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Men of –°onscience

Apology and the Gladiator are two different films, which has a mark in the film industry. The two films have characters that are used to present different themes. These films are based on philosophical facts. However, the two main characters, Socrates who is the chief character in Apology and Maximus the chief character in the film Gladiator, are portrayed to have the same character traits. At the same time, there are a number of traits that the two characters differ. At the beginning of the two films, the two are presented as have diverse character traits. However, as the films, continues, the two key characters are portrayed to have most of their traits in common. The main trait that runs the two films portrays the two men to be men of conscience. This paper will focus on the similarities between the character traits of Maximus and Socrates. The paper will also address the contrast of the character traits of the two.

Socrates though a man of conscience and philosophy is driven by piety. This is portrayed when he walks along the streets of Athens, to enquire more about human nature. Socrates walked through the streets of Athens discouraging the youth from following the gods the states recognized. He was also giving them new deities to follow. This is a similar trait compared to Maximus who spared the life of Tigris even after he was paid to kill him by Commodus. Commodus wanted to eliminate Maximus because his father intended to end the monarchy system of governance through leaving the throne to him. However, Commodus killed his father and took the throne. Since Maximus was not loyal to him he decided to kill him. To achieve this, Commodus paid Tigris who was a retired gladiator. Maximus action to spare the life of Tigris can be termed as a sign of piety. The reason as to why the two characters were not affected by the trait of piety is that they were guided by strict conscience principles. At the same time, the trait of piety did not prevent the two from sticking to what they believed.

Socrates was a man who used to stick to his own principles. He did not care about what the principles of the state were, but he was more focused on what he believed. After he was taken to the jury, he did not denounce the fact that he was influencing the young members of the society to believe in what he believed. Socrates went ahead to urge the members of the jury to believe in what he believed. The members of the jury were bitter with his stand to an extent of giving him a chance to choose the best punishment for him. He preferred a fine over imprisonment. The judges were bitter with the choice and sentenced him to a death penalty. However, Socrates was not intimidated by the verdict. He continued with his stand claiming that fearing death was to fear the unknown. At the same time, he claimed that death was a way to transfer the soul to god. As at the time of his death, Socrates was firm to the principles of his conscience. On the other hand, Maximus is another character from the film Gladiator who possesses the same trait. Maximus stood to his point and did not at any time become loyal to Commodus after he killed his father as a result of power greed. He faced many challenges that include exile, removal from power; loss of his family and at a time sold to slavery and later became a fighter. All these challenges were meant to make him change his mind and pay loyalty to Commodus. However, in spite of all these challenges Maximus did not change his mind. As at the time of his death, he had accomplished his mission of killing Commodus as he has pledged to himself. He also acquired victory through bringing back change in the leadership of his country.

The two characters are also portrayed to have some few differences. From the two films, it is evident that the two struggled with their consciences. However, for Maximus, he had a stoic informed conscience. This means that, Maximus was more enduring when compared to Socrates. This is derived from the different ways that the two characters survive in the two different films. From the two films, another difference can be noticed between the two characters. This is that, Socrates did not at any point in the film act cold towards his conscience. Throughout the film Apology, he stuck to his conscience and tried to convince other to support him. On the other hand, Maximus plays cold towards his conscience when he did not want to kill Commodus immediately after his return. While Socrates was influencing other to join him, it seems Maximus was in a way influenced by other to join them. This can be seen when he joined a group of people who had intensions of overthrowing Commodus. In this, the group wanted him to use the soldiers who were still loyal to him to overthrow Commodus power.

Maximus had some stoic beliefs which included cosmological as well as moral throughout the film. These believe made him become patient and stick to the principles of his conscience. These believe includes waiting for the right time to act, getting rid of influence and sticking to personal principles. Towards the conclusion of the film, Maximus is portrayed to be true with his conscience. As seen in the explanation above, at the end of the film Maximus journey ends with integration of him both act and stoic believe.

I identify with the ideals of Socrates. From this character, we can learn the ideology of standing firm to our principles without minding what other think about them. At the same time, Socrates offers a guiding idea of not fearing the unknown.