Agrippina's Role During Claudius' Reign

What was Agrippina’s role in the reign of Claudius?
During the reign of Claudius, Agrippina had two main roles – firstly that of the martyr and devoted mother of Lucius before she married Claudius, and later as the wife of the princeps, as well as an almost co-ruler of Rome.
Whilst Messalina was married to Claudius, life was very dangerous for Agrippina – her sister Livilla had been sentenced to death for adultery with Seneca and se knew it was too risky to try to play a significant role in Roman politics. Instead she sought a safe marriage to Passenius Crispus – a man, as Ledbetter says, not “worthy enough to be dangerous” so that she could bring up her son Lucius in safety, as well as being financially stable.
It was Messalina’s unrestrained and unrelenting hatred toward Agrippina that in fact secured her next role – as the wife of the princeps. Although Dio suggests Claudius was “dominated” by Agrippina and duped by her sexual allure into marriage – in fact it was Agrippina’s lineage – as a descendant of Augustus and the beloved Germanicus that Claudius desired – as he himself could make “no claim to the throne on the basis of descent” (Barrett) and needed the security of a union within the imperial house to ensure his safety and legitimacy to the throne.
In addition, Agrippina’s role as the martyr – the victim to not only the persecution of her family by Tiberius, as well as the muchinations of Messalina – who was probably jealous of Lucius’ popularity when he received more appluase than Britannicus at the 47 games, also appealed to Claudius, as she provided a favourable contrast to a woman seen as vicious and promicuous. Tacitus describes her sa dying because of an “insatiable lust for man”.
Once married to Claudius in 49, Agrippina changed her role – becoming not only a wife of the princeps but a co-regent. She received the title of Augusta in AD50 – the first living wife of an emperor to achieve this, as well as having her own alias in front of...