The general rule of plot follows a rising action, climax, and falling action, and ending with a final moment or suspense. Aristotle believed that the plot was the key to any play, story, poem. He had a certain order that he believed certain elements were more important than others. Within the element of tragedy he regarded plot to being a single storyline that multitude of characters and events must follow. Aristotle’s poetics say the plot can have several incidents that are all connected but must represent one main action or climax as a complete whole. I believe that Gladiator the movie does follow Aristotle’s plot description. This is because there are many minor actions that ironically lead to his battle with the Commodus (being the person who actively opposes the lead character). Aristotle believed that there may be several incidents to lead to the climax some of these include, The Arrest of Maximus, Maximus Captured by Slave Traders and sold to Proximo, Maximus the Merciful, and ironically the when Plot is Discovered by Commodus. A climax doesn’t have to be a major action it can be a major change in the text to do with the protagonist (the leading or main character). In the film Gladiator, the climax is right at the end of the movie where things actually seem like they might work out for the hero and they might avoid their fate. Maximus defeats Commodus in battle in the Colosseum and from an audiences perspective he may not die in battle. This part of the film goes against Aristotle’s definition or a tragic hero because a character should have a worse fate than they deserve. But in the end he does get the fate that he doesn’t deserve and the audience is shocked when he falls to his death in the area after a stab wound from Commodus before the battle started. The final moment of suspense in gladiator is when Maximus defeats Commodus in battle in the Colosseum.
Maximus is the tragic hero in Gladiator because he portrays all 5 characteristics, these include, Hamartia, Peripeteia, Anagnorisis, Hubris, and Nemesis. For a character in the text to be described as a tragic hero they must show all or Aristotle’s traits. But for Maximus is a character who makes a judgment error that inevitably leads to his/her
own destruction. I believe that we experienced catharsis more with Maximus than we did with Lear because it is easier to understand a character visually and verbally rather than just reading. The emotions or pity and fear felt a-lot stronger