Essay: Spartacus Film

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Spartacus

The 1960 film Spartacus, directed by Stanley Kubrick, is a historical drama that also demonstrates different leadership goals, motives, and methods. Between Spartacus, Crassus, and Gracchus, only Spartacus demonstrates a noble form of leadership because he is selfless, courageous, and true to his ideals.

Unlike Crassus or Gracchus, Spartacus's goals, motives, and methods are all selfless. Both Crassus and Gracchus are politicians who desire to rule Rome. In one scene in the movie, Crassus stands before a crowd of Romans including the army. The army and audience chants "Crassus! Crassus!" Crassus seems to enjoy the adoration because he walks proudly and claims to be the leader who can fight the "evil" that is threatening civilization. Interestingly, Spartacus does exactly the opposite. Spartacus most clearly demonstrates his selfless nobility in the scene when all the slaves stand up and state, "I am Spartacus!" Here, Spartacus was ready to take responsibility and present himself to Crassus. He was willing to martyr himself for the greater good of the whole. Spartacus knew that he could have saved the lives of the other slaves if he turned himself in, which is the opposite of what either Crassus or Gracchus do throughout the movie. For example, Crassus does whatever he can to retain political power, including buying off people. Crassus's goal is power, his motives are selfish, and his methods are cruel. Gracchus is especially selfish and manipulative in his leadership style. His goal is also power, his motives are selfish, and his methods are unethical. Spartacus's main goal is liberty and justice for all the slaves. Spartacus is motivated by ethical duty. His methods are those of a warrior, but he never betrays a friend. Therefore, Spartacus is an extremely selfless leader, one who puts principles before his own personal glory.

Although Crassus and Gracchus act bravely at times, their courage is not nearly as genuine as Spartacus's. The final battle scene of the film illustrates the sharp difference between Spartacus's courage and Crassus's courage. Crassus has the political… [END OF PREVIEW]

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