I, Claudius

Season 1 Episode 11

Fool's Luck

Aired Unknown Nov 22, 1976 on BBC Two



  • Quotes

    • {Emperor Claudius meets with the Senate for the first time.}
      Marcus: Nevertheless, it is against the constitution for anyone but the Senate to appoint an Emperor.
      Claudius: It is also against the constitution to murder one! But if you hadn't done so, Marcus, we shouldn't be in this absurd position!
      Senator: You're not fit to be Emperor.
      Claudius: I agree. But nor was my nephew.
      Senator: Then what difference is there between you?
      Claudius: He would not have agreed. And by now, your head would be on that floor for saying so.
      Senator: There are those who say you can not hear properly, you can not speak properly and you've got no experience of government.
      Claudius: And that I am besides half-witted. Senators, it is true I'm hard of hearing. But you will find it's not from want of listening. As for speaking, again it's true, I have an impedement. But isn't what a man says more important than how l-l-l-long he takes to say it? It's true again, I have little experience of government. But then have you more? I at least have lived with the Imperial family who have ruled this Empire ever since you so spinelessly handed it over to us! I've observed it working more closely than any of you. Is your experience better than that? As for being half-witted, well, what can I say? Except that I have survived to middle age with half my wits while thousands have died with all of theirs intact! Evidently, quality of wits is more important than quantity. Senators, I shall do nothing unconstitutional. I shall appear at the next session of the Senate where you may confirm me in my position or not as you wish. But if it pleases you not to, explain your reasons to them! {Points at the Praetorians.} Not to me.