Gladiator has been by far one of my favorite movies for a while now, not only because of the bloody intense action sequences like the first battle in the forest, but also because of the way Scott keeps bringing up the key elements of the plot throughout the story line.
The main reoccuring theme that i notice continually popping up during the story is the flashback scenes to where Maximus's plantation where his family is hanged and burned. This scene is first burned into our minds by the heartwrenching picture of Maximus crying and cluthing the charred foot of his son when he finds the bodies of his family hanging and burning in front of his home on his plantation. Scott finds places in the story to bring back that scene, usually in times of great pain and turmoil for Maximus like when he is being transported in the slave cart, or when he is wounded but still kills Caesar. He kind of walks into this daze and then remembers his family, its almost like the memory of his family is the only thing driving him to continue pushing on and living. However in the last scene when he kills Caesar, I think his flashback is him going home to his family by dying and rejoining them in death. Scott gives Maximus a driving force during the story to keep going through these flashbacks.