Guan Yu..your opinion on him

Best threads of the SGYYS, for your viewing pleasure.

What do you think about Guan Yu

I like him, he is been underestimated to much..
45
50%
I don't like him...he is overrated..
45
50%
 
Total votes : 90

Re: Guan Yu..your opinion on him

Unread postby Elitemsh » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:42 pm

Aaron.K wrote:Whenever troops are lead in an action, the bios are quite consistent in mentioning the troops. And so when Guan Yu is mentioned singularly, and not as leading troops, based on the consistency with other biographies, it only makes sense to me to view his action as one that he did alone, by himself (though that's not to say that troops were not with him in the attack. Simply that when he charged forward and killed Yan Liang, he was not leading anyone, and he went on his own initiative).


That I'm inclined to agree with. I think that Guan Yu, as soon as he spotted the banner, charged himself without alerting others (he probably wanted to be the one to kill Yan Liang and was determined to do this- possibly for glory or simply for the thrill/challenge). I still think his retainers may have followed him (their duty to) but he likely didn't rally them or order them to.
''I've never fought for anyone but myself. I've got no purpose in life. No ultimate goal. It's only when I'm cheating death on the battlefield. The only time I feel truly alive.'' ~Solid Snake
User avatar
Elitemsh
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1400
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 4:14 pm
Location: Outer Heaven

Re: Guan Yu..your opinion on him

Unread postby Jordan » Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:01 pm

Elitemsh wrote:
Aaron.K wrote:Whenever troops are lead in an action, the bios are quite consistent in mentioning the troops. And so when Guan Yu is mentioned singularly, and not as leading troops, based on the consistency with other biographies, it only makes sense to me to view his action as one that he did alone, by himself (though that's not to say that troops were not with him in the attack. Simply that when he charged forward and killed Yan Liang, he was not leading anyone, and he went on his own initiative).


That I'm inclined to agree with. I think that Guan Yu, as soon as he spotted the banner, charged himself without alerting others (he probably wanted to be the one to kill Yan Liang and was determined to do this- possibly for glory or simply for the thrill/challenge). I still think his retainers may have followed him (their duty to) but he likely didn't rally them or order them to.


But what are you basing this on? This seems rather like conjecture to me. simple has raised the point that the keyword of "self" (自) is missing from the biography (according to what simple posted earlier), and therefore there is cause to doubt that Guan Yu did go in by himself. Aaron is claiming that the bios are consistent in mentioning troops when generals perform actions with troops, but simple is claiming that the bios are also consistent in providing some key phrases when generals perform feats on their own.

If I was to look at it realistically (putting aside all assumptions about Guan Yu, all pop culture depictions of the man, etc. which incidentally can be a hard thing to do), I'd say it's more likely that a general would be with his troops than not. Now the question is whether or not Guan Yu's biography corroborates that idea.
User avatar
Jordan
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 5884
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:52 am

Re: Guan Yu..your opinion on him

Unread postby Aaron.K » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:07 am

Jordan wrote:
Elitemsh wrote:
Aaron.K wrote:Whenever troops are lead in an action, the bios are quite consistent in mentioning the troops. And so when Guan Yu is mentioned singularly, and not as leading troops, based on the consistency with other biographies, it only makes sense to me to view his action as one that he did alone, by himself (though that's not to say that troops were not with him in the attack. Simply that when he charged forward and killed Yan Liang, he was not leading anyone, and he went on his own initiative).


That I'm inclined to agree with. I think that Guan Yu, as soon as he spotted the banner, charged himself without alerting others (he probably wanted to be the one to kill Yan Liang and was determined to do this- possibly for glory or simply for the thrill/challenge). I still think his retainers may have followed him (their duty to) but he likely didn't rally them or order them to.


But what are you basing this on? This seems rather like conjecture to me. simple has raised the point that the keyword of "self" (自) is missing from the biography (according to what simple posted earlier), and therefore there is cause to doubt that Guan Yu did go in by himself. Aaron is claiming that the bios are consistent in mentioning troops when generals perform actions with troops, but simple is claiming that the bios are also consistent in providing some key phrases when generals perform feats on their own.

If I was to look at it realistically (putting aside all assumptions about Guan Yu, all pop culture depictions of the man, etc. which incidentally can be a hard thing to do), I'd say it's more likely that a general would be with his troops than not. Now the question is whether or not Guan Yu's biography corroborates that idea.


The difference is that Guan Yu was not acting as a general in that battle. He was a minor officer within the unit. Zhang Liao was the commander/general in that particular battle. And possibly the reason why Guan Yu was placed under Zhang Liao was to keep an eye on him.

The line: 紹遣大將軍顏良攻東郡太守劉延於白馬,曹公使張遼及羽為先鋒擊之。 羽望見良麾蓋,策馬刺良於萬眾之中,斬其首還,紹諸將莫能當者,遂解白馬圍

"Yuan Shao sent General Yan Liang to attack the eastern commandery/administrative region commanded by Liu Yan at Bai Ma, Duke Cao sent Zhang Liao and [Guan] Yu to be Vanguard. [Guan] Yu saw the top of (蓋) [Yan] Liang's banner and urged his horse through the soldiers and stabbed [Yan] Liang and cut off his head, In addition [Yuan] Shao's generals could not equally match him, thereupon they retreated from the Bai Ma area."

All of these words are essentially describing a singular action. Guan Yu saw the top of Yan Liang's standard. Guan Yu urged his horse through the mass of troops and stabbed Yan Liang and cut off his head. None of Yuan Shao's generals could equally match him, and retreated.

I'd say this is fairly specific. The words used are all singular, referring to Guan Yu. Had there been troops with him, there would have been a mention of it. Especially concerning the point about Yuan Shao's generals not being able to equally match him (i.e. he was capable of killing a general, but none of them were capable of killing him).
"Why have you come to Jotunheim all alone?"
User avatar
Aaron.K
Master
 
Posts: 247
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:09 am
Location: Canada

Re: Guan Yu..your opinion on him

Unread postby Jordan » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:02 am

Fair enough. That sounds like a pretty good argument to me.
User avatar
Jordan
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 5884
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:52 am

Re: Guan Yu..your opinion on him

Unread postby simple » Tue Mar 05, 2013 2:11 pm

Jordan wrote:Fair enough. That sounds like a pretty good argument to me.


guan yu was by no means a minor office in that attack.
he was the vanguard together with zhang liao.

曹公使張遼及羽為先鋒擊之 - lord cao order zhang liao & guan yu as vanguards to lead the attack
nowhere in this statement suggest that guan yu was a minor officer.

Elitemsh explanation was fair enough.
we must remember 1 thing.
back then, soldiers were seldom mention even if they scored a big credit.
credit always belong to the commander.
simple
Academic
 
Posts: 176
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2004 2:58 pm

Re: Guan Yu..your opinion on him

Unread postby Aaron.K » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:34 pm

simple wrote:Elitemsh explanation was fair enough.
we must remember 1 thing.
back then, soldiers were seldom mention even if they scored a big credit.
credit always belong to the commander.


That's why a significant number of biographies mention them... The credit goes to the commander, but if he was leading troops in the action, it generally says so. Guan Yu's biography describes personal actions of himself. I'm much more inclined to take the San Guo Zhi than the ZZTJ account, but even that describes personal actions and uses singular words.

"Cao Cao sent Zhang Liao and Guan Yu to go ahead and begin the attack.
Guan Yu saw Yan Liang's standard in the distance. Whipping his horse, he
broke through to Yan Liang among the ten thousand men of his army, took
off his head and came back. No-one could withstand him." (Emphasis mine)
"Why have you come to Jotunheim all alone?"
User avatar
Aaron.K
Master
 
Posts: 247
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:09 am
Location: Canada

Re: Guan Yu..your opinion on him

Unread postby Elitemsh » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:23 am

To further defend what Aaron K has said, I would give the example of Zhang Fei at Changban. The SGZ says that he was given 20 horseman to guard the rear. Despite the ridiculously small number, the troops Zhang Fei led were still mentioned. However, if we were to accept this line of reasoning (that if troops were not mentioned then it is likely they were not involved) then the same must apply to other officers and situations. For example, Zhao Yun at Changban we must assume was also alone because no troops are mentioned in the SGZ when he turned back. Is it reasonable to assume this? Perhaps.
''I've never fought for anyone but myself. I've got no purpose in life. No ultimate goal. It's only when I'm cheating death on the battlefield. The only time I feel truly alive.'' ~Solid Snake
User avatar
Elitemsh
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1400
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 4:14 pm
Location: Outer Heaven

Re: Guan Yu..your opinion on him

Unread postby simple » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:47 am

Aaron.K wrote:That's why a significant number of biographies mention them... The credit goes to the commander, but if he was leading troops in the action, it generally says so. Guan Yu's biography describes personal actions of himself. I'm much more inclined to take the San Guo Zhi than the ZZTJ account, but even that describes personal actions and uses singular words.

"Cao Cao sent Zhang Liao and Guan Yu to go ahead and begin the attack.
Guan Yu saw Yan Liang's standard in the distance. Whipping his horse, he
broke through to Yan Liang among the ten thousand men of his army, took
off his head and came back. No-one could withstand him." (Emphasis mine)


let me ask.
back then, do the troops follow the charge if their leader charged?
if yes, guan yu charged at yan liang, so did his troops followed him with the charged?
if no, won't the troops be afraid of punishment for not following their leader?
and that time, its likely a death penalty.

as for the account you used, its a translated version.
in the chinese version, it neither stated he charged alone or with troops.
but the front part, it was stated that he was leading troops.
so likely when he charged, his troops will follow him.
simple
Academic
 
Posts: 176
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2004 2:58 pm

Re: Guan Yu..your opinion on him

Unread postby simple » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:53 am

Elitemsh wrote:To further defend what Aaron K has said, I would give the example of Zhang Fei at Changban. The SGZ says that he was given 20 horseman to guard the rear. Despite the ridiculously small number, the troops Zhang Fei led were still mentioned. However, if we were to accept this line of reasoning (that if troops were not mentioned then it is likely they were not involved) then the same must apply to other officers and situations. For example, Zhao Yun at Changban we must assume was also alone because no troops are mentioned in the SGZ when he turned back. Is it reasonable to assume this? Perhaps.


曹公使張遼及羽為先鋒擊之, this already mentioned that he was leading troops, just didn't state how many.
simple
Academic
 
Posts: 176
Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2004 2:58 pm

Re: Guan Yu..your opinion on him

Unread postby Elitemsh » Wed Mar 13, 2013 11:53 am

I assume you're talking about Zhao Yun. The thing is that I can't just accept you're translation because it is not defended by any other. There are three other translations (not including ZZTJ) and none say he was leading troops.
''I've never fought for anyone but myself. I've got no purpose in life. No ultimate goal. It's only when I'm cheating death on the battlefield. The only time I feel truly alive.'' ~Solid Snake
User avatar
Elitemsh
Scholar of Shen Zhou
 
Posts: 1400
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 4:14 pm
Location: Outer Heaven

PreviousNext

Return to Sanguo Yanyi Symposium Archives

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

Copyright © 2002–2008 Kongming’s Archives. All Rights Reserved