Books and Movies Reviews

I, Claudius: Analysis and Discussion of the Main Character

Claudius had many physical problems that made him seem weak and ineffective to the people around him.He stuttered, he suffered from paralysis or cerebral palsy, and he often is accused of listening too much to his wife and other advisors.However, this book largely portrays him as a wise man and astute leader, who certainly made mistakes, but was adept in many areas, as well.In fact, the book proves he is quite astute, and manages to survive longer than many other Roman rulers, who did not fare as well in their leadership.
Early in the book he shows that he is a sensitive man when he describes how his family treated him because of his physical problems, and how that hurt him.Graves writes, “As for Augustus, though he never treated me with calculated cruelty, he disliked having me in the same room with him as much as my grandmother did” (Graves 56).Claudius grew up lonely and isolated, and even his own family ignored him because of his infirmities, and yet, he rose to be the emperor of the greatest republic on earth at the time, showing that even those with many disabilities can rise to greatness.He shows that overcoming obstacles can really happen, no matter what the circumstances are.
The character also shows his extensive knowledge of Roman society and politics, two things that would help him lead when he became emperor.For example, Graves writes, “To recommend a monarchy on account of the prosperity it gives the provinces seems to me like recommending that a man should have liberty to treat his children as slaves, if at the time he treats his slaves with reasonable consideration” (Graves 163).The book is full of sentiments like these, showing Claudius as a reasonable and wise ruler who would do many things for Rome during his empire.In fact, Rome conquered Britain during his reign, which shows how far reaching his policies and political reach actually went.
Claudius also talks a lot about women in Roman societ…


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