Who hated Cao Cao the most?

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Who hated Cao Cao the most?

Unread postby Lord Bio » Mon Aug 15, 2005 7:29 am

Hello,

In your personal opinion who do you think hated Cao Cao the most and why? Your answer can be either from a historical standpoint or a novel standpoint, or take both in accounts.

In my opinon, and this is from a novel standpoint as I can't find anything in the SGZ to support or disprove this, the person who hated Cao Cao the most had to have been Chen Gong. While Ma Chao comes close in his hatred fro Cao Cao, I think Chen Gong simply surpasses him. The reason for this is because after a while Ma Chao simply gave up on trying to go after Cao Cao, he never went all the way like Chen was willing and did eventually do. While others might have come close in hatred of Cao Cao Ma Chao and Chen Gong simply stand out the most, and Chen Gong tops Ma Chao.

Now for reasons why. Chen Gong hated Cao Cao because Chen Gong perceived Cao Cao actions as the betryal of Chen Gong's ideals. I am of course talking about when Chen Gong saves Cao Cao's life (again this is in the novel) and then chooses to serve Cao Cao because he believe Cao Cao to be a rightous man. Cao Cao betrays this belief when he killed his uncles family and ultimatly the uncle himself. While Cao Cao did have his reasons for this, Chen Gong from that point forward is Cao's enemy.

This hatred comes to forefront when Chen Gong serves Lu Bu and forces Lu Bu into conflict with Cao Cao. I say forces because it is obvious that Cao Cao had no intrest of really conflicting with Lu Bu, and likewise the same for Lu Bu. But Chen Gong rains arrows down onto Cao Cao to force the battle/war. Even after Chen Gong is captured by Cao Cao, Chen Gong's hatred does not allow him to beg for mercy from Cao Cao. In fact if he did, Cao Cao would have proably let him go, as Cao Cao still had some affection for Chen Gong. Chen Gong chose his own death, and I think the death of his own family, over submitting to Cao Cao. I say the death of his family because I think Chen Gong expected Cao Cao to kill his family, why else would he say this, "It is said that one who rules with due regard to filial piety does not harm a person's family." This to me was a jab at Cao Cao, because Cao Cao did indeed harm his own family in the slayings of his uncle. Even when Cao Cao ordered Chen Gong's family saved, Chen Gong refused to say anything, not beliving that Cao Cao could do anything but evil.

Would like to hear your opinoin,

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Unread postby Lady Wu » Mon Aug 15, 2005 7:50 am

Why not Ma Chao? Cao Cao did kill all 200 members of his family. I'd personally be pretty pissed off at someone who does that to my folks. Or maybe Dong Cheng, Ji Ping (Ji Ben in history), or Geng Ji? Those people actually tried to murder Cao Cao. Even if Ma Chao took less action against Cao Cao than Chen Gong did, it doesn't necessarily show that he hated him less.

I find it unconvincing that Chen Gong would have some kind of relentless hatred against Cao Cao. A difference in political opinion, maybe, or disapproval of personal character, but hardly full-fledged hatred. Sure, Cao Cao betrayed Chen Gong's beliefs, but he didn't betray his person! Chen Gong had only himself to blame for believing something without proof first.

Why wouldn't Cao Cao want to destroy Lu Bu (and vice versa)? It was all about hegemony and control over the empire, not personal love or hatred. Lu Bu needed to expand in order to survive, and Cao Cao could not tolerate having this threat in his back. They necessarily have to go to war against each other. Chen Gong only facilitated that necessity.

I also don't see why Cao Cao would kill Chen Gong's family had Chen Gong not pleaded that line. Cao had very little bad feelings towards Chen (otherwise he wouldn't have begged him to submit to him), and killing his clan seems superfluous, not to mention bad publicity.

Here is a thread on Chen Gong's intentions if you're interested.
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Unread postby Lord Bio » Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:43 am

Thanx for the thread I will read it to gain more information. BUt I have to say that Chen Gong obviously did have a great abiding hatred for Cao Cao.

To show this I will quote from the novel itself at www.threekingdoms.com. Again I am only looking at this from a novel standpoint as there is very little information about Chen Gong in the SGZ and I can't find his Bio there.

From the foot of the wall, Cao Cao called to Lu Bu to listen while he spoke. Lu Bu ascended to the wall where he stood.

Cao Cao addressed him, saying, "When I heard that your family and that of Yuan Shu were likely to be united by marriage, I sent an army against you. Yuan Shu was guilty of treason, while you had to your credit on the destruction of Dong Zhuo. For what reason have you sacrificed all your merits to throw in your lot with a rebel? It will be over late to regret when this city shall have fallen. But if you surrender and help me to support the ruling house, you shall not lose your rank."

Lu Bu replied, "If the Prime Minister will retire, we may be able to discuss the matter."

But Chen Gong, standing near his master, began to rail at Cao Cao for a rebel and shot an arrow that struck his plumed helmet.


As you can see Cao Cao at that time wasn't really hell bent who destroying Lu Bu. And Lu Bu for that matter wasn't eager to contest with Cao Cao. Chen Gong forced the situation by shooting arrows at Cao Cao.

Now this is taken directly from the death scene of Chen Gong.

"I hope you have been well since we last saw each other, Chen Gong?" said Cao Cao.

"Your ways were crooked, and so I left you," said Chen Gong.

"You say I was crooked; and what of your serving Lu Bu?"

"Though he was a fool, he did not resemble you in deceit and wickedness."

"You say you are able enough and clever, but what about your position today?"

Turning toward Lu Bu, Chen Gong said, "This man would not follow my advice. Had he done so, he would not now be a captive."

"What think you ought to be done about this day's work?" said Cao Cao.

"There is death for me today, and that is the end!" said Chen Gong undauntedly.

"Very well for you; but what of your mother and wife and children?"

"It is said that one who rules with due regard to filial piety does not harm a person's family; one who would show benevolence does not cut off the sacrifices at a person's tomb. My mother and wife and children are in your hands. But since I am your prisoner, I pray you slay me quickly and not to try to harrow my feelings."

Cao Cao's heart still leaned toward mercy, but Chen Gong turned and walked away, repulsing the attendants who would stop him. Cao Cao rose from his place and walked with Chen Gong, the tears falling from his eyes. Chen Gong never looked at him.

Turning to his guards Cao Cao said, "Let his mother and family be taken to Xuchang and looked after immediately. Any postponement will be punished!"

The condemned man heard him but uttered no word. He stretched out his neck for the blow. Tears sprang to the eyes of all present. His remains were honorably coffined and buried in Xuchang.


Even when Cao Cao had Chen Gong had his mercy instead of asking to be let to live what does Chen Gong do? He insults Cao Cao and reviles him, even though he knows it will be the death of him. As for Chen Gongs family I don't think Gong expected Cao Cao to let them live, so dim a view did Gong have of Cao Cao. I say this because it was Cao Cao slaying of his own family that turned Chen Gong against Cao Cao in the first place. In Chen Gong's eyes Cao Cao has no filial piety. This is taken from Cao Cao's infamous quote that only Chen Gong heard, "Rather we let down the world than the world let us down!"
And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts
And I looked and behold, a pale horse
And it's name it said on him was Death
And Hell followed with him.
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Unread postby Shi Tong » Mon Aug 15, 2005 11:33 am

On another point, who's to say how much someone hates someone? I think that Chen Gong shows his hatred maybe more than anyone else, whereas Ma Chao tries to attack Cao Cao by becoming an officer with Cao's enemy, he then takes his vengence by attacking Cao's armies.

I dont think this necessarily means that Ma Chao hates Cao Cao less, maybe this is Ma Chao's way of vengence, beating him in a war.

Also, Liu Bei should hate Cao Cao quite badly. He's the one who's basically userped the throne and toppled the Han, Liu Bei's way of dealing with this is making his own country and becoming an emperor, dealing a hefty blow by trying to take back the capital. The Han is supposed to mean everything to Liu Bei so he must hate Cao for his actions.
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Unread postby Guan Yunchang » Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:03 pm

What about the young emperor? He has to have an undying hatred for Cao Cao.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Mon Aug 15, 2005 11:43 pm

Well, Zhang Liao hurled abuses at Cao Cao too, and almost killed him at Puyang, but does that mean he hated him?

No. When you're someone's subject, you're supposed to be mean to their enemy. I suspect that Chen Gong's reviling of Cao Cao is partly due to his loyalty to Lu Bu, and partly out of his own ego--if he had abandoned Cao Cao before, naturally it would look better for Chen himself if he made Cao Cao look bad, justifying his earlier betrayal.
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Yuan Shao

Unread postby joshomac » Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:36 am

Maybe Yuan Shao hated Cao Cao. Well for one Cao Cao went to war with Yuan Shao. Cao Cao even killed some of Yuan Shao's family. But I've a question. Waht do you think would've happened if Yuan Shao & his family would've stayed alive? :?
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Re: Yuan Shao

Unread postby Sean » Tue Aug 16, 2005 2:48 am

joshomac wrote:Waht do you think would've happened if Yuan Shao & his family would've stayed alive? :?


I think Yuan Shao might have lived a little longer, then he would've been soundly defeated at a battle similar to Guan Du, but the battle would've been a little while later.
I think Ma Chao hates Cao Cao the most. I don't think it's necessary for me to repeat the first...three sentences Lady Wu wrote.
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Unread postby Lord Bio » Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:47 am

Lady Wu wrote:Well, Zhang Liao hurled abuses at Cao Cao too, and almost killed him at Puyang, but does that mean he hated him?

No. When you're someone's subject, you're supposed to be mean to their enemy. I suspect that Chen Gong's reviling of Cao Cao is partly due to his loyalty to Lu Bu, and partly out of his own ego--if he had abandoned Cao Cao before, naturally it would look better for Chen himself if he made Cao Cao look bad, justifying his earlier betrayal.


I have to disagree Lady Wu. Chen Gong hurling abuses at Cao Cao was totally different from when others did it. Also, Chen Gong did not hurl abuses or attack Cao Cao on Lu Bu's behalf. From my earlier post it is clear that Lu Bu did not want a war with Cao Cao at that moment in time. Chen Gong forced the was upon them both because of his hatred of Cao Cao. When he shot his arrows at Cao Cao and hurled his abuses at him, he knew it was going to begin a war that neither of them wanted. He did this because of his own spectacular hatred of Cao Cao. A hatred born of his belief that Cao Cao betrayed everything that he believed in, and I think maybe even a little self-regret that he chose to save Cao Cao. Chen Gong thinks that Cao Cao fooled him into saving Cao Cao, and he regrets that action. That is where that hatred is born from, him seeing Cao Cao as so trecharous that Cao Cao was even able to manipulate him, Chen Gong.
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Unread postby Shield » Tue Aug 16, 2005 1:23 pm

Lord Bio wrote:I have to disagree Lady Wu. Chen Gong hurling abuses at Cao Cao was totally different from when others did it. Also, Chen Gong did not hurl abuses or attack Cao Cao on Lu Bu's behalf. From my earlier post it is clear that Lu Bu did not want a war with Cao Cao at that moment in time. Chen Gong forced the was upon them both because of his hatred of Cao Cao. When he shot his arrows at Cao Cao and hurled his abuses at him, he knew it was going to begin a war that neither of them wanted. He did this because of his own spectacular hatred of Cao Cao. A hatred born of his belief that Cao Cao betrayed everything that he believed in, and I think maybe even a little self-regret that he chose to save Cao Cao. Chen Gong thinks that Cao Cao fooled him into saving Cao Cao, and he regrets that action. That is where that hatred is born from, him seeing Cao Cao as so trecharous that Cao Cao was even able to manipulate him, Chen Gong.


I have to disagree(and agree with Lady Wu) with you here Lord Bio. Chen Gong's hatred for Cao Cao was very little more than an enemy hating an enemy. Here is a passage from the novel right before Chen Gong was executed:

Next Chen Gong was led in.
163 "I hope you have been well since we last saw each other, Chen Gong?" said Cao Cao.
164 "Your ways were crooked, and so I left you," said Chen Gong.
165 "You say I was crooked; and what of your serving Lu Bu?"
166 "Though he was a fool, he did not resemble you in deceit and wickedness."
167 "You say you are able enough and clever, but what about your position today?"
168 Turning toward Lu Bu, Chen Gong said, "This man would not follow my advice. Had he done so, he would not now be a captive."
169 "What think you ought to be done about this day's work?" said Cao Cao.

170 "There is death for me today, and that is the end!" said Chen Gong undauntedly. »
171 "Very well for you; but what of your mother and wife and children?"
172 "It is said that one who rules with due regard to filial piety does not harm a person's family; one who would show benevolence does not cut off the sacrifices at a person's tomb. My mother and wife and children are in your hands. But since I am your prisoner, I pray you slay me quickly and not to try to harrow my feelings."

173 Cao Cao's heart still leaned toward mercy, but Chen Gong turned and walked away, repulsing the attendants who would stop him. Cao Cao rose from his place and walked with Chen Gong, the tears falling from his eyes. Chen Gong never looked at him.


That was too pleasant of an exchange to consider Chen Gong hatred for Cao Cao to be extremely deep. No cursing, no "I will get you from the grave" comment, etc... Not only that, Cao Cao didn't really do anything to Chen Gong or his family personally. However, in the novel people like Ma Chao, Emperor Xian, etc...?, I would think these people had far more hatred for Cao Cao because he did something to them personally that was about as painful as it can be. Here is a passage from the novel when Ma Chao heard that Cao Cao had executed Ma Teng:

Ma Chao fell to the ground and wept bitterly, grinding his teeth with rage at his enemy Cao Cao.


or when Cao Cao took Empress Fu away:

The soldiers hustled the Empress onward, leaving His Majesty beating his breast in despair.
138 "Can it be that such things happen in the world?" cried the Emperor to Chi Lu, who stood by.
139 And the Emperor swooned. Chi Lu made the courtiers pick him up, and they bore him into the Palace.


Those are much stronger expressions than when Chen Gong was about to be executed if you ask me.

P.S. If I recall correctly, wasn't there someone(in the novel) who wouldn't stop cursing at Cao Cao and Cao Cao had his tongue cut off so he would stopped? That guy must have hated Cao Cao pretty bad to curse at him that much also.
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