SPECTACLE

Posted: September 23, 2010 by Paul R Solomon in Uncategorized

KEY: Background image: night-time photograph of the Roman Colosseum, erected circa 70 BCE to 80 CE, Rome, Italy. Other images clockwise beginning top left: Russell Crowe as Maximus in the film Gladiator, directed by Ridley Scott, released in 2000; aerial photograph of the Colosseum; rendering of Cowboys Stadium, Arlington, Texas, by the architectural firm HKS, completed 2009 and site of Super Bowl XLV; Chad Javon Ochocinco, wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League – and – celebrity.

In the fast moving portion of class before Test 1 we focused on spectacle. Perhaps the most vivid illustration of spectacle we’ve considered in class thus far was an 11 minute clip from Ridley Scott’s fictional work Gladiator. What comparisons can you make between Roman spectacle of 2000 years ago and the kinds of spectacle we participate in today? Keep in mind that American football was only one example. Add comments that expand the discussion of spectacle, both ‘real’ and ‘fictional’. Keep in mind Formal Elements you studied this week. Read and refer to pages 40 and 41 in The Handbook regarding Time Arts and Performance Art. Last: consider the political uses of spectacle – then and now. Can you cite examples of spectacle produced by the government of the United States during the past decade? Please be as specific as possible.

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Comments
  1. eric coon says:

    The colosseum is magnificent. I watched a special on the History channel some time ago in which some modern architects tried to recreate the circular awning that hung over the audience heads. If I can remember right, they couldn’t figure out how it was erected. This goes to show how advanced the Romans were for their time.

    There were some strong similarities between american football (+ other sports) and gladiator battles in Rome. There are typically two sides or teams, and dominance is a main theme. Most people don’t like to admit it, but humans are generally attracted to scenes or themes of violence, whether it is simulated or real. We like to choose sides, naturally. Theses events are, after all, surrogate activities that mimic the fulfillment of the power process. We need this in our lives because we no longer hunt for our own food, build our own houses, or anything that is sincerely fulfilling.

    A good example of the U.S. Gov’t partaking in a spectacle of violence to excite emotions was the horribly disappointing “shock and awe” crapshoot which occured at the start of the (most current) “war” in Iraq. I get angry every time I think about it. I can vividly remember my step-father smiling in delight while watching multi-million dollar aircraft swoop in and destroy buildings, lives, hope. He felt a sense of patriotism and pride by sitting on a couch in suburbia, 15,000 miles away, watching people being murdered. The same stirring of emotions and empathy (or lack thereof) could be seen in ancient Rome.

  2. Tyree Lock says:

    Gladiator was definitely a form of a spectacle. You could tell by the camera switching many angles to get a better affect, the sound effects, and the slow motion. All of these things made my heart racing, palms sweating, and I caught myself closing my eyes at least once. Ridley Scott definitely had amazing graphics and sound effects that caught my emotions. I think that in any movie you need good sound effects and graphics so we as an audience can get into the movie. Personally a movie that doesn’t portray these qualities would be BORING. I am def. going to finish watching Gladiator because it was so interesting and had me engaged in the few minutes that i watched it. I can’t imagine what the rest of the movie has in store for me ;)

  3. shantay2010 says:

    As shown in the Gladiator, violence as far as in the style shown in the movie was a type of entertainment. The crowd got a thrill out of the sounds of sords slicing thoats and blood shed. Also the tackling and crashing of carriages Not bothering the fact people were dying. The style of the rome coloessum was created in a way were all of the audience could see everything no matter where they sat. If you take the facts here and compare them to the football staduim, you see that they resemble eachother. A round cylinder type of setting, tons of seats and a field where all the tackling and entertainment takes place. Today, football is kind of our style of what took place in gladiator except minus the sords, carriages, and blood war. It’s more safer and no deaths involved. Though they both share similiarities. They both wear protective gear and tackle the apposing team. They are both consider a sport; one just in ancient rome times and the other in today’s more modern world. They are types of entertainment to a huge crowd the roars and cheers for their team.

  4. Michael S. Thomas says:

    I feel that the recent surge in popularity of UFC/MMA fighting is the most analogous spectacle to what we saw in “Gladiator”. I think it’s undeniable that as long as their have been people on earth their has also been fighting. Furthermore people for the most part have always liked to watch fighting/violence. I think violence may appeal to our more primal instincts. I am not personally a huge fan of watching UFC/MMA fighting, but I must concede that it does command my attention when I have seen it. I also find it interesting that just as in “Gladiator” their is a certain reverence for fighters or “modern day gladiators”. I am not sure exactly why though. Maybe it’s because people respect the aura of fearlessness and self-reliance that combatants exude while engaged in melee.

  5. Paula Afuwah says:

    The only comparism I can make about the Roman spectacle of 2000 years ago to those of today is that there are entertaining. I have never watched Gladiator before but that part of the movie moved me and I was mad when you took it off and I could not see the end. The spectacle of today that I can think of are live concerts and music videos the artist create or put stunts together so they can be remembered no matter what about their work. Micheal Jackson was real spectacle about his video and that is why he is really remembered by all people all over the world. I may even say wedding all those fancy wedding are spectacle so much to look at and it affects us who attend them or watch them on TV. Today a lot of specatcle are being used but not in the same way the Romans did. Political wise i’m not really sure but due to the definition i have about spectacle the inauguration is spectacle it’s memorable and there is a lot to be seen and it affects the people who wanted the person to win or those that wanted the person to lose. The campaign team put together things for us to look at.

  6. andrewquesnelle says:

    To me as an American I would have to say that every Sunday in the fall and winter, there is an incredible spectacle being displayed, and that is the National Football League. Although baseball is our nation’s past time, the effect of watching and experiencing the sport of football whether it be on television or in the stadium is just a greater experience than baseball has become. We has human’s love action, we love seeing people give everything they have inside themselves and fight for the right to be victorious.

    Obviously though times have changed, these athletes are in the end playing for a pay check and it is quote unquote their jobs, and although it is perhaps the greatest spectacle we have today in America, I don’t think it compares to what we saw in the clip of the gladiator. They were fighting for their own lives, and to the enjoyment of the spectators and of the government’s leaders, who undoubtedly wanted to see blood, they wanted to see people die, to them that was enjoyment.

    What still intrigues me though, is the Colosseum, something that was constructed some 40-50 years after Jesus walked this earth, and it still stands today, and the model of stadiums we still see today can reflect the architecture of the Colosseeum. The Los Angeles Coliseum where the USC Trojan’s play football is built in many ways like the one in Rome, even being built nearly two millenniums after. Even something as extravagant as Cowboy’s stadium the new stadium built in Dallas, TX for the NFL’s Dallas Cowboy’s still possess’ many of the same ideal architectural ideas that the Roman’s had when building the Colosseum. So to be, personally it still blows my mind away.

    • Tiffany Halstead says:

      Andrew, yes I do believe that things have changed between our spectacle now of the football games we anticipate happening all week and back so many years ago in the coliseum. But in all they serve the same purpose and that is to entertain. Yes they used to have to entertain for their life but in a sense that was their job the same as it is every NFL players. We must obtain a job to survive through our society. Yes Tom Brady’s salary is extreme when compared to being able to live your life but there is still a link between the two. They are putting on a performance and making a living for ones self.

  7. Hailey Vollink says:

    I believe that people as a whole have transformed a lot over the years. Not only in how we physically look and wear, but also our morals. The Romans were used to seeing gladiators die on a regular basis, and it wasn’t a big deal. In fact, people enjoyed seeing people hurt and killed. That was their form of entertainment. However in today’s time, you would have to have a really sick mind to be watching a football game and feel happy when another player gets severely injured or killed. I am personally a huge Bengals fan, and if one of the Steelers were to get injured or killed during a game I wouldn’t be happy about it! It may be an advantage to the Bengals, however it’s a human being and it’s terrible to think of injury as a success.

  8. Esmeralda Balderas says:

    Gladiator is one of my favorite movies. It depicts the time of the gladiators very well. It has a lot of really good visuals that make you feel the suspense and how the actor in the movie feels. During the fighting scene the slowing down and speeding up of time really builds up the suspense. Also the music intensifies the action. I have been to Rome myself and visited the Coliseum. The recreating of the Coliseum in the movie is pretty good but not close to the experience of seeing it in person. It is huges and the architecture is amazing for its time period. It was made thousands of years ago and is still standing today. When I visited it, you can see the area where they kept the gladiators and the arean that they fought in. Underneath the Coliseum there are trap doors everywhere where they would release vicious animals like lions, which they show in another scene in Gladiator the movie. The movie is really good to help people understand the time of the Gladiators.

  9. Jennaka Vigansky says:

    I have never really watched the whole movie of the Gladiator. When I was watching it in class my palms were clammy and my heart was beating real fast. I did say a couple bad words and turned my head at a couple of the scenes in the film. Gladiator is an outstanding film from just the clip that I saw watched in class. I do believe that people in the world today like that kind of film making. You never see black or white movies anymore. You never see anything without blood or sex unless it’s a children’s movie and even sometimes there’s sex or sex talk in the children’s now a days. I think that the building Coliseum is a beautiful and important building. The romans took a lot of time and effort to build that building an I can’t believe it’s still standing as we speak.

    • Jerrica Danhoff says:

      I agree with you when you say that there is really no movies/shows now a days that don’t have sex or blood. I found out that even the cartoon Spongebob has things relating to sex in it. And if your a child you don’t realize what they are really talking about so I guess they think that makes it okay. I have never seen the movie Gladiator and just by watching that little scene makes me want to watch the whole movie because it was so entertaining. I also agree with you about the Coliseum, I know people who have went to see it and they said the pictures don’t do it justice. It is definitely a building that everyone should visit before they die.

  10. Cutler Ludington says:

    The emotions running through my veins as we watched Gladiator were nearly at par with how I would be behaving in that general setting. Palms sweaty, heart racing, and connection with the emotions of all participating are due to the majestic feeling put into work by a mastermind of directing. Having been to the Collusseum this past summer, I am at awe as to how these were put on. The mere size of it doubled with the shows that were put on really goes to show how the Romans were kings of nearly every aspect of life in their period. I really enjoyed the discussion following the clip as to how we get close to these kind of spectacles today. Sure, movies and concerts are great spectacles to bring excitement to the mind as “Gladiator” did, but imagine the feeling of being a Roman at one of these events.

  11. JailinKelly2 says:

    I think that it is very cool how the Romans were able to create arenas like the Coliseum, that have been standing for over 1000 years. Also how they designed their arenas and how it inspired modern day humans to design the ones today. They also inspired modern day sports such as football which can be related to gladiators. Actual gladiators were the toughest athletes around who would fight til the end, just as a football player today would.

  12. Adriya Booms says:

    Even though I get a little queasy during gory movies, the select scenes we watched from The Gladiator really sparked my interest, even if i did watch it through my hands. Right after that class I made my boyfriend go rent it so we could watch the whole thing, and I absolutely loved it. It is interesting that the topic of the class was “spectacle,” the movie took place in the Colosseum which is quite a spectacle all itself, and inside the Colosseum is where the gladiators fought for entertainment to the people, they also served as a spectacle.

    I’m not too sure that I agree with Eric Mardeusz’s theory on football players being the ” modern gladiators.” There are plenty of other sports or events that are far more brutal and draw in as much of a crowd as football. I have to admit the analogy between each position and their duty in the Roman army or army in general was good.

  13. Kathryn Roggenbuck says:

    Some of the other bloggers say that we don’t watch people fight for their lives anymore, but we do it in a way. We watch movies that are really violence that people die in, the people do not actually die, but we still find it enjoyable to watch. Some places in the world people still watch chicken fights, dog fights, and other cruel things done to animals and find enjoyment in it. So I believe that people today still love watching the same kind of spectacles, but we have technology so and laws set so this type of entertainment can’t be performed anymore. I believe that if we did not have the technology and laws we have today, people would still be watching people die for entertainment.

    • Kathryn Klein says:

      Kathryn, why do you think people enjoy watching acts of violence in real life such as a fight at school or a UFC match? In high school I remember my peers egging on fights and getting excited if there was a throw down in the hallways. In additon to real life violence, why do you think people attend movies, sporting events, and other forms of entertainment that contain blood, gore, and extreme violence? What is it about Americans that attracts us to harmful scenarios? I beleive it has to do with the ways in which we were raised and what type of morals we have. Also, our generation has been more acustomed to violence through media and technology and i know this plays a big role in the normalness and “not a big deal” attitude that most of our generation has about violence. I would love to hear yours, or someone elses input on this issue because it’s something i’ve always been curious about and your post sparked my interest.

  14. janardmasten says:

    The gladiator clip was action packed and fillled wwith a lot of blood. A NFL player has to play in an arena but it is not the same. A football player doesnt have to fight for his life every event. Chad ochocinco is a football player celeb. just as a winning gladiator would have been 2000 years ago.

    • Greg Spiekhout says:

      Gladiators might have been famous for being champion fighters but in the end they were still slaves unlike this ochocinco fellow. If you strip down the personal parts behind the actual people doing the activities they are very similar minus the amount of risk.

  15. Kellie Kunka says:

    Like many others, I have not seen the whole movie Gladiator, but I have seen that scene before. Both times I have seen that, I was intrigued. The visual affects were outstanding and literally made me feel like I was there, 2000 years ago, watching gladiators. I was getting into the fighting and it was so intense!
    Also like many others, a football team relates almost perfectly to gladiators. People today pay to watch men get hurt, dirty, and be rough with other men. 2000 years ago, people paid to watch men get hurt, dirty, and be rough with other men. It’s a perfect similarity. I also feel like wrestling is another example that could be used here. People pay just to watch others get hurt.
    In a sense, the whole concept of people watching other people get hurt is messed up, but it’s culture, and for that, I cannot argue.

  16. Jonathan Williams says:

    Seeing the Gladiator in class made me look at all the visual aspects that were put into the scene to make the movie what it is known for. One of the most impressive aspects was the venue. Such structures as the colosseum, that were built so long ago and still are influental in construction of modern day buildings, amazes me. The Romans obviously had a special ability to constuct buildings that inspire , and would last. It makes me wonder, what will future generations look to as our masterpiece? What has the modern area created that will be looked at for many years to come?

  17. janellmarie09 says:

    I had never seen the Spectacle before this class but I don’t think it would be a movie I could rent. I am not a big fan of blood and guts films. Rome was very beautiful and I would really love to go there someday. I thought it was kind of neat that the movie was shot in many different angles with multiple cameras it really gave it that cool effect. I would really love to visit a Colosseum one day to to see what it looks like.

  18. Kayla Bolter says:

    I love when we watch movies like this. Both Pulp Fiction and the clip from the Gladiator had me wanting more. I watched Pulp a few days ago and loved it. I will have to watch Gladiator and witness the spectacle aspect of it. It seems like I’ve been looking at things different now that I’m in DEARTS.

  19. John Carter says:

    I think it is amazing how the Romans were able to create structures such as the Coliseum that still stand today thousands of years later. Also the fact that the designs they used for their stadiums are the basis for how we design our modern stadiums, the events that are held in those stadiums, and how sports of current day are viewed in huge arenas. The picture of Chad Ochocinco under the gladiator can make a direct comparison about how football players are like the gladiators of today. It shows how back then the gladiators were the athletes that society would watch and root for, kind of like how football fans cheer on players in the NFL.

  20. shannon2014 says:

    2000 years ago Romans watched people fight and die for a source of entertainment. Today we do not use our entertainment to watch people fight for a life. But as i noticed the life styles were way different way back in the roman time. the action from the characters really make the audiences get involved to cheer along with them. the bright lights really focuses in on the violence going on. clearly the time of day was in the afternoon when the sun was still out. i think the lighting really had a lot to do with the setting on what was happening. a football stadium is sort of the same at the movie gladiator without the violence. the entertainment of football really draws the crowd in. people buy tickets to watch a type of entertainment that has hitting and a purpose and goal.

    • Lindsay Simonds says:

      I agree with your statement saying that we are different than the Romans were but I also wonder how different we really are..as a society we may not be as barbaric as the world was back then but even now, people watch dog fights and UFC fights as a source of entertainment. Dog fights might not be as openly accepted as going to watch a gladiator fight in Roman times but many people still haev the same urge to witness blood and violence and death but it just isn’t as accepted as it used to be.
      I also like the connection you made between the lighting in the Gladiator and the artificial lighting in a football stadium..that’s a really good observation, lighting definately has an impact on how we see entertainment.

      • arielweber says:

        I also agree with the statement you made about us being similar in some ways to the Romans. I am positive that people now would not sit and watch as other human beings died for entertainment but with some of the movies out there today one has to wonder how far people would go. Animals are one thing but humans seem to be a whole nother story when it comes to death. Fighting how ever there really is no line to what people find entertaining as long as both people live most find it entertaing despite the guts and gore.

  21. Latalia Thomas says:

    Omg i totally agree with erica..how can you attempt to compare football players to gladiators? A football player is out on that battle filed because he wants to be not because he has to be. When you fight in a war its because you have belief in a certain thing and you feel the need to fight for it. Not because its a trophy or a check waiting for you when its over.To me the modern day gladiators are ourselves and the battle field is all the obstacles we face to make it through the day.

  22. Allison May says:

    I have never seen the movie Gladiator before and just that little scene we saw in class made me go out and rent the movie. I’ve always wanted to go to Rome to see all the beautiful scenery like the coliseum. It’s kind of funny how we watch things like concerts and football games today and then you think about the Romans and them watching things in the coliseum was like the same thing. Also I never realized all the camera angles that went in to making one simple 3 second shot. It’s amazing how they have all the special effects that are able to make you understand and catch everything that is happening.

  23. Kayla Reinhackel says:

    I agree with the comparisons people are making between the gladiators in the Colosseum and football players in the stadium. Everyone comes to watch the events and be entertained. I also think comparing concerts or award shows is a close comparison with the Colosseum. When somebody wins an award and goes to the podium to give their speech, people are just as zoned into that as the audience was watching the battle in the movie Gladiator (same thing when someone is on stage at a concert). I have still never seen the full movie of Gladiator, but that clip made me very intrigued. The music and pace of certain clips made the movie great. That movie would never be on my “to watch” list, but class on Thursday made that change. Like we talked about in class, I experienced a lot of physiological symptoms and I didn’t even realize it until we were all asked. It made me kind of laugh because I thought those things would just happen to me during intense movies but apparently it happens to most people. :)

  24. torintaylor20 says:

    I have seen some parts of Gladiator, but the part we saw in class, I have never seen before. It was a action-filled part, and stirred up a lot of different emotions in the room. Some people were like this is a great part while others thought it was pretty dramatic, and stirred up a eye closing type moment. I personally got a good kick out of the scene. It was put together very nicely, and was very eye catching. That scene was one of the scenes that you cant miss! My first reaction to this seen was I opened my eyes really big when the first guy was killed, and from the point on I was fully focused on the scene.

    In the collage above, it seems like it is comparing football to the Colosseum. I look at is as sort of a good relation, while there is still some bad to the comparison as well. They both have their similarities and differences. They both are sort of a small war between two different groups of people, but in one event people die, but in the other event people get hurt. They both wear protective gear, but one has dangerous weapons, and the other uses their bodies as weapons. I like the comparison of the two because football is like a battle to survive the league and be the last one standing, but without the killing part. They both have a common goal, and thats do what ever it takes to win the battle. The main point to this is that they both are spectacles, and they provide great entertainment to those who watch. Football is one of Americas most watched sports, while the Colosseum has the same kind of attraction to the Romans!

  25. Emily Cernak says:

    When talking about Spectacle today there were so many examples of everyday things that we never really think about being a “spectacle” some events can be bigger than others depending on maybe to town or location the event is in. Never the less an event that is popular and entertaining is certainly a spectacle. The Gladiator was a great example. The size of the colosseum and the so many people came to watch the “barbarians” lose. Instead it was the opposite. Then describing all the physical effects of the body when watching a movie it made me think about how movies are a true form of art. I never really thought about how many kinds of physically effects the body goes through while experiencing a movie. This is the directors goal. To have all these effects without the person noticing the effects.

  26. awoodhams10 says:

    I personally believe that the movie “Gladiator” is an amazingly well done film. The way that its creators combined so many aspects of a great film so that it had such power is astounding. Whether it was the lighting, music, great acting, or dialogue, it created a powerful mood that catches the attention of the audience. It is interesting to look at the differences in what is viewed as a spectacle between back in Roman times and now. Obviously the Romans enjoyed extravagant events that glorified Rome and displayed its power. If we look at today, we find things less intense, such as a Super bowl to be a spectacle. It’s really interesting how entertainment has changed in our world over the centuries.

  27. Well, I have never seen the movie, Gladiators, but when i did see the clip I got a shaky and sweaty feeling. The change of the motion of the film and the sound affects of the sword fleshing the bodies, and the crowd enthusaism made me want to watch the whole movie. However, the movie blends in with the picture, because the football player uses the stadium to defeat there opponent. And, just as in the movie the gladiators used the Colosseum to defeat theirs.

  28. Torin Taylor says:

    I have seen some parts of Gladiator, but the part we saw in class, I have never seen before. It was a action-filled part, and stirred up a lot of different emotions in the room. Some people were like this is a great part while others thought it was pretty dramatic, and stirred up a eye closing type moment. I personally got a good kick out of the scene. It was put together very nicely, and was very eye catching. That scene was one of the scenes that you cant miss! My first reaction to this seen was I opened my eyes really big when the first guy was killed, and from the point on I was fully focused on the scene.

    In the collage above, it seems like it is comparing football to the Colosseum. I look at is as sort of a good relation, while there is still some bad to the comparison as well. They both have their similarities and differences. They both are sort of a small war between two different groups of people, but in one event people die, but in the other event people get hurt. They both wear protective gear, but one has dangerous weapons, and the other uses their bodies as weapons. I like the comparison of the two because football is like a battle to survive the league and be the last one standing, but without the killing part. They both have a common goal, and thats do what ever it takes to win the battle. The main point to this is that they both are spectacles, and they provide great entertainment to those who watch. Football is one of Americas most watched sports, while the Colosseum has the same kind of attraction to the Romans!

  29. abubakar Mustafa says:

    Sorry, i was the one that commented as chacha89 i forgot to change my username.

  30. chacha89 says:

    certainly one of the best movies of all time. It kind of shows how powerful the romans were in that time. Russel crowe did superbly in the movie, he was a hero and he stood and defended himself…..i had seen the movie over and over again and i would still love to watch more and more… my best part was when he had to fight against does lions and he had to defend himself, there was so much tension on that part of the movie and you could see the camera’s changing transitions and increasing sound effects.

    • casey kohls says:

      I boldly have to agree with you on the fact that this particular movie was very good. If it wasn’t for Russel Crowe I feel like the movie wouldn’t have the same effect on me. Not only did I get goose bumps from the actor’s intensity but also the camera angles strengthened the scenes making it very powerful. The audience around me reacted in emotional ways from covering their eyes to gleaming happiness and excitement. Adding to your statement, the changing transitions of the camera angles made my heart beat faster and faster as they changed continuously. This is a genius idea to stimulate the audience.

  31. Cori Mack says:

    I had never before seen the movie Gladiator before, but from the clip I saw in class, it really drew me in. Even though I really did not know what was fully going on, the way the scene was played out made me want to keep watching. I guess I never really sat down and thought about the way angles are shot, or the music in movies really create feelings inside a person, like you are actually there. When everyone in class was talking about the physical things that happened to them during the scene, I could totally relate. Movies are really an art. The fact that this was a huge spectacle during the Roman times made me realize just how much the world has changed. Our big spectacles include mainly recreational things like the Superbowl or concerts. War is not considered a likeable spectical in today’s society. It is viewed as either completly wrong or just something we must do to keep our country safe. No one would like to watch their family member or friends be harmed in doing so.

  32. Heidi Jimenez says:

    I have never seen the Gladiator, so I didn’t quit get what was going on. From what we saw in class i could definitely feel a power coming from the film. The music chosen was amazing and all the different camera angles just brought the clip together.

  33. seankehoe says:

    I am pretty gracious that now of days we have even more types of spectacles to choose from. If we still had gladiator fights and more violent entertainment like such, people who could not handle the violence would be forced to watch in order to be entertained. Now we can watch something as beautiful or graceful as an ice show, or still the knock down drag out boxing matches.

  34. Laken Wheeler says:

    The Romans were famous for their spectacles, even though majority of their culture relied heavily on Greek and Egyptian influences. Their exhibitions were a bit more innovative then what we’re used to but there are some similarities.

    In our generation we enjoy violence; not everyone but a good number of the population does. At sporting events, like professional wrestling, people like to see someone get knocked out by a metal chair to the head or a 9-foot ladder to the ribs. And when there is a big match coming up between two fierce rivals, their employers hype up the battle to be something that can’t be missed.

    The only thing that makes us different from the Romans is that our c. People would be shocked and horrified if they saw their favorite athlete die in front of their eyes. The Romans however, enjoyed watching their gladiators fight to the death. It proved to them all the more who was the most powerful empire.

    Roman spectacle has another way of being effective for its people. It provided entertainment, yes, but it was also a way for the Roman government to control its citizens. They would make criminals, prisoners of war and the like fight with wild animals and other people and most of the time, only one person would survive. They used this entertainment to instill fear into their citizens and to show them that if you defied the Roman empire you would end up on that Colosseum field.

  35. Latalia Thomas says:

    The Spectacle part of class to me was just a reminder of the gladiator inside of me. Just as the gladiators fight their wars i feel like there aint no other war out here worst than the obstacles we face everyday.When you come across an obstacle in your life and you find a way to overcome it that is you fighting that battle, everday i wake up and get ready to start my day that is me getting ready to enter the battle field of life. So bring it on world is what i say everyday, im ready to chopp off some heads of distraction lol.

    • Heidi Jimenez says:

      I total get what you are saying. Its like every persons life is there own personal war. You have to be prepared for what life throws at you.

  36. Justin Brown says:

    The spectacle part of class was interesting and gave me a good insight into the amount of artwork that goes into making the cinematic moments that were in gladiator and other movies. The clip that we watched was intense and showed me how they can edit and make the small colosseum into what looked like the roman colosseum. although football is a totally different spectacle than the ways of the Romans it still has a certain amount of the same art in creating a huge event that is view by thousands and creating a certain atmosphere.

  37. Kyle Betz says:

    The entire movie is something in its own. There are so many different aspects of the film that gets your senses and gets your emotions running wild. Just the stadium atmosphere in its own is something. When you see the barbarians first walk into the Coliseum you instantly are into the scene. As they walked into that scene I was thinking about how crazy it would be to witness one of these events. As a person you are about to watch someone of your own kind fight and battle for their life as you sit there and cheer for death one way or another. As a barbarian I couldn’t even begin to feel how scared they were. Your heart races not even to half of the rate that their hearts are beating at. They have to walk in knowing everyone is against them and that people want them to die. All the odds are stacked against you and you aren’t even supposed to contend. I could only imagine how that would feel. The adrenaline rush that would be beyond imaginable. When the scene goes on the special effects and the music really take your attention. You almost feel as if you are in the battle fighting for your life. After the scene is complete and the barbarians have somehow against all odds survived, you feel a sense of relief and joy for them because you felt like you were fighting with them. Its a sense of joy which the director of the film puts you through.

  38. Samantha Benson says:

    Does anyone know how many blogs we have to comment on or how we know what grade we’re getting for the ones we’ve previously posted?

  39. Antonio Henry, R says:

    I thought the replication of the Colosseum was amazing in Gladiator. Also learning about how cameras and music can intensify a moment, especially when the moment is only five seconds long. The test we took was sort of easy, even though I didn’t study. I feel if I would have studied I could have aced the test.

  40. Mike Zylik says:

    Spectacles of today and the past such as the Roman times are still the same except in todays spectacles we don’t want to see someone die, we just want to see someone get hit as hard as they possible can. Football is an example of this cause when there is a huge hit everyone gets excited and talks and that what the people in the coliseium did when someone died. The comparison is a big hit in football equals a death in the coliseium.

    • myeyonna28 says:

      I totally agree with what Mike Zylik stated. I am the type of person that loves to be entertained. Back then in Roman times they felt that watching a people get slaughted was entertaining as in this day and age we don’t wanna see people get slaughted. We rather see someone get hurt a little as opposed to dying for someones entertainment.

    • Husani Smartt says:

      I also agree with what Mike Zylik says above. In NASCAR, crashes are what people talk about the most and are what get people excited. The following day on sportscenter the names of all the drivers involved in the crash will be a much bigger headline than the top 10 finishers in the race. Crowds go crazy whenever players take off the gloves and start fighting the NHL. MMA is currently one of the fastest growing sports today and that is as close to watching gladiators fight as you can get in today’s world. Though it may sound barbaric, people find enjoyment in watching other people get hurt. That’s how it has been in the past, that is how it is now and I suspect that is how it will be in the future.

  41. Bailey Windle says:

    Spectacles have changed since the time of the roman empire. At that time the colleseum was used for showing a certain dominance that an emperor had over his people. The fact that by giving a thumbs up or down and thereby deciding someones fate, made people of the time fear and respect the power that the emperor had. Today a political spectacle doesn’t show the power of the government and its officials (with the exception of wars) it is meant to excite people not scare them.
    Sports are indeed a huge spectacle in our society today. We as a people “get into” our sports. We find ourselves losing control when something happens like a touchdown or a bad call. Whether the reaction is good or bad it still is a powerful reaction. Go to a Western football game and you’ll notice that every time we score the crowd screams and cheers of joy and triumph whereas if we lose the ball by interception or the other team scores there is screams and yells of anger and disbelief sometimes ending violently. And you start to hear some quite interesting cheers from the student section.

  42. jmchenry says:

    I found that the class on Wednesday was very enlightening, even though we have many spectacles in today’s date none of them even seem close to the amount of drama that enfolds in Gladiator. The mixture of camera angles and effects put me on the end of my seat. I cannot say that I have been on the end of my seat in a long time. I agree that football is truly a spectacle, but when the slaves go into the arena they go to fight and die. The instinct to fight for your life outweighs the glory of winning a superbowl. Its not like Roger Goodell or Barack Obama have the losing teams fate in their hands. The emperor could put his thumb up or down and the losing team would be executed.

    • Mike Zylik says:

      I have to agree. There are so many spectacles in everyday life; such as the Super Bowl. But when you compare winning a trophy to fighting for your life day after day just for someones entertainment, that is a spectacle everyone wants to look away but can’t. The clip we watched on thursday of Gladiator is a perfect example of what people like to consider a spectacle.

      • Meghan Chandler says:

        I also agree with you. I think that a spectacle shouldnt be defined as a huge event, like a large concert or something similiar. But rather a spectacle should be considered something that no matter how much you want to ignore it, not accept it, or look away you physically are not able to. A spectacle should captivate the body as a whole: physically, mentally, and emotionally. A spectacle should encompass a powerful emotion: such as fear for life, deep love, or worry. Theres a fine fine line between spectacle and “major event.”

      • Kayla Bolter says:

        That is a really good way of looking at it. In this class I like to think there isn’t a right or wrong answer and your comment just showed us that. In class everyone was looking at the term spectacle as some extravagent event, when really some of the smallest things can be considered spectacles. Can’t a spectacle be something you one person and not a spectacle to the other? Such as how one person can look at art and think one thing, while the other can take it a different way. This class frustrates me in the sense that I cant ever get a straight answer. I am a girl of logic and direct answers.

        On the other hand, I enjoyed the clip showed in class. Everytime we watch a movie in class such as Pulp fiction the first day it always pulls me in. I am a huge movie critic and I had to go home and watch Pulp, and when I get around to it I will be forced to watch Gladiator. I cant just watch part of a movie. But needless to say, watching the movie the Gladiator in class was a spectacle in itself. Couldn’t going to the movies be considered a spectacle or are we going back to claiming that it has to be a life changing event such as slicing a person in half with a sword.

      • Kayla Bolter says:

        I would agree with the both of you. This class drives me nuts because it doesn’t seem like there is a right or wrong answer ever. I am a girl of logic and most of the time we talk about things that we will never truly know the right answer to. We cant go back in time and ask a painter why they painted something, I think that a lot of the time we will be disappointed in what that answer might be. Maybe the painter said they painted a picture because they were bored, but here we are all sitting around talking about how it resembles faith and religion and this person was just bored one day. So to go with the whole spectacle thing, I think that these comments show us that one person takes a spectacle as a major life changing event while the other believes that it could be sometime small like witnessing a small event happen as compared to something big.

        As far as the movie goes, I think it is an example of a spectacle, but couldn’t us watching the movie be considered a spectacle as well? Maybe I am taking the term “spectacle” the wrong way. But the way I see it, we make our own spectacles. Something we watch or something that happens everyday. Alot of political things are considered spectacles, but I think we have a lot more examples of spectacles in our life than we know of.

  43. Holly Navarro says:

    I have never seen Gladiator before and watching that clip reminded me of a wrestling or boxing match that would be on the t.v now a days. Many of us watch these fights on the television and get really into it. Wrestling and Boxing were made to entertain us and I think are definite spectacles in our society. Comparing the Roman spectacles and our spectacles of today there are some similarities. We still enjoy watching a form of violence, like people hitting or throwing each other. I have never been to a live boxing match, but I did go to someone’s home and watched it there with a lot of people. Everyone was getting into it, yelling, moving their hands and their bodies. I remember watching them from a far and noticing how funny they looked. I think watching a spectacle, in turn makes you a spectacle. I was honestly entertained by the people around me more then the boxing match on the big screen t.v.

  44. Lauren Steele says:

    Spectacles today are very different, yet can be somewhat similar to the spectacles we observe today. Like the movie The Gladiator, back then people enjoyed watching barbarians kill each other for entertainment, we no longer see this today. Although we sometimes find a thrill in action or horror movies watching people get cut up all bloody and what not, we know that that these are fictional examples of spectacles unlike these real fights in coliseums. People back in the day still went to concerts, plays, sporting events, and so forth. For the past centuries people have watched election speeches, political debates, entertainment award shows, etc. I feel that spectacles will live on forever. People always need some sort of entertainment in their lives. Although forms of spectacles may change throughout the decades, we will always be wanting more.

  45. jmf126 says:

    While watching the clip in class today, I began really enjoying the violence and the death. And I think the reason for that is when a large amount of people are cheering for something it makes you want to cheer too. That’s what makes spectacles so interesting. For example the Super bowl, my mom never watches football but ever year she watches the super bowl. I guess because everyone else is watching it. I’m not trying to be sexist but a lot of females don’t particularly watches sports but if they go to a game most of them are cheering louder then men. And also at concerts, I attended a jay-z concrete a couple of years ago and it was one of the best experiences in my life. I guess everyone cheering and liking one person at the sometime really pumps you up.

    Jordan M. France

    • aprilannes says:

      I definitely agree with Jordan’s comment that when lots of people are cheering for something it makes you want to cheer, too. I, like Jordan’s mom, do not like the actual game of football and only ever watch the super bowl, and even then not every year. For example, last year I only watched it because my dorm was giving away free pizza, drinks, and snacks if we went to the lounge to watch it. And who doesn’t like free food? I do, however, love hockey, partly because of the cheering and WMU’s awesome student section, but also because I understand the techniques and rules of hockey, and do not in football.

  46. Cieara Franklin says:

    While watching the short clip of Gladiator it brought back a memory I have from a couple of years ago when I went to Midieval Times in Chicago. The loud music, bright colorful lighting, and action from the actors and horses definitley made it a spectacle. The tournament highlighted what times and fights were like back in the mideival times. It was extremely exciting and had everyone in the audience feeling as if they were really back in the 11th century. Each group had a different color and that was the team you were on so everyone was anxious and excited to see their team win, no different than the audience in Gladiator. Watching the movie clip and the show in Chicago also made me realize how the style of fiighting back during that time was an art. The fact that actors are even able to renact it makes it an art. They fought and used their weapons in unique ways in order to get a victory.

    • Meghan Chandler says:

      I have also been to Medieval Times in chicago a few times and i agree completely. The feeling of blind faith in your knight is similar to the faith the audience had in their “team” for Gladiator. Both examples rooted for the teams in the hope they would win, i guess the big difference though is that in Gladiator someone was expected to win, and that didnt happen. While at Medieval Times, there is a fair chance. But the emotions are the same: your adrenaline is rushing in anticipation for the result. You also feel like you have gone back in time where things were if not simpler, at least done in a more simple manner. You fight for what you want, and the winner, well, wins.

  47. Tiera Williams says:

    In the last class the example of spectacle was given by the movie “Gladiator”. In this movie the Gladiators were fighting till death for entertainment! Just that shows how different our society today is and how they were entertained then. Today we still have a form of theater, but for entertainment purposes it is all an act. No one is seriously injured or worse killed on intentionally. But, we must look at the facts they didnt have the technology we have today that enables us to have “safe” entertainment.

    Other forms of spectacle are baseball games, live concerts, or simply just everyday things we watch on tv. Now in society we have cell phones that connects us to the internet to watch things like video on youtube, and Ipods that let us download movies. (more forms of spectacle) Spectacle comes in many forms in this generation in comparison to 2000 years ago.

  48. Katrina Heffron says:

    I have never seen the movie Gladiator before. When thinking about how I physically reacted to the clip shown, I pretty much flinched a few times and narrowed my eyes many times. Honestly I think it the movie looked interesting from just that one scene. I am happy that times have changed and things such as that are not watched for entertainment anymore, or at least not to my knowledge. It was a great example as to what a spectacle was, according to that time period at least. Today’s spectacles are concerts, sport games, circus’…anything that brings together a ton of people for entertainment, or at least gains much attention from the public eye.

  49. Troy Stragier says:

    Today we see all kinds of spectacles, some to entertain us, and others to get us to see certain points of view. For instance a big spectacle that I can think of is motocross, for those people who may have seen it or haven’t, its really amazing. They start out with a whole football stadium dark and then they start with some music to set the mood than all of a sudden there’s lights, fireworks all on the racers as they introduce them they ride out preforming small tricks to get the crowd going, and that’s not even getting to the race! This kind of event gives me that feeling of adrenaline and antz-e-ness, the same kind of feeling I got when we watched the short clip in the gladiator when the barbarians gathered in a circle to protect each other and Maximus was yelling/commanding the men to work together brought up that felling to me because I wanted to see Maximus and his men defeat the other warriors. Now keeping in mind politics like in the movie “Gladiator” Ceasar tried to recreate the battle where the romans defeated the barbarians, but in the recreation the barbarians beat the romans. Like today we have many underdogs that rise up to challenges, like this past year a racer by the name of Ryan Dungy was a supercross lights competitor. He stepped up to the pros the past year, no one really k new his name to begin with but it didn’t take long and he ended up winning the supercross title. It was a huge spectacle for someone who was really barley known to come out of nowhere and dominate the field.

  50. Michael Abbott says:

    A way you might be able to compare a spectacle from the times of Ancient Rome and the United States today (or at least some states today) could be the execution of prisoners. People came to see the “barbarians” be killed at the coliseum for many reasons I’m sure, but for some it was just the satisfaction. The people were there to witness death. They hated…or at least believed they hated…the men/gladiators sent into the arena and hoped to see them killed. Today if a person is to kill someone and be put on death row is now that same “barbarian” from Roman times. Now the people that may have been affected by the death of a loved one or friend because of murder wants the satisfaction of seeing that person that brought them pain, come to and end and be killed. Is it the same?…I’m not sure, but it sure sounds like it to me.

  51. Hillary Oppertshauser says:

    In our handbook it says that photography is done with the desire to capture a moment or to posses a faithful reproduction of the world in ages old. Although cameras were not around during the time of gladiators, this was still done by recreating battles with the gladiators as the fighters. 2000 years ago the Romans used many spectacles to entertain people and this is still done today. In the movie “Gladiator” the main spectacle was for people to come and watch the gladiators fight for their lives. Today we have the Olympics and even though people do not fight for their lives, in a way they are. Many athletes train many hours a day and work really hard to get the chance to compete in the games. Some countries such as China and Japan train their athletes super hard and if they get a medal then the athlete is praised but if they lose they are nothing and live a horrible life when they return to their country. So even though the athlete does not have to face death…in a way they face something worse because they are ashamed because they let their country down. The olympics is a huge spectacle because it brings many countries together, even in times of war. Millions of people watch the olympic games and we cheer when our country wins and feel happy for them but when we see them cry because they lost, we cry to because we see the emotions on there face and know how much they sacrificed to get there.
    There have been many spectacles produced by the government of the United States during the past decade. One example of a spectacle were the many presidential candidate debates. These debates were huge spectacles because many people in the US watched them, we wanted to hear the candidates ideas and see who aways had the best answers or comebacks to a put down that the other candidate said to them. These debates brought out the best in some candidates but also showed that others were weak. Also another spectacle in US government was the fact that Obama was an African American running for office and Hillary Clinton was a women running for office. Most people in the US that never watch the elections before did during this election because it was making history. As you can see spectacles are everywhere in the World and always will be.

    • Megan Balcom says:

      It is interesting that although cameras could not be used to show the past that instead battle scences were acted out. I had never seen Gladiator before and I honestly didn’t know the Roman’s used peoples live’s to create a spectacle.
      The Olympics are a great comparision to the spectacles of 2000 years ago. I agree with the comment that in a way people fight for their lives, because all the Olympic althletes make sports, training, and winning their whole life. Competing is a battle in itself. The Romans died when they lost while reinacting a battle scene as a spectacle for others to watch. Olympians do return home ashamed when they leave, and although its obviously not as bad as a death sentence, it’s a hard thing to deal with.
      The clip from Gladiator got everyone’s adrenaline going, palms sweating, heart racing, learning forward in their seats, etc. While spectators watch the Olympics they experience the same physiological changes.
      The United States government seems to always be producing some kind of spectacle. The presidental candidates debate is an excellent example. The debates weren’t really about who was the better candidate but about how hard one candidate could be on another. I think the debates mostly brought out the worst in the candidates, and we could barely see any of their good qualities.
      Another spectacle is when Sarah Palin’s daughter,Bristol got pregnant at 17.It was turned into countrywide gossip/news. Not only was attention brought on Bristol, but on Sarah Palin also. Their are so many girls that get pregnant at a young age but this pregancy was a big deal and a huge spectacle because of who her mother was. People enjoyed hearing gossip about it such as who the father was, how bad it looked that she was such a young age, what her mother would say about it, etc. Bristol Palin’s pregnancy is a great example of a government based spectacle because people just sat back and watched a situation in her life like it was a show.

  52. Bread and circuses were what the Romans demanded of their emperors, and for more than 500 years spectacular events in amphitheaters, circuses, and theaters were the most important leisure activities of the masses in all parts of the Roman Empire. In Rome itself, public holidays featuring magnificent and costly shows occupied more than half the year. Comedies and tragedies, pantomimes and bawdy folk plays were staged in the theaters, while in the arena of the Colosseum, opened in a.d. 80, gladiators fought in pairs or with wild animals to satisfy the blood lust of the crowd, and hundreds of thousands of race-goers packed the stands of the Circus Maximus to enjoy the thrills of chariot racing. The organization of games came to be part and parcel of electioneering in towns and cities and was increasingly used as a means to consolidate the power of the reigning emperor. Like the sports stars of today, the top gladiators, charioteers, and actors were folk heroes, and the power of their universal appeal was recognized and exploited by politicians and emperors alike. Two thousand years later, the Roman games may seem remote, but, they satisfied the same need for excitement and hero-worship that gives rise to the intense media coverage of sports in our own time. Instead of killing people we have boxing and wrestling, where they fight for victory, but there are limitations. Half the yr. isn’t spent on leisurely games and etc… anymore but we do have the soul circus come once a yr in Early September. We have comedy shows downtown at the Fox throughout the yr. so; we have events all throughout the yr. I just wouldn’t say they occupy most of the year. Now, we have gangs of ignorant and childish people that will fight and kill in groups over stuff like Cardier frames, and shoes, and cars… We don’t kill using horses, and now we just have horse racing. But in Spain, they have Bull fighting, try to kill the bull. So back 2000 yrs. ago they didn’t have films they only had plays now we have films and plays.
    My Fictional Spectacle and citation of spectacle of the government

    The Celluloid President: Images of Presidential Leadership in Hollywood Movies
    ________________________________________
    Hollywood movies to describe Bush’s spectacle, because such descriptions accurately capture the conceptual slippage between media spectacle and Hollywood film. Like Hollywood movies, spectacles trade on easily recognizable character traits, uncluttered, coherently scripted narratives, and details played for their broader symbolic value. Perhaps more importantly, both are quite literally designed to be crowd-pleasers. Indeed, given the historical confluence of the development of the modern presidency and the birth of Hollywood movies, the similarity between the president as popular leader and the president as “leading man” is striking. Indeed, it would seem that the role of leading man was one which the president was destined to play. While the presidential spectacle is designed to bolster the image of a particular president’s leadership, it does so by trading on the idea and images of presidential leadership itself. The images of leadership that constitute presidential spectacles must be tailored both to the particular president’s public image and to the political exigencies he confronts, 5 but because of the general expectation of leadership—that presidents are seen as “presidential” through the demonstration of leadership—the president can become a sort of stock character in these spectacles. There remains, and must remain, room for embellishment, but the need to appear “presidential” functions as a constraint on the images of presidential leadership as much as it constitutes an invaluable political resource. Whatever spectacles do to bolster (or on occasion tarnish) the image of any given president, they also serve to mythologize presidential leadership. Moreover, through spectacle the president becomes not simply an individual entrusted with constitutional powers, but a recognizable figure imbued with symbolic meaning. The high media visibility, symbolic value, and expectations of strong leadership that characterize the modern president also lay the groundwork for the president to be believable as a broader character type, and given the popular iconography that follows the president’s visibility it is perhaps unsurprising that he should frequently appear as a fictional character in Hollywood films. 6 Indeed, the fictional representation of presidents 5 Miroff, “The Presidential Spectacle,” p. 259. 6 What is interesting about Hollywood portrayals of the president is that while they can be found at least as early as D. W. Griffith’s Abraham Lincoln in The Birth of a Nation (1915), they have become both more frequent, and more fictional. Earlier films tended to focus on the representation of actual presidents (either through the form of biopics, or broader historical films featuring specific presidents), but beginning around the 1980’s there is an overall increase in presidential cinematic portrayals, and these portrayals increasingly portray fictional presidents. Thus while the Hollywood film predates the presidential spectacle, the era of spectacle might be said to have made fictional representations more believable. For an exhaustive list of Hollywood films featuring presidents. Citation:
    http://www.h-net.org/~filmhis/presidentialfilms/films1.html 3

  53. Lauren Rinke says:

    Comparisons between the Roman spectacles 2000 years ago and the kinds of spectacles we participate in today are that they are both forms of entertainment, they both attract large audiences, and that both in recent history and in the present are violent forms of spectacles. For example, whereas in Rome 2000 years ago two slaves were pitted against each other in a fight to the death for the entertainment of the masses, modern man has very similar types of events such as bullfighting, dog and cock fighting, and even boxing and and mixed martial arts. War in itself could even be considered a spectacle if you look at it in the perspective of those who participate in it. I also agree with Chris who said that the inauguration of President Obama was a really huge spectacle. The crowd reactions such as yelling, cheering, and clapping are a huge similarity between spectacles back then and now. Other more violent spectacles performed by our government and the governments of other countries include the Detroit race riots, the destruction of the Berlin wall, and the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Another historical example is the First Battle of Bull Run, in which many civilians lined up along the sidelines and even had picnics as they watched Union and Confederate collided for the first time.

    Watching the movie Gladiator in class really helped me to understand what a spectacle was. I have seen the movie before and I thought it was excellent but I never picked out details about the formal elements in the movie like the camera angles and amplified sound before. It was really interesting to learn about not only what a spectacle meant but how directors and film editors can draw emotional and physical responses out of you. The use of color, the detail, the environment, and even the dialogue were all formal elements that added to the experience of watching that fight scene.

    My favorite aspect of spectacles is the emotional and physical response you get out of them. When you experience something live it is nothing compared to watching it on television or hearing it on the radio. It makes you feel a part of what is going on. You are experiencing it first hand. What makes it really cool to me as well is that you are experiencing it with other people. If you see something that really amazes you or really scares you some people have a tendency to want to tell someone about it right away. When you are watching a spectacle such as a football game, and your home team scores a touchdown, you know that everyone around you feels and sees what you just did. The feeling is unforgettable.

    • Reina Post says:

      I totally agree that it was really neat to notice all the camera angles from the movie. I have also seen it before but never noticed those little details. I do agree with you that Spectacle is just a form of entertainment. I agree with you that violence is a form of spectacle because because the Romans 2000 had lots of fights as seen in the movies as same goes to the athens and spartans. Still today Americans like seeing violence in movies and TV shows. People find it entertaining with the surround sounds and and the effects and the intensity of the battle. I have seen gladiator once before but in a very long time ago and the second time watching that clip had more of an effect being that it was so intense and heart racing and mind blowing.

      • awoodhams10 says:

        I agree with the comment about how we still enjoy seeing violence today in movies. It is interesting how that has been a common trend in entertainment over many cultures in our world for centuries.

  54. aprilpietrykowski says:

    In class as we watched the gladiator i felt an intense feeling. The feeling you get when your about to play a huge game and your so nervous and excited that you don’t know if you should throw up or run to the bathroom. Watching the characters get ready to battle I imagined myself in their position, getting ready to lose my life or survive, I imagine that they were feeling the way that I did. Emotions can take you over by surprise and effect your abilities, but in the movie it seemed like the character had it all under control and not letting his emotions get the best of him. A comparison to this movie that I thought of was back then when people were killed by gas chambers. They werent expecting to be killed and didnt know what was going on. Just like in this movie, these characters didnt expect that they had to fight for their life. Also, the king and the spectators didnt expect the gladiators to win, since all they had for protection was a flimsy sword and a shield. You always have to “expect the unexpected,” at any time something can happen that can change everything, like in the movie.

  55. Greg Spiekhout says:

    When i think of a spectacle i think about things that i have never seen before that make my emotions go crazy. Whether it would be gladiators fighting or football players pummeling each other there is one constant throughout. That constant would be the human nature for people to watch others go through things they wouldn’t want or are unable to go through themselves. 2000 years ago people went to see the gladiator shows to watch men battle to the death like we would watch a boxing match waiting for someone to get knocked out. They are all violent to the point where it is amazing to the viewer. In other cases, like sporting events (without physical contact), the viewer goes to see someone do something that they themselves cannot achieve like a professional skateboarder doing flips and spins and somehow landing or a tight rope walker. So whatever year the spectacle is taking place it is the WOW factor of the never seen before that links them all together.

    • Alexis Bradshaw says:

      I completing agree. The film Gladiator was was not only a movie that turns your senses all the way up, but also was a great example of beating that norm or going over the levels. Loved the fact that the characters fought as a team to defeat their opponents. They knew that it took all of them to win and required a team effort. Which reminds me of sports teams that work together to win “battles” like the national basketball competitions or a big baseball tournament. Those events are just the spectacles that popped in to my head in class today. I really liked with you said WOW factor..:) Even though i seen Gladiator a handful of times I always get that WOW factor that your talking about. The energy that flows out of the film leaves me with goosebumps from start to finish.

    • schnitzmuffin says:

      (William) Evan Wenger here.

      I agree with you on the point that the spectacle taking place is emphasized by the WOW factor. As you mentioned, a spectacle doesn’t need to be violent. A lot of people are commenting on how American Football is like the modern day gladiatorial circuit, but it certainly isn’t the only form of spectacle.

      A true spectacle comes out of the last place you’d expect. As an example I’ll refer to my favorite band, the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They first gained a reputation as being an outrageous live act in L.A. in the early to mid 80s. Everyone in the musical underground said they were truly as “spectacle to see.” With very original instrumentation, and very high energy and movement being major contributors. But the best example would be one of their early trademarks, when they would come onstage for an encore wearing nothing at all except tube socks over their ‘unmentionables.’ Something that unexpected can generate the energy to be considered a spectacle, without as much grandeur. I saw them live in concert a few years back, and they are tamer nowadays, but their energy and spontinaitey is not lost, they are a spectacle.

  56. Christopher Ashbay says:

    The inauguration of President Obama was a huge Spectacle in this decade. He was the first black president ever in America and that was a huge step toward cultural equality which this country still struggles with today. It was a very emotional moment for many people, as you could have seen if you had watched it on television. People were crying and sobbing and holding the ones next to them. I feel that people’s emotions there built off one another’s and that made the event even more intense. Rewind a few thousand years to the Roman times where Gladiator took place. That event was not a happy event like the inauguration of the president but it was somewhat similar in the fact that since there are so many people there watching the event, their emotions built off one another. It was more of a primal, violent event but watching the clip from the movie, you could see the emotions of the people in the Colosseum. The Emperor was snarling in pleasure, the people were yelling and screaming and yelling for more blood.
    So there are many similarities in the spectacles back in the day and today, whether that be in the government, recreation or whatever.

    • Chris Alexopoulos says:

      I have to disagree with you. I really don’t think that Obama’s inauguration was a ‘spectacle’ in any way, or at least in a way that is relevant to this class. Maybe I have the wrong idea, i’m not absolutely sure to be honest. Maybe I could agree with you in saying that Obama’s inauguration was turned into a spectacle, but it wasn’t organized with those intentions. The inauguration wasn’t put on simply to captivate the American people and entertain them or create a show out of the results of the election. (If anything, the election itself was the spectacle) But I think people have misinterpreted the meaning. Just because thousands of people show up to watch something, doesn’t make it a spectacle. To me, the definition relies solely on the entertainment value of what’s being presented. We weren’t being entertained by Obama’s inauguration, we were watching him being sworn in and we saw him give a speech. The gladiator scene to me is a perfect example of a spectacle. You have someone (emperor) organizing a show for the masses to engage in, and the entire point of this show has no meaning other than to entertain. These people participating (gladiators) are serving the purpose of being the entertainment, not to be a hero. Of course, when you’re watching the movie, they lead you to believe that the people are cheering for Maximus, and that he himself is the spectacle, which may be true to an extent, but regardless of how the crowd turned at the end of the battle, they all came there initially to see everyone fight and to enjoy the show, not to watch one person.

  57. Tanequa says:

    Today while we were in class I couldn’t believe no one was saying one of the biggest spectacle The Olympics. Or maybe I’m thinking wrong and The Olympics isn’t really a spectacle. It has all the right stuff the huge domes, millions of people going to watch, information, and ect. Am I wrong? That movie Gladiator looks so sweet and like it’s so good. The only part I’ve seen of it was the scene we watched today and the scene before that. I like how Eric compared football and the Romes gladiator. One way I’ve seen the Government do spectacles when Obama went to Battle Creek on August 31, 2008 to kick off day two of his campaigning in Michigan called, “On the Road to Change.” Basicually all the campaigning the government does. I wonder, would a graduation be a spectacle.

  58. alyssamwhite321011 says:

    In today’s class a large majority of the discussion was based on the movie the “Gladiator”. Before today I had not watched the movie. The clip that we watched I personally did not care for, as I am not one to particularly enjoy violent movies. However, I still found myself to be wrapped up in this scene. Like we discussed in class, the clip defiantly increased my heart rate and on multiple occasions made me shut my eyes or look away.

    The music and sound effects I believe are what really captured my attention and made the scene come to life. Of the formal elements we have recently been discussing, the use of color in the “Gladiator” really stood out. One example of this is that the main scenery dull and dark and blood bright red. Another example would be the gold chariots that the enemy rode into the coliseum on. The use of the gold color signifies higher ranking and royalty, which leads the viewer to believe that they have a likely chance to be victorious in comparison to the barbarians.

    In class we also discussed the new concept of a spectacle. It is very obvious from the number of attendants at the Roman Coliseum as well as their actions, such as cheering and applauding, that this was a major spectacle for the time period. I personally am glad that times have changed and entertainment today is not attending an enormous massacre! However, although there are many changes in the events that society seeks today, you can still find many similarities. In both the past and the present, people are looking for a form of entertainment that will captivate and move them. We are continually searching for something we can feel a part of whether it is cheering for our favorite team at a sporting event, or getting so caught up in a movie you feel like you are in it, sweating in intense scenes or jumping at suspense.

    In order to see the changes over time, it would be interesting to see what the response would be if you held an event like the Battle of Carthage in today’s society. Would people be cheering and applauding because they are so taken away by the experience, as they were in the movie, or would they be searching for the nearest exit??

    • Ilona Barnhart says:

      Well I can say that i agree with you. I too, am not a real big fan of violent movies, but I will keep an open mind and see the different viewpoints. In class we talked about how the movie made us feel physically; for instance, my heart raced and I would flinch every so often especially when the music exaggerated.

      From having an assignment my senior year of high school we learned more about the directors purpose of using different elements. Like how they use camera angles to capture the emotions they want you to feel. For instance when they zoom in when the gladiators are getting slahed and blood is splattered they want you to feel that gorry feeling, rather than it being from a long distance. Even the music being exaggerated helps the audience feel the enviorment.

      As for spectacle I’m still kind of confused on other examples besides how a circus, concert, football game are examples. Does that mean most sporting events would fall under this, how about plays? Is it basically things that are watched in blechers or inclined seats?

    • Ilona Barnhart says:

      Well I can say that i agree with you. I too, am not a real big fan of violent movies, but I will keep an open mind and see the different viewpoints. In class we talked about how the movie made us feel physically; for instance, my heart raced and I would flinch every so often especially when the music exaggerated.

      From having an assignment my senior year of high school we learned more about the directors purpose of using different elements. Like how they use camera angles to capture the emotions they want you to feel. For instance when they zoom in when the gladiators are getting slahed and blood is splattered they want you to feel that gorry feeling, rather than it being from a long distance. Even the music being exaggerated helps the audience feel the enviorment.

      As for spectacle I’m still kind of confused on other examples besides how a circus, concert, football game are examples. Does that mean most sporting events would fall under this, how about plays? Is it basically things that are watched in blechers or inclined seats?

  59. Eric Michael Mardeusz says:

    There are many similarities between the spectacle of American football and the Roman spectacle portrayed in gladiator. Many terms used in football are the same as terms used in war. The QB is the ‘general’ of the team and attempts to ‘march’ down the field by both an aerial and ground ‘attack’. The offensive and defensive lines both try to dominate the ‘battle in the trenches’ and the defense tries to keep the opposition in ‘enemy territory’. Football is America’s version of gladiators. It’s the biggest, strongest, and fastest men trying to punish the opposition to prove who has the biggest stones. The gladiators of the gridiron play in stadiums just like Maximus fought in a stadium and they were both for entertainment. While the Roman gladiators have a much more brutal ending to their sport, football players go to war every Sunday from September to February (if they reach the super bowl) and fight for their home town fans just like warriors fight for their country.

    • Erica VanBuren says:

      I’m not sure if I’d call football players the “modern gladiators”. Yes, both are major spectacles but gladiators for the most part weren’t what you might call soldiers like you seem to be describing. They were slaves trained to fight and stay alive, they weren’t going to war when they entered the arena, they were just trying to survive long enough not to fight anymore.

      • kmccowin says:

        I agree with Erica, i wouldn’t refer to football players as modern gladiators.Then again Eric, you made a great point. The Gladiators didn’t want to fight they were trained to for entertainment purposes. I feel there is no comparison between gladiators from 2000 years ago and warriors now in America because no one is being kept against their will to fight for entertainment. Football players on television, and even in college, play because they enjoy playing not because they’re playing until death or even for fans.

      • Tyler Scime says:

        It’s true that today’s football players don’t match up exactly with the gladiators in ancient Roman times, but they do in ways draw strong comparisons. One, both spectacles had a large fan base that had the option of coming to the events and watching them up close. Two, both current day football and ancient gladiators “performed” in arenas where they were in the bottom middle and fans sat all around the outside of them and were elevated. Third, both of these spectacles (though on a largely different scale) had and have a large amount of brutality taking place throughout the event. So, its definitely true that current day football players and Roman gladiators weren’t exactly the same, but the two spectacles definitely draw some pretty strong comparisons.

      • William Huddleston says:

        .of course athletes are not slaves [not making over $20 million a year] but as far as the term “spectacle” goes, i’m with Eric. i’m sure he only said football players as a way of comparing how physical the game can be but i believe his overall point of comparison is the hype around it. athletes are the modern way of displaying physical skill and brute strength to an audience. clearly any type of actual “gladiator-ity” would be completely absurd and illegal. athletes are the new gladiators. the physicality of the games relate to those times, the arenas and stadiums ,and as Eric said even the vernacular of the games date back. sports have dominated global spectacles for years now, and new ones are constantly being created. so yes i agree with Eric if one is looking in the terms as why gladiators were manifested.

    • torijuenemann says:

      I completely agree with this. A football team is more of a G Rated Gladiator team. A football stadium and the Coliseum have similar layouts, no matter where you sit in either of these arenas you have a great view of the show down below. Sunday night football isn’t as dramatic as the scenes in “The Gladiator”, but the concept is still the same. The fans in the movie would scream and cheer when one soldier took out the other, and in football the fans scream and cheer when there is an amazing tackle. Of course, football and gladiators aren’t directly related but the spectacle of American football and the Roman Gladiators certainly are.

      • Brendan McLeskey says:

        I’ve seen the movie Gladiator many times but, I’ve never viewed the coliseum and a spectacle. In class you made a comparison about the coliseum to a football field and I never put the two and two together. The coliseum is very much like a football field or a location for a concert. I find it hard to believe that we got our blueprints for a spectacle venue from such a long time ago, and the concept of it is still the same. People at the coliseum go to see an fight and cheer for their favorite gladiator, and at a football field fans got there to cheer on their team and favorite player. The Romans made the perfect venue for a spectacle and the concept is still around today.