Dying Gladiator Essay

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When envisioning a gladiator portraits of men of great purpose who battle to the very end taking on all challengers that stand in the way of their insurmountable cause come to mind. Marcus Aurelius Antoninus would put it as “ Death smiles at us all, but all a man can do is smile back.”. In Henry James’ book The Portrait Of A Lady we see an individual by the name of Lord Warburton who exhibits this same quality. Although through reading the book we see that he is a noble individual who is true to his purpose of courting Miss Archer we don’t see him as a gladiator. This is not until he is finally shot down by Miss Archer in an art gallery. In this gallery they are standing in front of a sculpture titled Dying Gladiator which sets the scene perfectly, because it exhibits Lord Warburtons exact feelings at the time.(307) Henry James seems to have placed this statue in…show more content…
The most noticeable of these features being that the individual has been brought down to one knee, and has a puncture wound on the chest over where the heart is symbolically supposed to be. In the case of Lord Warburton this would represent an individual who has a broken heart, and has been worn down by this greif. One of the ways Lord Warburtons grief is made evident is through another character named Ralph who states “Women usually pity men after they have hurt them; that is their great way of showing kindness.”.(307). This statement is made in the scene right before we are introduced to the Dying Gladiator sculpture. This kind of sadness portrayed by Lord Warburton, and the apparent kindness given to him by Miss Archer who rejected him can also be seen in the sculpture as well. This kindness is represented by the gladiator propping himself up almost like he is trying to hold onto what is left, but is overwhelmed by grief as he looks down knowing its the

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