Claudius the God by Robert Graves (Book Analysis) - Bright Summaries - ebook

Claudius the God by Robert Graves (Book Analysis) ebook

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Unlock the more straightforward side of Claudius the God with this concise and insightful summary and analysis!

This engaging summary presents an analysis of Claudius the God by Robert Graves, the fictionalised autobiography of the titular character, who unexpectedly became emperor in CE 41. This volume of the autobiography follows on from I, Claudius and explores Claudius’ time as emperor, when he sought to reverse the harsh policies enacted by his predecessor Caligula and expand the empire by conquering Britain. However, unbeknownst to him, his beloved wife and trusted freedmen were plotting against him, leaving him in great danger. Robert Graves was an English poet, novelist and critic. He is known in particular for his autobiography Goodbye to All That and his novels I, Claudius and Claudius the God, which are now regarded as classic works of historical fiction.

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• A complete plot summary
• Character studies
• Key themes and symbols
• Questions for further reflection

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ROBERT GRAVES

ENGLISH NOVELIST, POET, BIOGRAPHER, TRANSLATOR

Born in Wimbledon in 1895.Died in Deyá in 1985.Notable works:Goodbye to All That (1929), autobiographyThe White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth (1948), myth and poetic inspirationSuetonius: The Twelve Caesars (1957), translation

Born into a privileged background, Robert Graves was educated at Charterhouse School and Oxford University. At the outbreak of World War One he enlisted as an officer in the army and began to write the realistic war poems that first made him famous. Between 1916 and 1975 he wrote more than 120 books, including 55 collections of poetry and 15 novels. In 1929, after completing his autobiography, Goodbye to All That, he went with his then-partner Laura Riding to live in Majorca. In 1934 he was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for both I, Claudius and Claudius the God and the following year he was awarded the Hawthornden Prize for I, Claudius. He was married twice, first to the artist Nancy Nicholson, with whom he had four children, then to Beryl Hodge with whom he had another four.

CLAUDIUS THE GOD

SEQUEL TO I, CLAUDIUS

Genre: historical novelReference edition: Graves, R. (1978) Claudius the God. London: Penguin.1stedition: 1954Themes: power, empire, conquest, religion, rivalry, nepotism, family relationships

Claudius the God is the second of two historical novels presented as the autobiography of the Roman Emperor Claudius, who reigned between CE 41 and 54. As in the first book, we read of complex family relationships and bitter power struggles. Claudius had only survived the family feuds that led to the murder or banishment of so many of his relatives because he was considered to be a fool and not worth bothering with. Claudius had suffered from childhood with a number of health problems and stammered and limped. His ill-health had prevented him from becoming a soldier; nonetheless, as emperor he masterminded the conquest of Britain. He was unfortunate in his choice of wives, Messalina and Agrippillina, both of whom were able to manipulate him. The Claudius novels were a huge success, both with reviewers and the general public, and in 1976 were made into a BBC drama series starring Derek Jacobi.

SUMMARY

The novel opens with the Emperor Claudius recounting the dramatic events that had occurred at the end of the book’s prequel, I, Claudius.