Gary Nuila

Ideal Manhood’s Hostile Brother — The Story of Cain and Abel — Gladiator Pt.2



 27 February 2018 In Gladiator the character of Maximus exemplifies the timeless attributes of classic manhood. He is an ideal man. But wherever you find an ideal man, why is it that you are likely to find his hostile, murderous brother— the archetypal story of Cain and Abel. In the movie, the aging  Roman emperor says Maximus is the “son I should have had.” The emperor cannot favor his real son Commodus because “Commodus is not a moral man.” Commodus and Maximus are not brothers, by blood, but the story emphasizes their symbolic brotherhood. While Maximus sacrifices and his sacrifices bring him the favor of God and life, Commodus also sacrifices. But Commodus’s sacrifices are not of the same quality, and hence do not have the same results as Maximus’s. Commodus yearns for the favor of his father, and the same kind of favor which life has shown to his brother Maximus. In essence, even Commodus wants to be Maximus. But Commodus is blinded to the ways in which Maximus had to partner with life and sac