Print this page

Commodus from Gladiator


My thoughts on Commodus

Even though he was the main villain of the movie, Commodus was the only character I could actually relate, too. I know how hard it is too please parents, who want you to be someone else. Trying to please them and become that person can be damaging and while I eventually decided to be myself, Commodus never gave up on trying to please his father. A father who always made him feel like he is not good enough.

While being thoughtless and cruel to his own son is not a justification for murder, I always feel with Commodus during that scene. Personally, I think Marc Aurel got off way too nicely. This guy systematically made his son feel worthless and unloved, he even had the gall to get a substitute son. Whose life he also made miserable quite often. If you recall, Maximus' life growing up with the royals wasn't described as all that wonderful and instead of allowing him to go home to his wife, he set him up to fulfill his crazy plan of restoring Rome to a be a republic (which is historically total crap).

Throughout the whole movie I just want to give a big hug. I'd also like to tell him a few things, because he is acting very short sighted, but at least I can understand the reason for that. He is trying to get the attention and love he was always denied. It is only fitting that later, when he realised that the only person that really mattered to him, his sister, did betray him, he snapped.


Commodus and his sister

It's almost heart-breaking to see how much he is in love with her, when she only fears and despises him. If the movie at least gave a good reason for that, she is set up as one of the good guys and yet she was so cold hearted and mean spirited. When Commodus began falling apart she only futhered it by giving him drugs.


Rating:


Brainpower:
Physical:
Skill:
Presence:
Sex Appeal:
Toughness:
Badness:

Brainpower:


His long term planning is not the best, but on a short time basis he is deadly and accurate.(6 out of 10)

Physical:


Prefers to let others do his dirty deeds, but likes the idea of going in and fighting, provided that he has an advantage. (4 out of 10)

Skill:


Mostly has people do things for him, but for someone who had little opportunity to fight he trained himself quite well. One should expect more political far sight from him, but he now how to please the masses. Still there is not much diversity shown. (4 out of 10)

Presence:


Physically he might not be that threatening, but once he is on a roll, his anger, the voice and his growing madness makes him a very intimidating fellow. (8 out of 10)

Sex Appeal:


There is something about the hurt type, that is very appealing to me and the reason why I can understand why people like hurt/comfort fanfics. I feel like pulling him close and never letting go trying to give him all the love and closeness he missed so far. I know it sounds cheesy, especially giving that he is not real, but that's how I feel. (7 out of 10)

Toughness:


Despite trying to appear as tough as a Gladiator, it is obvious that he lead a sheltered and comfortable life. Yet, he he did put up an impressive fight giving the circumstances. In the end he was just too hurt from the beginning to take much more. (5 out of 10)

Badness


Commodus certainly has a very mean streak and he knows to be cruel. For once, using sadisitic games to gain favours with his subjects and killing his own men for lying to him. Still, that is child's play on the villain playbook compared to ordering his men to rape and murder Maximus wife and then burn and kill everyone and everything he owned. What could be more evil then threatening the life of his nephew to force his sister to sleep with him? (10 out of 10)

Fanfiction involving Commodus


So far I have not read a fanfic that really blew me away, mostly some nice alternative endings, where Commodus is spared because some OFC intervenes on his behalf and nutures him back to health, some in between stories. What I really love to read is a story that is set in a more alternate story line and not so closely tied to the movie. Maybe something where Maximus was indeed killed at the beginning ...

I don't have more than vague ideas and certainly enough fanfics in the process.