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"I, Claudius" Poison Is Queen (TV Episode 1976) Poster

(TV Mini-Series)

(1976)

Quotes

Livia: Don't touch the figs.

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[about Augustus being deified]

Claudius: I believe it was foretold.

Livia: Really. Who foretold it?

Claudius: Jove.

Livia: Jove, eh?

Claudius: A hundred days ago he melted the 'C' off one of Augustus' statues.

Livia: And what does that mean, idiot head?

Claudius: If you strike the letter 'C' from the word 'Caesar,' the word 'aesar' is left. And in Etruscan 'aesar' means 'God'.

Livia: If the gods were going to give us a message, why wouldn't they give it to us in Latin?

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Livia: No one can talk to you anymore.

Augustus: Anyone can talk to me at any time, except you. You don't talk to people. You bully them.

Livia: This conversation is becoming ridiculous.

Augustus: No, this conversation was ridiculous from the start.

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[Augustus comes to see Postumus in exile after four years]

Postumus: Well, well, well, what do we have here? *Tourists*? Come to see the animal in his cage? Is the island bare enough for you, father? Does it live up to your expectations of "smallness" or have you found another one *even smaller*?

Augustus: [shocked] How thin you look... How pale...

Postumus: Well, what did you expect? A fat *JOLLY* man full of laughs and jokes?

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Postumus: Well, what do you want? A tour 'round the island? That would take us precisely ten minutes, as you once prophesied it would take me.

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Augustus: Heavens, wound me if you must. I deserve it. You have knife in your hand; I wouldn't blame you if you used it.

[Augustus starts to weep]

Postumus: Oh so it's tears now, is it? I've never known a man cry as easily as you do, father.

Augustus: Tears come easily to me I don't deny it.

Postumus: Well, this is wonderful. You're wonderful. Is it my role now to feel pity for you, to cry for you?

Augustus: I MADE A MISTAKE.

Postumus: A MISTAKE? "I made a mistake", he says, well you sure seem to make a lot of those, don't you father? Mistakes, is that what you call them? You made mistakes and you think a few tears will put them right... Well, BRAVO. Congratulations, you still have tears to shed. But how many do you think you'd have left if it had been you who sat on this rock day in, day out for four solid years, pouring them into the sea? HOW MANY-?

Augustus: OH POSTUMUS.

Postumus: My God, you've come to the wrong place, father, to show you've still tears; even the stones weep here.

[pause]

Postumus: Now you've heard something? Given you pause for thought, made you think perhaps you were a bit too hasty. Is that why you're here? To tell me it was all a mistake? Well DAMN YOU, I don't want to hear it. Leave me alone. Go away and die but leave me alone.

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[Repeated line]

Claudius: Poison is Queen.

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Augustus: You wouldn't believe the liars there are. Livia it seems is the worse of them all. And it's taken me *this* long for me to realise it.

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[on Augustus' will]

Livia: He's altered his will

[Tiberius gawps]

Livia: What's the matter? Cat got your tongue? Ha, that took your breath away, didn't it.

Tiberius: How do you know?

Livia: I know; I make it my business to know.

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[Livia has told Tiberius about the will]

Tiberius: Whose he changed it in favour of?

Livia: Whose d'you think?

Tiberius: Germanicus?

Livia: HA. Trust you to get it wrong. I must have been nodding when I gave birth to you.

Tiberius: I wonder sometimes mother if you ever did anything so natural as giving birth. In whose favour has he altered the will-?

Livia: POSTUMUS. Whose d'you think?

Livia: Augustus went to Corsica, didn't it occur to you be might stop off to visit your stepson?

Tiberius: Well why should he? What does he know that he didn't know before? What could he know?

[pause]

Tiberius: [Grimly] What is there to know?

Livia: He's a senile old man. How am I to know what causes him to change his mind? But he has and so much the worse for you, my baby, if I can't change it back.

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Tiberius: Don't bother on my account. I'm sick of it. Gods know I've done my best; he's never liked me, never. Thirty years I've run his errands for him; I've fought on his bloody frontiers, collected his taxes- Never once has he put his hand on my shoulder and said "Thank you, what would I have done without you?" He sends me off again and doesn't even give me a goodbye, just "Get on your horse and ride." Well, damn him. I retired before once and I can do it again; let his precious grandson run his empire for him. I'm sick to death of it.

[Long pause]

Livia: So, when do you leave?

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[to Livia, genuinely confused about the change in Emperor's Augustus' will]

Tiberius: Why? What could have caused him to change it? What does he know now that he didn't know then? What could he know?

[has epiphany and says in accusatory tone]

Tiberius: *What* is there to know?

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Livia: I wouldn't travel too fast if I were you.

Tiberius: Why not?

Livia: Well, you won't have so far to come back if anything happens to him.

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Augustus: I've had premonitions, premonitions of death.

Fabius: Oh, we all have them.

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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