Essay about the romance of the three kingdoms novel

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Essay about the romance of the three kingdoms novel

Unread postby Rukawa kaede » Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:00 am

I'm doing a NCEA level 1 (year 11) research assignment and my end product would be an essay.
I have to answer 3 questions that I have constructed myself. They are regarding the novel as a whole

1. What is the romance of the three kingdoms novel about?
2. To what degree was the novel fictionalised and what was the author's purpose behind it
3. What makes the Romance of the three kingdoms novel such an enjoyable and popular novel ?

Yea I'll appreciate any help I can get from the scholars of this forum

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Unread postby tuffy135 » Thu Aug 23, 2007 6:11 am

I'm not as experienced nor do I know as much about the facts and fictions in the story as others here, but I would like to try and help with the third question.

Perhaps it is enjoyable and popular because of the complex style of writing. Rather than being a novel story, it is an epic tale of war, love, honor, and mysticism. It rivals Homer's works. I think what really makes it popular is the lack of mainstream popularity. It is popular, but not too popular that a person gets sick of hearing about it.

I don't know if that helps at all, but I thought I'd give it a shot anyways. Good luck on the essay.
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Re: Essay about the romance of the three kingdoms novel

Unread postby Rick Shaw » Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:13 pm

Well, the first one is easy. It's a Romance (which is an old term for a very long novel, basically; you can get away with calling it a novel, though) based on a period of the Later Han Dynasty of China. It is of the genre Historical Fiction.

The second one is a bit longer...let's cover a few of them:
1. First of all...Magic. Several people in the book are sorcerors of some kind. Naturally sorcery is not real, so that's one. The author's purpose behind this is that people back then were very folkish in their beliefs of the mysterious so people could get away with being called Sorcerors back then. Also it is used as a literary device to show spiritual/intellectual strength among a set of characters such as Zhang Jiao and Zhuge Liang.
2. Several characters' exploits are either downgraded, glorified, or even downright given to somebody else. Such as Guan Yu's slaying of Hua Xiong in a duel, when in truth Sun Jian routed Hua Xiong in battle and killed him. Another example would be Taishi Ci's actions as being made the Supreme Commander by Zhou Yu for one night suring the battle of Chibi and his later death via volley of arrows during the assault onf Hefei. In truth he died of illness before either of those battles. The author's reaosning for this is to inflate or deflate the prescences of several characters to make them more or less important to the overarching story.
3. Several characters are added to the story who did not truly exist in the same context. Zhou Cang is a perfect example of this...there is little to no historical record of him, but he does a significant job of fluffing out Guan Yu's backstory a bit by declaing unending loyalty to him and all that. The reason for this is just like in a video game...sometimes you need to add a few NPCs to the story to make it flow better.

That's a few points to give you a little starting momentum.
Interested in (Pseudo)Historical Fiction stories? Want to read about Ancient Chinese Heroes, Tragic Valkyries, Rambunctious Squires, and Frenetic Mercenaries? Just interested in the real-life travails of a police detective?
~Rick Shaw: Redefining History
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