Guan Yu..your opinion on him

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What do you think about Guan Yu

I like him, he is been underestimated to much..
46
48%
I don't like him...he is overrated..
49
52%
 
Total votes : 95

Re: Guan Yu..your opinion on him

Unread postby Li_Shengsun » Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:39 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:Li_Shengsun, if he had chosen to retreat when Fan was at weak, people would be going "what the hell". It would be one of the great mysteries of all time why, when a city was rocking, why anyone would abandon a camapign where the whole point is to take Fan and provide a route into the heart of Wei. I can't think of any commander that wouldn't seek to take advantage of the moment. The accusations of arrogance are more towards his handling of Jing, not his trying to take a city.


You still hasn't gave me a detailed explanation on how Guan Yu could drive Lu Meng away from Jing just as De Crespigny say though. We all know Guan Yu's negotiation skill are pretty much "Do what i say or i kill you" sort of thing.

DaoLunOfShiji wrote:I've probably made it no secret in the past, but I'm not fan of Guan Yu. Aside from anecdotal evidence there isn't much recorded to say he's worth what fiction has lauded him to be. I was very harsh on him in the past, so I might as well clarify my current position. I still don't care for him. My problems with him have already been listed over and over in this thread, so I won't bother to list them. Just think of the greatest hits and you'll get 'em. :lol: However, a lack of evidence is something extraordinarily common with Shu's SGZ due to the poor historical department in Shu. I'm not suggesting that feats were made up, but simply that records weren't saved or even written down. It's telling that many of the comments relating to Guan Yu's might and bravery draw from Wei and Wu mouths, and not Shu. So this points to that the gaps in Guan Yu's SGZ that are very jarring are due to this. He most certainly could have accomplished things that simply were not written down.

Furthermore I mistakenly and stupidly used to blame the historical man for the faults with his ridiculous folklore and fictional representation, which is stupid. So apologies for that. You can't blame a man for something he literally had no hand in.


Your last two paragraph leaving me speechless, i apologies too for doing the same -___-

-Edit-
By the way, who was this Liu Yin fellow? i read nearly all Shu general, but i don't remember seeing his name before. With many of the general sometimes changed their name or called by courtesy name, to which sometimes confuses me (ex. Wang Ping, he sometimes called He Ping). Is this fellow called Liu Min? i do remember someone repelled Wei forces by himself, that is Liu Min.
Last edited by Li_Shengsun on Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Guan Yu..your opinion on him

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:54 pm

You still hasn't gave me a detailed explanation on how Guan Yu could drive Lu Meng away from Jing just as De Crespigny say though. We all know Guan Yu's negotiation skill are pretty much "Do what i say or i kill you" sort of thing.


Because of time, I haven't finished it yet. I'm working on the post (which will combine with your other one about Yiling) but it is a long one, I have other commitments as you often do. I threw out one or two quick things for a live discussion while I gradually work on a long post, that's all.

Since you bring up missed posts, as I have pointed out in this thread and via pm, you seem to have missed a post of mine.

I assume this is to do with one ill tempered meeting (I'll be honest I'm not sure if Guan Yu is yelling at Lu Su or the person interrupting) that your taking as his entire negotiating strategy while ignoring that Wu had to hand back Ling Ling?
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Re: Guan Yu..your opinion on him

Unread postby Li_Shengsun » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:15 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:Because of time, I haven't finished it yet. I'm working on the post (which will combine with your other one about Yiling) but it is a long one, I have other commitments as you often do. I threw out one or two quick things for a live discussion while I gradually work on a long post, that's all.

Since you bring up missed posts, as I have pointed out in this thread and via pm, you seem to have missed a post of mine.

I assume this is to do with one ill tempered meeting (I'll be honest I'm not sure if Guan Yu is yelling at Lu Su or the person interrupting) that your taking as his entire negotiating strategy while ignoring that Wu had to hand back Ling Ling?


i don't miss any of your post, simply don't see any fit to reply on a statement that would never end.

Well, kind of. So far i know, the negotiation of splitting Jing weren't carried out by Guan Yu. Moreoverly, he was about to launch an invasion on Changsha (or was he already on Changsha?). The skill of words were never really his forte, that should be seen during Pang De's capture. Frankly to say, if Guan Yu has Yu Fan's mouth, he might be able to convince Pang De to yield.
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Re: Guan Yu..your opinion on him

Unread postby DaoLunOfShiji » Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:36 pm

Li_Shengsun wrote:-Edit-
By the way, who was this Liu Yin fellow? i read nearly all Shu general, but i don't remember seeing his name before. With many of the general sometimes changed their name or called by courtesy name, to which sometimes confuses me (ex. Wang Ping, he sometimes called He Ping). Is this fellow called Liu Min? i do remember someone repelled Wei forces by himself, that is Liu Min.


You can read his Huyang Guozhi translation here. He was a venerable and respected general of Shu, a native of the region and he was greatly respected and successful. He was said to be one of the more successful generals under Jiang Wei and earned merit constantly. He was the only person to resist Zhong Hui's attack on Hanzhong in 263, holding out until after Liu Shan had surrendered. He was in his 70s at the time too. A truly marvelous man the world should know more about.
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Re: Guan Yu..your opinion on him

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:57 pm

Added Liu Yin to encyclopaedia

Li_Shengsun wrote:
i don't miss any of your post, simply don't see any fit to reply on a statement that would never end.

Well, kind of. So far i know, the negotiation of splitting Jing weren't carried out by Guan Yu. Moreoverly, he was about to launch an invasion on Changsha (or was he already on Changsha?). The skill of words were never really his forte, that should be seen during Pang De's capture. Frankly to say, if Guan Yu has Yu Fan's mouth, he might be able to convince Pang De to yield.


That's fine if you wish to drop a post but is good courtesy to say so

Possibly, possibly not, records don't say who carried out the talks. I believe Guan Yu was holding rather then attacking, he had marched towards reliving Changsha when he and Lu Su met. Few were Yu Fan's ability so yes he could have persuaded Pang De :wink: I agree Guan Yu does not come across as a natural diplomat, I just wouldn't go as far as you did or use Pang De as an example given Pang De's family circumstances
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Re: Guan Yu..your opinion on him

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:02 am

The short Yiling bit

I don't think Fu-Shiren was part of Tao Qian, he first turns up when the whole burns the arsenal thing

I were meant to say if Guan Yu did survive, then Shu would at least proceed with caution against Wu if they were going to launch a campaign on Jing, the mass death and lost of talents could be lessened. There are so many talents that lost on Shaoting, incurring major impact on Shu.

And yes, the survival of three brothers aren't really important, they're old anyway, but men like Guan Ping, Ma Liang and many others would still very likely to be alive, the campaign on Jing could proceed more carefully. The lost on Shaoting is due to Liu Bei's error and his underestimation upon his enemy.


Ma Liang yes, others you listed not so much. Loss of Huang Quan was bad. I get what your saying about the loss of a generation, when your one province that really does matter though I wouldn't call it fatal for Shu, it would have hampered the Zhuge Liang era. Where I disagree is the idea that if Guan Yu had lived, though his expirence would have been helpful in a rather green army, the scale of Yiling doesn't happen

I don't see Liu Bei's camapign as reckless. It was the same manner at his invasion of Yi and Hanzhong, slow, careful, advance bit by bit, try to a few tricks if stuck (like the fake ambush) and lacking an aggression. Huang Quan wanted a more attacking policy, Lu Xun used Liu Bei's style against him which he couldn't have done if Liu Bei was being unusually reckless. Liu Bei lost becuase his men got stuck and lax, Lu Xun spotted something nobody else did and used the fire attack

Guan Yu

I'm sorry if i'm bashing Guan Yu so hard, i just simply doesn't like how people keep saying that he's a great general eventhough in fact he is not. Even worse, he's even worshiped as God.


I get it. A lot of people in western 3k come into history via DW (where Guan Yu is... almost worshipped by some of the characters) and/or the novel and think he is super awesome. They then discover the historical Guan Yu and swing too far the other way. For you, given the culture you seem to be in, it is worse but we have all gone through this stage in some shape or form. Guan Yu is possibly also difficult becuase there is such a gap between the written record and that Guan Yu was hugely admired by figures like Cao Cao and Lu Meng, it is hard to quite pin down how good he was or wasn't whereas someone like Zhuge Liang, things are clearly.

Clearly none of this is Guan Yu's fault and I'm happy to try to help you on this.

There are a few things that might help

1) Pick and choose what he did wrong.

At the moment, it feels like your trying to pick apart everything he did. Talking with Xu Huang, trying to do his duty in defending Jing, willing to fight after a defeat, now we have his attacking a city where even the defenders felt they might fall. All portrayed, not just as mistakes as all humans make, but signs as he is super incompetent and super super arrogant

Some of it comes from your not understanding norms of the time (like fighting on after defeat) or understanding his thinking but the problem is you don't go "why did he do this?" but "A-HA! Further proof of how inept he was and how arrogant he was." and try to jam the idea into your belief. If something he did puzzles, ask and question why, don't leap.

2) Not everything he did was due to arrogance.

Arrogance was a key part of his personality, it did impact his judgement but he wasn't described as deluded and not every decision he made, be it when and where he invaded, his tactical moves or what he had for lunch was based on arrogance. There is no hint he thought he was the next Xiang Yu or even the most arrogant figure of the era. With human beings, multiple factors usually come into play, not just one trait and it is turning Guan Yu into a bad caricature to put everything down to one trait

3) Not everyone is pro-Guan Yu just becuase they disagree with you.

You acknowledge your bias and where it comes from, that is really helpful. The problem is when I or historians put something you don't like, bias and sugercoating is now being thrown. Me? I'm a Wei-st, I don't warm to Shu but there are figures in Shu I like, Guan Yu isn't one of them. I think people go slightly too far in their criticism of handling of Jing, I acknowledge his reputation in his time but that is as far as it goes. I try to defend any three kingdom figure if people are going too far

De Crespigny? A pro-Wu historian known to lampoon Shu figures but to you, pro Guan Yu becuase he doesn't just attack Guan Yu. The historians who didn't claim Guan Yu was in bad condition after Fan are accused of sugar-coating. It is important one can call bias and acknowledge it but throwing bias against everyone when their arguments or the facts don't go the way you like is... using that right in a bad way.

Ah yea, celebrating for his death then get executed weren't an increase of his popularity.
Defending a man who are antagonistic and ungrateful from getting executed because of offending the superior weren't as bad as retorting a joke from someone, thats nice. In a sense, its still same as sugar coating.


I'm sorry, I really don't understand what your trying to say here

In Zhao Yun's situation, his defeat was inevitable, since he was given a command of untrained troop. Liang forces were barbarian led by Beigong Boyu, i dont think he's wise enough to realize such ploy.

-Edit- Different than Guan Yu, Zhao Yun intentionally put himself at risk in order to bring his potential to the fullest (even though i personally think Zhou Yun would never been in any risk whether he intentionally or not, his skill are the real thing)


Indeed but I was talking about retreating intact. I would not underestimate the Qiang given what trouble they gave the Han at the time and they had smashed Sun Jian's army at the same time

Guan Yu put his life on the line repeatedly as part of his job as a warrior

Yea, we no longer know what really happened that time, just the praise of historian about him.
But reading back and assessing Guan Yu's trait, he chose not to retreat via Wei's land is most likely he underestimated Lu Meng, mainly he was Wu's general.
The other possibility that Guan Yu was angry as Meng Da refused to send reinforcement and that he's too proud to receive help from a man he view inferior to him. So, rather than losing face due to receiving help from inferior man, he'd rather face his 'weak' enemy head-on in battle.


The Lu Meng who had to "resign" so Guan Yu would feel free to commit more forces against Wei rather then have them defend Jing?

These examples (and the "Sorry, he never think that way. Perhaps his condition being locked by two enemies country makes me think he's trying to achieving Xiang Yu's feat.) are what I mean where arrogance is part of personality crosses into only trait he has is arrogance and it gets taken into caricature levels

You stated:
"It was in fact possible, despite his disadvantage, that Guan Yu might be able to drive Lü Meng away, or at least compel another negotiated settlement."

I replied:
"hes even has a great negotiation skill as well!"

Now you even tried to use my reply on your statement against me :lol:
At no point does De Crespigny says Guan Yu was a great negotiator in any of his works that I'm aware of but if you have evidence that he did so, please point it out

I'll admit you're a good debater. Trying so hard to defend to man you admire is quite admirable, but please don't twist your own statement to attack other. :wink:


Strictly speaking, first thing you quote from me there is from De Crespigny, sorry if I didn't make that clear enough

Let me just put your line in the actual context it was in That statement is like stating that Guan Yu's men are in high morale. Not even had any set back even after Xu Huang slaughtered many of his men and burned his camp, hes even has a great negotiation skill as well! Thats how you make a statement when you admire someone highly, sugar coated it. Nice! :lol:


It was part of your attack on the pro-Wu historian Professor De Crespigny as being a Guan Yu biased fan who was sugar coating and twisting what the professor was saying.

ah, so losing both of his camp aren't bad? Just how much more the historian trying to sugar coat things on what happen after the battle. Where the supplies are stored? on some wodden oxen cart that can be transported anytime when the camp attacked and falls to enemies hand?
Suppose his morale are high, and Lu Meng opted to defend Jing with his men instead of commencing a propaganda. Just how long Guan Yu's men would last in the siege battle? You mention it yourself on one of the thread that a siege battle would take long time and would do a lot more casualty to attacker than the defender. Please give me an explanation how De Crespigny would say that Guan Yu would be able to drive Lu Meng away?
And why my hypothetical opinion that he should retreat via other route to survive, saving the retake of Jing for another day from the stronger position is wrong?


"Just how much more the historian trying to sugar coat things on what happen after the battle" is the type of line I point to when your accusing now Chen Shou, Pei Songzhi and Sima Guang of sugar coating. Were these figures biased? Yes in different and sometimes (due to conservative Confucian gentry class) similar ways on other things but there is no indication they were pro-Guan Yu as a bias.

It isn't great no. I'm not 100% sure were supplies were stored but it rarely seems to be main camp, focus when those are lost tend to be on insignia and so on, supplies rarely seem to be the problem forces have after losing main camp and there is no hint that it was a problem in this case

I wouldn't go as far as high. Well Guan Yu would be expecting to be going into a situation where Lu Meng is doing the besieging and he is coming to relief of the defenders but once he learns that is not the case? He going into his own lands with Lu Meng have had little time to settle the area so will have reason to expect support, as it turns out Lu Meng is badly sick, Guan Yu also can wait for Liu Bei to arrive (once Liu Bei breaches Lu Xun's captured area) as he besieges.

De Crespigny didn't set out how but given uncertainties of war (I double checked and he does mention Lu Xun cut off route between Yi and Jing though), very new holdings for Wu and Guan Yu having an army, it was certainly not impossible. De Crespigny doesn't list all possible theories (and yours is one I have never ever seen before) he can possibly think of to disapprove, historians rarely do that, they might do one. It just doesn't seem to have occurred to anybody that Guan Yu should abdicate his duties

Well, that was main point of the debate right? that he should prioritize his men's life instead of attempting to retake the lost city, he reap what his sow, his decision is what causes those who was alongside him to be executed.


and almost every general of the era would have chosen duty above their men's lives. Anybody who followed Liu Bei's journey was putting their soldiers, retainers and family at risk constantly due to frequent defeats but even for more stable starting states, war is a very risky venture. This is nothing more then every other general had and did, sending their soldiers out to face possible death for a lord the soldiers probably didn't care about but the officer did
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Re: Guan Yu..your opinion on him

Unread postby Li_Shengsun » Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:37 pm

DaoLunOfShiji wrote:You can read his Huyang Guozhi translation here. He was a venerable and respected general of Shu, a native of the region and he was greatly respected and successful. He was said to be one of the more successful generals under Jiang Wei and earned merit constantly. He was the only person to resist Zhong Hui's attack on Hanzhong in 263, holding out until after Liu Shan had surrendered. He was in his 70s at the time too. A truly marvelous man the world should know more about.
https://fuyonggu.tumblr.com/post/170408 ... ang-guozhi


Thanks, really good to had new things to read :D

Dong Zhou wrote:I don't think Fu-Shiren was part of Tao Qian, he first turns up when the whole burns the arsenal thing


Perhaps i was wrong for saying he was part of Tao Qian, given his northern origins. He was kinda a background people who just pops here and there. It does had no record of when he joined Liu Bei as well.


Dong Zhou wrote:Guan Yu put his life on the line repeatedly as part of his job as a warrior


not trying to criticized you, but he only doing it on his final years. otherwise he wouldve died when Liu bei lose Xiaopei.


Dong Zhou wrote:That's fine if you wish to drop a post but is good courtesy to say so

Possibly, possibly not, records don't say who carried out the talks. I believe Guan Yu was holding rather then attacking, he had marched towards reliving Changsha when he and Lu Su met. Few were Yu Fan's ability so yes he could have persuaded Pang De :wink: I agree Guan Yu does not come across as a natural diplomat, I just wouldn't go as far as you did or use Pang De as an example given Pang De's family circumstances


Well, thats not what i meant though, i'm merely saying Guan Yu's way in conveying his message.
Like "hey, your bro serving my lords, cao is traitors of han, you should serve my lord who are pro-han" thats not a way to persuade a proud and brave man like Pang De. its like insulting a man who was kind toward him while using his family as a way to coerce him into surrender, of course Pang De would get angry and insulting back in return.
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Re: Guan Yu..your opinion on him

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Jul 03, 2019 2:20 pm

Perhaps i was wrong for saying he was part of Tao Qian, given his northern origins. He was kinda a background people who just pops here and there. It does had no record of when he joined Liu Bei as well.



Apparently he was from Nan so my guess is Shi Ren joins around Liu Bei's move south

not trying to criticized you, but he only doing it on his final years. otherwise he wouldve died when Liu bei lose Xiaopei.


That's a disagreement rather then criticism and don't worry about it

Guan Yu had to have put life on line. He was a warrior, any half decent warrior, it is on the basic job description. Putting body in the front and very close to the sharp pointy things of the enemy armies, hoping you do well enough that your own side doesn't break. We have very little detail of his time as a warrior, bar the killing of Yan Liang where Guan Yu did risk his life,

Xiaopei is Guan Yu not being suicidal. There is no reason for him to get himself killed or to make a stand once Liu Bei has fled.

Well, thats not what i meant though, i'm merely saying Guan Yu's way in conveying his message.
Like "hey, your bro serving my lords, cao is traitors of han, you should serve my lord who are pro-han" thats not a way to persuade a proud and brave man like Pang De. its like insulting a man who was kind toward him while using his family as a way to coerce him into surrender, of course Pang De would get angry and insulting back in return.


My bad, I also (looking back on it) made a mess of my post so it wasn't as clear as should have been so my apologies on two fronts

I should say I'm one of those who respects Pang De, admires his deeds but finds his actions after the flood leaves a bitter taste. Given his family circumstances, he was probably right to choose death but he only did that after ordering his men to make a last stand, executing those who wanted to surrender and then tried to run away when it came to his turn to make a stand.

On Guan Yu's message Pang De's sgz has a rather different version (though we need to bear in mind it is not usually word for word what was said but the general theme) and doesn't seem to be to do with the Han. I would add that Guan Yu doesn't know Pang De, he likely knew of Pang De before Pang De's surprise selection for Fan but he likely didn't know Pang De's personality in any way shape or form so can't really tailor it to the personality.

So he used the cards he realistically had 1) Your family is here, why not reunite. Pull on the emotional ties, 2) flatter the individual "your performance was great, you deserve promotion", 3) bribe. Which defection talks tended to have becuase people tend not to leave everything behind if you offer that they start from the bottom and it looked bad if they didn't get a nice juicy promotion. None of these were unusual tactics

I think it most circumstances, such a recruitment effort would work. Pang De's situation in Wei and that his wife+son were in Wei given said circumstances made Pang De less receptive then most others would be to such an offer, that I think was more an issue then way Guan Yu sold it.
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