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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: December ::
Claudius and Realpolitik
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.2024  Thursday, 8 December 2005

From: 		Stuart Manger <
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Date: 		Thursday, 08 Dec 2005 00:44:04 +0000
Subject: 16.2019 Claudius and Realpolitik
Comment: 	Re: SHK 16.2019 Claudius and Realpolitik

Not sure I entirely agree with Abigail Quart: Machiavellian 
'realpolitik'? Princes must rule, and I wonder if the lesson of so many 
Renaissance plays is that 'ruling' nearly always involves using state 
muscle, not asking too many awkward questions, not challenging the 
Prince too claustrophobically in his dealings? The safety of the state 
is important such that individuals within it might feel they can trust 
the Prince's governance. The problem comes in the grey areas when 
protecting the state oversteps moral or international law perhaps? Is 
that not what Claudius has done?

Have we not been here before? Are we not indeed there now as Ms Rice 
globetrots to justify rendering extraordinarily [or not as the case may 
be]? By all accounts, Claudius seems a rather effective ruler - and that 
effectiveness may well be manifest in some pretty unpleasant dealings, 
but would I feel safer with Claudius ruling me than a man who thinks too 
precisely upon the event? If H would have proved royally, does that mean 
he would have been less decisive than Claudius but more moral? Or more 
the man who, as Ms Quart suggests, has had a pretty bloody hand in a 
number of extra-judicial killings?

Tricky stuff.

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