Guan Yu was a target.

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Was Guan Yu a target?

Yes, He had red white and blue paint on his forhead.
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30%
Yes, because he was a figurehead of Shu.
3
30%
I think he was, but maybe only just as big as any other general.
4
40%
No, because he didn't represent anything special about Shu.
0
No votes
No, he wasn't a target for anyone!!
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No votes
 
Total votes : 10

Guan Yu was a target.

Unread postby Shi Tong » Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:36 pm

What I think is missed by most scholars here about Guan Yu is that he was a clear, large target for everyone of 3k times.

Most of you will quickly dismiss him as an idiot, or arrogant or a million other things before you would say he was a target.

You see. The way I see it is this:

Many other generals who had a lot of balls at the time got defeated, we dont look down on them for that. This includes people like Pang De, who was clearly a pretty good general, but was defeated.

Many other generals also had reputation which they did not fulfill. People like Ma Su, though looked at now as a bit of a fool isn't quite as berated as Guan Yu.

That's because Guan Yu had the reputation, even in 3k times to be invincible and powerful as a man and a warrior. He was seen as a really important figure for Shu and Liu Bei, and an amazing man in general.

So was it such a surprise when Guan Yu, who was clearly just a strong and confident man, should be beaten?.

If Guan Yu never had that reputation in the first place, we'd all probably either not be so up tight about him, or we'd probably just dismiss his failure as a misfortune which should have been expected, or one which he could not do much about, seeing as he was a normal warrior and man.

Because he had this reputation, he became a 3k target which Wu and Wei both wanted to knock down. So Guan Yu's defeat was inevitable because of these factors. Nobody could have resisted at Jing, regardless of their abilities, so maybe we should give him a break? After all, he was just a man.
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Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:16 pm

Actually I just consider Pang De a good vanguard general and clearly a skilled warrior, he was also subordinate in the loss. His reputation perhaps benefits from his death and also from not getting over promoted. Ma Su benefits slightly I think due to his seeming to have collapsed under pressure, it is human and Zhuge Liang also gets a lot of blame there from people. Guan Yu meanwhile does not seem to have suffered a mental collapse as noted by his colleagues

Wei wanted to beat him down so why didn't they do a huge invasion of Jing? Wu invaded in 215 for what they felt they were owed, in 219 partly due to frustration but also Guan Yu's horrible attitude to them. Jing was pretty much untenable in Liu Biao's last days but he gets praise for what he did right. Guan Yu on the other hand does seem to have done very little right during this time. He is a target due to his reputation as is Zhuge Liang from the novel, I don't think he was necessarily one when alive or in a doomed position from the start
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Unread postby Shi Tong » Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:05 pm

Yes, and as a general, Guan Yu was highly promoted and not really very well tested, it seems he did very little to prove himself as governor of Jing Zhou, since I dont think he had had any position like this before being made governor of Jing.

In regards to his human failings, that was because he was human.

Jing was a target for Wu and Wei, I feel it was a strong target for all three kingdoms IMO because it was in the centre, it was well resourced, and IMO Guan Yu (as the holder of Jing) didn't really have the resources in terms of man power and advice which he should have had.

While Guan Yu didn't suffer a mental collapse, I bet if he HAD had a mental collapse, people would blame him for that too because he was holding such an important area.

Even historically Cao Cao (regardless of his mental state) feared Guan Yu and moved the capital because of it. Maybe this was just madness on Cao Cao's part, but it added to Guan Yu's myth of being some immortally strong warrior and probably played on his own ego.

I feel he was therefore a target for all to punch down- Liu Bei's most trusted general, apparently powerful enough to make Cao move capital, apparently powerful enough to scare Wu's men, apparently powerful enough to look after Jing.

In reality not.
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Unread postby Elitemsh » Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:06 pm

Shi Tong, you said that nobody could have resisted at Jing regardless of their abilities. I completely disagree with this.

I agree that Guan Yu should not be blamed for losing half of Jing in AD 214. However, he attacked Fan in 219 due to pride. He wanted merit so he could be ranked above his colleagues. In addition, he displayed more arrogance when he fell for Lu Xun's letter and when he raided Wu supplies. He deserves to be criticised for this. Had Guan remained on the defensive and continued to build his military strength then he could have held onto that section of Jing until he died naturally. Yet by invading he placed his own pride above what was best for his leader. IMO, Guan Yu was not worthy to govern Jing. I am certain that the likes of Zhuge Liang or Zhao Yun, men with excellent attitudes as well as being capable generals, would have held onto the part of Jing that Guan Yu lost in 219. These men deserve more of our respect than Guan Yu.
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Unread postby Shi Tong » Tue Mar 04, 2008 4:14 pm

I'm not defending Guan Yu, I'm just saying that he and his region was a target.

If he wasn't posted at Jing Zhou, then I'm sure he may have been better placed elsewhere under better guidance. I think he lacked guidance too.

I think maybe my first post saying nobody could have resisted at Jing is a little much.

What I mean is that I feel that, given as Guan Yu is one man and he had a lack of good help in Jing, if someone else, who was also just a general (lets face it, Guan Yu was just a general), may have fallen in the same pit falls.

Imagine if Zhang Fei or Zhao Yun were pretty much left on their own in Jing Zhou without any help, I wouldn't have been surprised if they had fallen into traps or been beaten in the same way Guan Yu was.

They would become targets too, but Guan Yu already had a reputation which meant people feared him, this is why I feel he is a larger target than a lot of other generals in Shu, and why I think that Jing was in danger while he was sitting there like a big target for Wei and Wu to kick.
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Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Mar 04, 2008 5:55 pm

I think he made himself a target by telling Wu he was going to use them as a football. Was Jing a target? Before 215 most certainly and there is little to blame him for there (other then his defeats to Wei before then.), he was just plain caught in the middle. After 219? Well when Wu were getting frustrated then possibly was going to reappear as a problem, Guan Yu's diplomacy on the other made it a certainty.

His reputation can be both a boon, witness the panic his simple marching caused Lu Su, Cao Ren and Cao Cao while it can also be a curse I'll admit, certainly his novel one bites him in how he is viewed now sometimes. Possibly Wu wouldn't have moved against him unless they felt he could carry out his threat but then they might not have ignored the first insult

I think other generals would have been more diplomatic and he did make some huge errors. Had he lost Jing in a similar way to 215, only this time no reinforcements from Liu Bei and Wu push him out then little blame to him, his actions after that though do the major damage to his reputation.

I think Zhang Fei and Zhao Yun would be too respectful of Wu to handle it so badly. Fei may have sparked riots though and would certainly have driven people away. I think any general who did what Yu did after 215 would have got invaded, be that they have his fame or have the reputation of a mouse
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Unread postby WuLordoftheNewAge » Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:51 pm

He may not have always been an extreme target, but after the whole Jing thing, It would appear he became as such.
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Unread postby NOD » Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:02 pm

i think guna yu was a target and the effect they got was probly what they wanted. liu bei's freind dieing and putting him in a state of agony so shu would be paralyzed for a time being (he just won against cao cao i think that would scare sun quan and tick cao cao off) and what better way to tear one of his wings right off.
of course i dont think EVERYTHING whent as planned they took jing and killed guna yu witch i bet sun quan at first would have held as a hostage (asking him to serve him) and then just killed him. sun quan probly hoped liu bei would weep and ignore matters and cripple shu but instead he declared vengeance, but working in sun's favour he managed to cripple shu as a whole and rid of guan yu, jing and liu bei in a matter of what?? 2 3 years.
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Unread postby Cao Shang » Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:09 pm

A convicted murderer on the run always is a easy target. :wink:

Guan Yu lacked any good adviser at Jing. But thats his failure probably at least partly because of his pride and arrogance!

Zhang Fei would just have been terribly in his place. He shouldn't be put in charge of any city without strong supervision.

Now Zhuge Liang obviously was needed elsewhere.

Zhao Yun though would have been pretty nice and I can see him handling the whole thing way better.

But who would you prefer to be at your home? Guan Yu or Zhao Yun? :lol:
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Unread postby WuLordoftheNewAge » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:23 pm

Cao Shang wrote:A convicted murderer on the run always is a easy target. :wink:

Guan Yu lacked any good adviser at Jing. But thats his failure probably at least partly because of his pride and arrogance!

Zhang Fei would just have been terribly in his place. He shouldn't be put in charge of any city without strong supervision.

Now Zhuge Liang obviously was needed elsewhere.

Zhao Yun though would have been pretty nice and I can see him handling the whole thing way better.

But who would you prefer to be at your home? Guan Yu or Zhao Yun? :lol:

I wonder if he would have eventually been called on the murder... And did Zhao Yun even have any abilities of a governor?
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