Why is Lu Bu a hero?

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Why is Lu Bu a hero?

Unread postby Uiler » Sat Oct 16, 2004 4:29 pm

Note I'm just talking about Romance here. But since most people get their images of hero vs villain from Romance...

Anyway, as the title says, why do people consider Lu Bu a hero? As far as I can see:

Positive: The greatest fighter of the era.

Negative: Has no loyalty. Is greedy and ambitious and will turn on even men who treat him very well with lots of respect and reward (to the extent of calling him 'son') for money or women. Willingly served a tyrant and was one of the prime people responsible for his rise to power. And not even a charismatic talented genius tyrant like Cao Cao who tried to organise the country into some semblance of order, but a repulsive ugly old man who raped, looted and plundered and who everyone hated and who spent more time with women than trying to sort out the country. He didn't even feel any remorse for helping the tyrant rise to power (unlike Chen Gong who acted in good faith and later on tried to recitify his "mistake" from good intentions).

Also backstabbed Liu Bei who treated him well and took him in. Anyway this is unlike other good fighters like Guan Yu who showed remarkable loyalty and personal honour.

Unlike Cao Cao he wasn't even that talented. A good fighter yes. But as a leader who had no talent for strategy and refused to listen to his more talented advisors initially. Though granted this changed later on after a few disastrous losses.

He didn't even have the dignity to die with honour and begged for his life.

So basically I don't understand - why do Romance readers consider Lu Bu a hero and someone to admire? I cannot see a single thing to admire about him. His only positive trait is he was a good fighter but there are plenty of other good fighters with much more admirable traits eg. Guan Yu, Zhao Yun.

I'd rank Zhang Fei above Lu Bu. Zhang Fei was a good fighter and while he was impetuous and tended to get drunk and beat people, he was loyal to his brother and was always remorseful later on (though that didn't seem to stop him from doing it again...and again...). Anyway, his number one priority was for the good of his older brothers and he'd go through hellfire for them. For all his faults he was not a backstabber and someone who only cared for his own comfort and ambition. I don't actually like Zhang Fei that much. I just wanted to point out as low as I rank Zhang Fei, it's higher than I would rank Lu Bu.
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Sat Oct 16, 2004 4:42 pm

Positive: The greatest fighter of the era.


Says who. :)
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Unread postby Iain » Sat Oct 16, 2004 9:46 pm

PrimeMinister Bu Zhi wrote:
Positive: The greatest fighter of the era.


Says who. :)
SGYY actually, the ah point of this topic.

In the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Lu Bu does several incredible deeds, he holds off Guan Yu, Zhang Fei and Liu Bei in an amazing show of strength and skill, later on another encounter he stands up to Dian Wei, Xu Zhu and several other Wei generals. Simply put the man was invincible in SGYY and only laid low in the end by his own stupidity and his bad treatment of his men.

He was greatly feared on the battlefield and he was a force to be reckoned with as an uneasy ally or a dangerous foe, Lu Bu was also a loose cannon that could not be trusted and in the end all his mistakes caught up to him and caused his death, he died like all bullies cursing others, it is this version of Lu Bu that Koei uses for their DW games.
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Unread postby Tyler » Sat Oct 16, 2004 10:26 pm

PrimeMinister Bu Zhi wrote:
Positive: The greatest fighter of the era.


Says who. :)

Well the sheer fact of lifting 500 (pounds or someother chinese weight measurment) in a military test is proof enough for me.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Sun Oct 17, 2004 2:01 am

I rather think that anyone who's able to stand up as an independent force against the likes of Cao Cao, Liu Bei, and Yuan Shu for as long as he did should be considered a capable person. Lu Bu was also able to command the loyalty and respect of people like Zhang Liao, Gao Shun, and Chen Gong. It's hard to tell from the novel (or even his historical biography) why these people were willing to die for him, but I think it's unquestionable that these people chose to follow him. Unlike Dong Zhuo and Cao Cao, who nominally operated under the emperor, or Liu Bei, who claimed imperial blood, or the two Yuan's, who came from a prestigious family--Lu Bu had nothing, neither power nor land nor legitimacy. He must, then, have sufficient charisma to attract those worthy people to himself and have them be willing to die for his cause.

Then there was also Diao Chan. Did she love him? Did he love her? Their relationship is one of the only two relationships described in any detail in the novel (the other being Liu Bei + Lady Sun)--but not enough detail. The rest is up to the reader's imagination. Even if one despises Lu Bu for putting women and personal affections above greater things (like success in war/politics), I think it's hard not to have a slight bit of sympathy for him.

And he is not all that bad. Lu Bu saved Liu Bei from Ji Ling (how many warlords do you find that served as intermediaries? Liu Bei is the only one I can think of (between Cao Cao and Tao Qian)). He did not harm Liu Bei's family even after he captured the city.

He may be dumb, irresolute, driven by petty gains, but Lu Bu is human. He has loved, has been feared, has stood proudly unchallenged on battlefield; he was tempted, was used, was uncertain about his goal in life. I think it's these human experiences that, when combined with his military prowess, that transform a man with a record of mediocre achievements into a flawed romantic hero (in some people's eyes, at least).

Lu Bu was cool. :P
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Sun Oct 17, 2004 2:20 am

Duels are not accurate. For example, Liu Bei drawed Xiahou Dun, Xiahou Dun draws Guan Yu. So Liu Bei is as strong as Guan Yu? Xiahou Dun also draws Cao Bao. Cao Bao is as strong as Guan Yu? Guo Huai draws Jiang Wei and Jiang Wei draws Zhao Yun. Guo Huao is equal to Zhao Yun? Many cases like this occur, and many commanders can be put on par. A duel, by me, does not determine who is stronger unless fought for a long period of time. Very long, until there is a winner. If it's draw, one of the commanders can be way better then the other but still draw him. I see accomplishments as verification.

For example, Taishi Ci saved Kong Rong from the yellow turbans and dashed in alone into the city and out. And he dueled Sun Ce and Cheng Pu to a draw. Taishi Ci also dueled Zhang Liao to a draw. Now, Taishi Ci may easily be stronger then Lu Bu, so could the people he dueled. This is because he never matched anyone who fought Lu Bu. Taishi Ci's deed for Kong Rong, however, makes it seem like he could very well be stronger then Lu Bu, who's main glory comes from duels that I can prove to be wrong. Also, people like Zhang Fei, Guan Yu or Zhao Yun can also be stronger then Lu Bu. Who knows. Zhang Fei fought him an average length to duels. He may have killed him if it continued as a one on one. The fact that he retreated from all 3 bros despite a long duel, shows that he is in fact not invincible.
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Unread postby Uiler » Sun Oct 17, 2004 2:28 am

I thought (this is from the novel only) that Chen Gong only followed Lu Bu because he wanted to use him to wipe out Cao Cao? But really under that reasoning, shouldn't we say that Dong Zhuo also must have had something going for him in the novel because he did have some loyal followers?

I guess I just don't see anything that is particularly romantic about him. He willingly killed his foster father to support a blood-thirsty tyrant (and not a charismatic talented genius one like Cao Cao. More the typical brutalise, rape, loot and torture type). He backstabs everyone. Even his relationship with Diao Chan wasn't particular romantic in my opinion as he was just being used (yes I am a girl and I used to be addicted to Mills and Boon, Harlequin for US people in high school and to me that relationship is not very romantic. If he was a nicer person I'd feel sorry for him, but I don't feel any sympathy when a rat gets tricked).

I was thinking for fallible heroes there are a lot better choices in Romance. Guan Yu for example with his pride and arrogance that was his downfall. Zhou Yu and his jealousness (remember we're just talking about the novel here). Cao Cao, if you want to talk about someone who does lots of good things (which is more than Lu Bu does) but with the faults of overwhelming ambition and ruthlessness. (Yes, I am a Shu-ist but I like a lot of the Wu and Wei people too. I'm a big Cao Cao and a big Zhou Yu fan for example. I also like Sun Ce and Sima Yi).
I just guess in my opinion, if someone is going to be a ruthless ambitious, ruthless backstabber, who only cares about their own advancement they'd better be really really good at it for me to admire them e.g. Cao Cao. Otherwise in my opinion at least, they are just petty little rats who deserve to get squished by those better than them (in personality, honour and talent) :) Maybe it's just me. I guess I'm unusual in disliking Lu Bu...:)

Lady Wu wrote:I rather think that anyone who's able to stand up as an independent force against the likes of Cao Cao, Liu Bei, and Yuan Shu for as long as he did should be considered a capable person. Lu Bu was also able to command the loyalty and respect of people like Zhang Liao, Gao Shun, and Chen Gong. It's hard to tell from the novel (or even his historical biography) why these people were willing to die for him, but I think it's unquestionable that these people chose to follow him. Unlike Dong Zhuo and Cao Cao, who nominally operated under the emperor, or Liu Bei, who claimed imperial blood, or the two Yuan's, who came from a prestigious family--Lu Bu had nothing, neither power nor land nor legitimacy. He must, then, have sufficient charisma to attract those worthy people to himself and have them be willing to die for his cause.

Then there was also Diao Chan. Did she love him? Did he love her? Their relationship is one of the only two relationships described in any detail in the novel (the other being Liu Bei + Lady Sun)--but not enough detail. The rest is up to the reader's imagination. Even if one despises Lu Bu for putting women and personal affections above greater things (like success in war/politics), I think it's hard not to have a slight bit of sympathy for him.

And he is not all that bad. Lu Bu saved Liu Bei from Ji Ling (how many warlords do you find that served as intermediaries? Liu Bei is the only one I can think of (between Cao Cao and Tao Qian)). He did not harm Liu Bei's family even after he captured the city.

He may be dumb, irresolute, driven by petty gains, but Lu Bu is human. He has loved, has been feared, has stood proudly unchallenged on battlefield; he was tempted, was used, was uncertain about his goal in life. I think it's these human experiences that, when combined with his military prowess, that transform a man with a record of mediocre achievements into a flawed romantic hero (in some people's eyes, at least).

Lu Bu was cool. :P
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Sun Oct 17, 2004 2:52 am

I think that everyone had character faults depending on how it is veiwed. To some, Lu Meng can be a God of Virtue and Loyalty, to others he can be a sneaky and dirty traitor. Many can be judged this way.
The only thing I don't like is how Lu Bu is easily considered the strongest without even being challenged at all.
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Unread postby Kong Wen » Sun Oct 17, 2004 3:36 am

This is a thread about Lu Bu's heroism in the novel.
The novel explicitly states on many occasions that Lu Bu was an unparalleled warrior.
Since it is a novel and a fiction, we take the narrator's word for it.
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Unread postby PrimeMinister Bu Zhi » Sun Oct 17, 2004 4:34 am

I am basing my assumptions on the novel. Anyone can have a reputation, but Lu Bu was overcome too many times. That Yellow Turban with a whip or something was said to be incredibly strong but was killed by Guan Yu in a second. I say he just had a reputation for nothing.
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