I, Claudius is presented as the journal of the titular Roman emperor. A stutterer with a limp, Claudius is dismissed by his family but becomes their diligent chronicler. He uses his deformities to evade suspicion, concealing his keen intellect until eventually becoming emperor himself in his middle age. The story covers Augustus's rule and progresses through Claudius's, ending at his deathbed. It is a frank depiction of corruption, intrigue, and insanity in the Roman imperial family.