I, Claudius

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I, Claudius


Authors like to have dialogue in their novels to spice up the stories. Dialogue certainly plays a very crucial part in a terrific novel. Without any doubt, dialogue can help the development of the plot and characters and assist audiences to understand what is going on in the book. In the book I, Claudius, dialogue provides information and advances the story. It prepares audiences for the foreshadowing scenes and reveals features of the characters. Dialogue should not exist just to exist. It exists with purposes. Having too much dialogue in the story would hinder reader from understanding. Less is more. Writing dialogue in a book shares the same idea with cooking. The food would be destroyed when too much salt were added. Dialogues in I, Claudius is effective as its main purposes are delivered.


Dialogue does improve the story of I, Claudius in some ways. First, it improves the plot of I' Claudius by revealing details; indicate what comes next and thus driving the story forward. Dialogue is just like clues; one can discover what happens next by looking at the dialogue. Every word in the dialogue is critical to foreshow the upcoming event and get the audience ready for the forthcoming issue. For example, “then exaggerate your limp, stammer deliberately, sham sicken frequently, let your wits wander, jerk your head and twitch with your hands on all public or semi-public occasions. If you could see as much as I can see, you would know that this was your only hope of safety and eventual glory” (Graves 125). From Pollio's advice, it prepares audiences for how Claudius survives from Livia's scheme and explains why Claudius consciously plays the fool in order to save his life in the rest of the story.

Dialogue makes the convoluted story clear and also gives explanations to the incidents. Dialogue explains the reasons behind the events. For example like, Livia conveys that she did all the killings and poisonings so as to keep Rome from factions. “Claudius, let me explain. I entirely agree about the ignorant rabble. It is not so much my fame on earth that I'm thinking about as the position I am to occupy in Heaven. I have done many immoral things - no significant ruler can do otherwise. I have put the good of the Empire before all human considerations. To keep the Empire free from factions, I had to commit numerous crimes. Augustus did his best to wreck the Empire by his ridiculous favoritisms: Marcellus against Agrippa, Gaius against Tiberius. Who saved Rome from renewed Civil War? I did.

The unpleasant and difficult task of removing Marcellus and Gaius fell on me. Yes, do not pretend you have not ever suspected me of poisoning them. And what is the proper reward for a ruler who commits such crimes for the good of his subjects? The proper reward, obviously, is to be deified. Do you believe that the souls of criminals are eternally tormented” (Graves 338)? This dialogue explains the reason behind all the ...
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