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3 Brothers becoming more like Cao Cao the longer they fight

Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 6:35 am
by Eijiyoshikawa
While I was reading, something kind of far fetched popped up in my mind.

Towards the end of the first half of the novel we see that the 3 brothers start to subtly change:

-- Guan Yu starts to become more hasty and irrational (e.g. his wanting to fight Ma Chao when he has the responsibility of taking care of Jingzhou)

--Zhang Fei actually starts to become a little smart, as opposed to being a dumb brute (e.g. his iincorporation of Yan Yan into his army instead of executing him)

--Liu Bei begins to flaunt his virtue in an almost 'arrogant' manner; he starts to openly and consistently say that he is a 'humane and virtuous person'

My theory is perhaps that the longer the 3 brothers continue to fight Cao Cao, the more they start to become him. Those 3 aspects of change that the 3 brothers went through -- hastyness and arrogant confidence (Guan Yu), cunning (Zhang Fei), and external display of pseudo virtue (Liu Bei) -- all embody the character of Cao Cao.

I know it's kind of far fetched, but what do you guys think

Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:43 am
by Guan Gong
Perhaps in the novel, yes. Remember the 3 Brothers historically weren't all they were in the novel (IIRC Zhang Fei wasn't a drunk, historically).

Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:30 am
by Dong Zhou
I think Liu Bei always flaunted it really and Zhang Fei did have a fair few smart moments at the start, he suggests raising troops and has a few plans of his own that don't get remembered too often.

Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 1:08 pm
by Jiang Zhi
Historically, Liu Bei was just as ruthless as Cao Cao...

Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 1:48 pm
by Shadowlink
I agree, I think Cao Cao had a bad influence on them.

Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2007 4:48 pm
by Cao Chao
If that's the case, you could claim that almost everyone exhibits these traits that exemplify Mengde.

Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 2:22 am
by Zeche
That happens to everyone. As people get older, they naturally become wiser and crankier.

Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:13 pm
by Rakoru Hiryuu
It's sad that they realized after that long that acting like Mengde can make you stronger :wink: Can we say that historically, Zhang Fei was one of the few that become more polyvalent with time?

Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:43 pm
by DAv
Rakoru Hiryuu wrote:It's sad that they realized after that long that acting like Mengde can make you stronger :wink: Can we say that historically, Zhang Fei was one of the few that become more polyvalent with time?


That would depend on what polyvalent meant :wink:

Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 9:01 pm
by James
Jiang Zhi wrote:Historically, Liu Bei was just as ruthless as Cao Cao...

I don’t know if I’d call Liu Bei as ruthless as Cao Cao (e.g. his march on Tao Qian, his handling of the Guan Du prisoners), but Liu Bei certainly was very much like Cao Cao in history.