Image: Prixel Creative / Lightstock


This epic film set in the second-century Roman Empire follows a general’s fall from power and subsequent struggle for revenge against a treacherous Caesar.


Gladiator follows Roman general Maximus as he loses power to corrupt Caesar Commodus and escapes from execution. Commodus also takes the only things that truly matter to Maximus—his family and farm in Spain. Maximus is forced to fight as a gladiator and eventually has an opportunity to destroy Commodus. Along the way, he stirs up a controversy over political authority in Rome.

This study will help you discuss the themes behind Gladiator's dramatic, deadly fighting scenes. How does the film differentiate between effective and corrupt leadership? What is the movie's vision of eternity? When Maximus has lost everything he loves, what motivates him to continue fighting?

Discussion Guide

• Movie Summary

• Discussing the Scenes *Bonus Material: DVD Scenes to Watch*

—Leadership Characteristics
(1 Timothy 3:1–4; Mark 9:33–35)

(Ecclesiastes 7:2; Philippians 1:21; John 3:16; Revelation 21:3–4)

(Romans 12:19–21; Matthew 5:44–47; Jeremiah 20:11–12)

• As the Credits Roll

Based On

Gladiator (DreamWorks 2000), rated R.

Photo © Copyright DreamWorks

Total number of pages

  • Word Document
  • SMG-MS0040-D