once!

Maximus: [the negotiator is riding headless towards the army] They say, "No."

[last lines]
Maximus: Lucius is safe.

Maximus: Nothing happens to anyone that he is not fitted by nature to bear

Maximus: What we do in life echoes in eternity.