17th June 2019

The Tragic Hero

  • Hero must be physically or spiritually wounded by his experiences – often resulting in death: Maximus has been broken down throughout this movie starting from where he has been ordered to be executed by his own army, next was his family crucified by the army and his house burnt down, then all of his gladiator brethren’s are slaughter due to his own action of rebellion and finally resulting in his death by the hands of the person who has wounded him. We have seen at the start of the film as a flashback sequence scenes of his home and his family through Scott’s use of jumpcuts, it shows us how significant it is to his character as he later explains to Marcus how it’s what he wants to go back to his home, or his place of hope. Cut forward to the point in the movie with his house burnt to a crisp and family slaughtered, the loss of his “home” symbolises the loss of hope and that sense of helplessness that is created by a close up shot of Maximus on his knees, mourning at the charred feet of his hanging wife causes a cathartic experience for the audience “He wounded you deeply didn’t he?” “No more than I have wounded him”
  • Hero’s story must arouse fear and sympathy – Carrying on from the last point, Aristotle believed that a tragic hero’s story has to lead to a cathartic experience

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