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.
Commodus: What is your name, gladiator?
[Maximus turns away.]
Commodus: How dare you show your back to me! You will remove your helmet and tell me your name!
[Maximus slowly turns and removes his helmet.]
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: 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.
Maximus: At my signal, unleash hell.
Lucilla: Today I saw a slave become more powerful than the Emperor of Rome.
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 are already dead!
Marcus Aurelius: 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: Strength and honor.
Maximus: What we do in life echoes in eternity.
Maximus: I once knew a man 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.
Maximus: I am required to kill, so I kill. That is enough.
Proximo: That’s enough for the provinces, but not enough for Rome.
Gracchus: He will bring them death, and they will love him for it.
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.
Quintus: People should know when they’re conquered.
Maximus: Would you, Quintus? Would I?
Gracchus: The Senate is the people, sire. Chosen from among the people, to speak for the people.
Commodus: They told me your boy 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.