Tuesday, May 8, 2007

A Good King Gone Bad

I am currently wrestling with the character of Claudius. I had previously categorized him as a hedonistic, calculating megalomaniac. I am rethinking it all, if for no other reason than to avoid judging him as opposed to being him. I am also trying to wrap my head around the idea of "King." We don't have a ready example in American culture. Power and money (or the name Elvis) are not the only factors that make a King (as opposed to President). Kingship comes from divinity - whether or not the wearer of the crown got there legitimately, or illegitimately. A King is not elected. In the minds of a King and his subjects - a King is placed there by none other than God himself.
I am beginning to approach Claudius as a man who made himself King because he feels it is his Divine Right. By killing his brother, he is righting a cosmic wrong. And Claudius does make a good King - moral objections aside.

No comments: