Romans - Portrayal of Romans in Film By Skyler Knopp Romans...

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Portrayal of Romans in Film By: Skyler Knopp Romans have captivated audiences internationally for centuries, being depicted on countless stages in various countries and, in more recent times, to great success on the big screen. They have been presented as noble, intelligent, ruthless, pompous, vain, compassionate, and so on depending on the performance venue and intended audience. In the largely successful films Spartacus (1960) and Ben-Hur (1959), the Romans are portrayed as cold and intelligent, though not heartless, which reinforces an audience’s interest in the characters’ multifaceted complexities. In the movie Spartacus, audiences primarily see select personalities of the slave rebellion, and yet still fewer individual Romans. However, the few that are present in the film certainly leave their impressions. For instance, Crassus; the primary antagonist of the tale, is a great Roman general/senator historically destined to become dictator of Rome. He exudes spite for the film’s protagonist; the slave leader Spartacus, but not without an understandable root. While initially Crassus may come across as simply an embodiment of lust for glory and power eager to deal out pain to whomever crosses his path, it is later revealed that his fear of Spartacus’s always being a more inspirational icon than himself is what motivates this hatred. This is not to say he is not power hungry, as he most certainly is. During the speech he gives describing the glory of the Roman army after approaching his servant Antoninus rather sexually, he reveals his desire to be
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Romans - Portrayal of Romans in Film By Skyler Knopp Romans...

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