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Once Act I of Gladiator has established the capabilities of Maximus and the ruthlessness of Commodus (murder of Maximus' family), Act II immediately has Commodus target Maximus and give Maximus the incentive for revenge. At the Mid-Point, Maximus returns to Rome and is only protected against murder by Commodus by his popularity with the crowd. The sub-plot of Lucilla and the Senators wanting to overthrow Commodus, and Lucilla's failed attempts to recruit Maximus, give time to deepen the significance of the inevitable confrontation between Maximus and Commodus in Act III. Gladiator has an excellent structure for any plot based on vengeance against a powerful foe, whether in a coliseum, a school playground or board room.