Maximus Decimus Meridius: Do you find it difficult to do your duty? Cicero: Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to.
Gracchus: The beating heart of Rome is not the marble of the Senate, it's the sand of the Colosseum. He'll bring them death and they will love him for it.
Maximus Decimus Meridius: There was a dream that was Rome. It shall be realized. These are the wishes of Marcus Aurelius.
Lucilla: Is Rome worth one good man's life? We believed it once, make us believe it again.
Lucilla: Please be quiet, brother! Your constant scheming gives me even more of a headache!
[Maximus looks at images of his wife and son] Juba: Can they hear you? Maximus Decimus Meridius: Who? Juba: Your family. In the afterlife. Maximus Decimus Meridius: Oh yes. Juba: What do you say to them? Maximus Decimus Meridius: To my son -- I tell him I will see him again soon. To keep his heels down while riding his horse. To my wife... that is not your business.
Gracchus: I don't pretend to be a man of the people. But I do try to be a man for the people.
Gracchus: He enters Rome like a conquering hero. But what has he conquered? Falco: Give him time, Gracchus. He's young, he may do very well. Gracchus: For Rome, Falco? Or for you?
Lucilla: Today I saw a slave become more powerful than the Emperor of Rome.
[To his dead friend] Juba: I will see you again... but not yet. Not yet!
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 Decimus Meridius: You would fight me? Commodus: Why not? Do you think I am afraid? Maximus Decimus Meridius: I think you've been afraid all your life.
Lucilla: I want to help you. Maximus Decimus Meridius: Yes, you can help me... Forget you ever knew me, and never come back here again.
Maximus Decimus Meridius: I knew a man once 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 Decimus Meridius: You must know. He was your father. Commodus: You loved my father, I know. But so did I. That makes us brothers, doesn't it? Smile for me now, brother. [stabs him]
Maximus Decimus Meridius: At my signal, unleash hell.
[Watching Lucius sleep] Commodus: He sleeps so well because he is loved.
Maximus Decimus Meridius: What we do in life echoes in eternity.
Maximus Decimus Meridius: I am required to kill, so I kill. That is enough. Proximo: That's enough for the provinces, but not enough for Rome.
[after swiftly dispatching another gladiator] Maximus Decimus Meridius: Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?
Maximus Decimus Meridius: 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.
Quintus: People should know when they are conquered. Maximus Decimus Meridius: Would you, Quintus? Would I?
Marcus Aurelius: When was the last time you were home? Maximus Decimus Meridius: Two years, two hundred and sixty-four days and this morning.
Lucius Verus: Are you the one they call the Spaniard? Maximus Decimus Meridius: Yes. Lucius Verus: They said you were a giant. They said you could crush a man's skull with one hand. Maximus Decimus Meridius: A man's? No. A boy's?
Maximus Decimus Meridius: Five thousand of my men are out there in the freezing mud. Three thousand of them are bloodied and cleaved. Two thousand will never leave this place. I will not believe they fought and died for nothing.
Marcus Aurelius: There was a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile.
Maximus Decimus Meridius: Ancestors, I ask you for your guidance. Blessed mother, come to me with the Gods' desire for my future. Blessed father, watch over my wife and son with a ready sword. Whisper to them that I live only to hold them again, for all else is dust and air. Ancestors, I honor you and will try to live with the dignity that you have taught me.
Maximus Decimus Meridius: I may die here in this cell or in the arena tomorrrow. What possible difference can I make?
Gracchus: He will bring them death, and they will love him for it.
Gracchus: But the Senate IS the people, sire. Chosen from AMONG the people. To speak FOR the people. Commodus: I doubt if any of the people eat so well as you, Gracchus. Or have such splendid mistresses, Gaius.
Maximus Decimus Meridius: Strength and honor.
Commodus: It vexes me. I'm terribly vexed.
[addressing his troops] Maximus Decimus Meridius: If you find yourself alone, riding through green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled, for you are in Elysium, and are already dead.
Titus: We who are about to die salute you.
Proximo: Those giraffes you sold me,they won't mate. They just walk around, eating, and not mating. You sold me... queer giraffes. I want my money back.
Proximo: Listen to me. Learn from me. I was not the best because I killed quickly. I was the best because the crowd loved me. Win the crowd and you will win your freedom.
Maximus Decimus Meridius: You risk too much. Lucilla: I have much to pay for. Maximus Decimus Meridius: You have nothing to pay for.
Marcus Aurelius: Let us pretend that you are a loving daughter, and I am a good father. Lucilla: This is a pleasant fiction, is it not?
Maximus Decimus Meridius: Proximo, are you in danger of becoming a good man?
Lucilla: My brother hates all the world and you most of all. Maximus Decimus Meridius: Because your father chose me. Lucilla: No. Because my father loved you. And because I loved you.
[Looking at some slaves] Proximo: Can any of them fight? I've got a match coming up. Slave Trader: Some are good for fighting, others for dying. You need both, I think.
Proximo: [holding up a sword] Thrust this into another man's flesh, and they will applaud and love you for that. You may even begin to love them.
Proximo: Some of you are thinking that you won't fight. Others, that you can't fight. They all say that.
Proximo: In the end, we're all dead men. Sadly, we cannot choose how, or when. But what we can choose is how we decide to meet that end, so we are remembered forever as men.
Commodus: I think I understand my own people. Gracchus: Then perhaps Caeser will be so good as to teach us, out of his own extensive experience? Commodus: I call it love, Gracchus. The people are my children, I am their father. I shall hold them to my bosom and embrace them tightly-- Gracchus: Have you ever embraced someone dying of plague, sire? Commodus: No, but if you interrupt me again, I assure you that you will.
[Upon seeing the Coliseum for the first time.] Juba: I didn't know men could build such things.
Lucilla: Is Rome worth one good man's life? We believed it once. Make us believe it again. He was a soldier of Rome. Honor him.
Proximo: We mortals are but shadows and dust.
Gracchus: The beating heart of Rome is not the marble of the Senate. It is the sand of the Colosseum.
Marcus Aurelius: You have proven your valor once again, Maximus. Let us hope for the last time. Maximus Decimus Meridius: There is no one left to fight, sire. Marcus Aurelius: There is always someone left to fight. How can I reward Rome's greatest general? Maximus Decimus Meridius: Let me go home. Marcus Aurelius: Ah, home.
Marcus Aurelius: Won't you accept this great honor that I have offered you? Maximus Decimus Meridius: With all my heart, no. Marcus Aurelius: Maximus, that is why it must be you.
Juba: You have a great name. He must kill your name before he kills you.
Maximus Decimus Meridius: Marcus Aurelius had a dream that was Rome, Proximo. This is not it. This is not it!
Proximo: So Spaniard, we shall go to Rome together and have bloody adventures. And the great whore will suckle us until we are fat and happy and can suckle no more. And then, when enough men have died, perhaps you will have your freedom.
Commodus: You and I are not much different. You take life when you have to, as I do. Maximus Decimus Meridius: I have only one more life to take. Then it is done.
Commodus: Lucius will stay with me now. And if his mother so much as looks at me in a manner that displeases me, he will die. If she decides to be noble and takes her own life, he will die. [To Lucilla.] And as for you, you will love me as I loved you. You will provide me with an heir of pure blood, so that Commodus and his progeny will rule for a thousand years. Am I not merciful? AM I NOT MERCIFUL?
Commodus: If you're very good, tomorrow night I'll tell you the story of emperor Claudius who was betrayed by those closest to him, by his own blood. They whispered in dark corners and went out late at night and conspired and conspired but the emperor Claudius knew they were up to something. He knew they were busy little bees. And one night he sat down with one of them and he looked at her and he said, "Tell me what you've been doing busy little bee or I shall strike down those dearest to you. You shall watch as I bathe in their blood." And the emperor was heartbroken. The little bee had wounded him more deeply than anyone else could ever have done. And what do you think happened then, Lucius? Lucius Verus: I don't know, uncle. Commodus: The little bee told him everything.