Zhuge Liang overrated

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Re: Zhuge Liang overrated

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:00 pm

Going to put one thing out of order becuase it has left me wondering something

To find the answer "Zhuge Liang was overrated?" we must look to the historical man and by doing so, we can see that he was a very intelligent man, able and harding work but also, a terrible commander, a egocentric and narcissist character who take the course of history in his own hands (literally, most of what we knew today about Shu comes from his hands!). Had he not being "cautious", he would have shared the fate of Zhuge Ke.


On sharing fate of Zhuge Ke, unlikely given the very very different nature, culture and rulers of the two kingdoms.

Are you getting your stuff from the controversial archlich becuase some of that seems very much like him?

Zhuge Liang did not create Shu history. Where we get Shu's biographies (not including annotations) are....Chen Shou. Who was around one when Zhuge Liang died, the only record of his relations with the Zhuge family say hostile (but that source is considered questionable), whose work was a private project. If Zhuge Liang wanted history written by him, he would have created a history department (and it is a great regret that, perhaps due to the farce when Liu Bei tried to get a history project going, Shu never did), not left it to the chance a baby would later become a leading historian and be pro-Zhuge.

His inventions? that is a lot of debate here :mrgreen:
His organization? the phrase "retreat due to lack of supplies comes to mind?"
Master of retreat? LOL
Ability to use officers and understanding of his men? He never had such "ability", the use of his men only limited to his own faction, he was a narcisist bastard who ignored talents in his own ranks because of his ego.
Had he been Wei or Wu? Had been in Wu, his brother would have helped him A LOT to rise in the ranks, in Wei, he would have been a good prefect to a very far away count (he would have been distrusted because that is a Zhuge in Wu, the same kind of distrust that Zhuge Dan lived)


1) There is to an extent but none the less, we have some inventions recorded from that time and he does seem on a par with Ma Jun in that era

2) I said organization, not ability to terraform the landscape so Hanzhong wasn't a problem :wink:

3) Yep. Got his armies out intact, killed two Wei generals. It isn't a skill you want to use but is a useful skill to have. Imagine if Zhuge Ke had it :P

4) Yes he did. A problem Shu had was the miliatry didn't develop talent after he died whereas Liang left a strong officer core and he managed to keep Wei Yan useful despite Wei Yan's... problematic attitude. His use of generals allowed him to win towns and small scale battles.

Is there some he could have used better? Sure. Liang, like most people in his position, wasn't immune to bias and one wonders if likes of Peng Yang could have been used better. His first NC use of his officers was poor.

5) I didn't make my point clear I fear. I meant for Wei and Wu, his level of results would have been useful, for Shu it wasn't enough becuase they needed a major breakthrough.

In terms of how he would have done elsewhere, he probably would have got to very high levels of civil office in both kingdoms and had some miliatry career. Zhuge Dan had a long career in Wei despite his controversial choice of friends holding him back, would hold high rank and be given key defence points against Wu and he was not the first or last figure with ties to other kingdoms.

He know his limits, merit to him, but that don't make him a good commander, if we used this as a factor, one may say that Sun Quan was a good commander too and that is very far from reality.


No but I have listed other reasons why Liang was a good commander. Sun Quan was a good defensive commander but a terrible (as in actually terrible) offensive commander, problem for Wu is he never accepted the latter

Yes it is!


How does that the novel placed Liang in places he wasn't have any reflection on the historical Liang?

Yong Kai rebellion lasted YEARS (even before Liu Bei died), so, Zhuge have a lot of info about: "how the enemy fight?" (Zhang Yi had failed to supress the said rebellion, Ma Zhong gained merit fighting them) , "knowledge about the terrain (possibles routes of advance and retreat)". The part "Zhuge Liang never had the chance to face Yong Kai" came down here?


Yes, I'm aware Yong Kai's quite successful revolt was going on years. So yes Shu should have such information. That doesn't really answer my point? Zhuge Liang had never fought them before, was in Cheng Du (mostly) till then (his job then settling things after Liu Bei died) and was already gathering the army before Yong Kai was killed.

lorindir wrote:But even a cautious man should have listen more to his officers, he reppeated the same mistake more than once, he took the same road (even knowing that the enemy reinforced it!) and he followed the same mistaken tactic!


The only plan I call him rejecting is Wei Yan's questionable, never altering plan. I don't recall him taking the same road

lorindir wrote:1- Yang Yi was a member of Zhuge Liang faction, so.....


as was Wei Yan given how often Zhuge Liang sacked those Wei Yan disliked
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Re: Zhuge Liang overrated

Unread postby lorindir » Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:30 pm

Dong Zhou wrote:Going to put one thing out of order becuase it has left me wondering something

To find the answer "Zhuge Liang was overrated?" we must look to the historical man and by doing so, we can see that he was a very intelligent man, able and harding work but also, a terrible commander, a egocentric and narcissist character who take the course of history in his own hands (literally, most of what we knew today about Shu comes from his hands!). Had he not being "cautious", he would have shared the fate of Zhuge Ke.


On sharing fate of Zhuge Ke, unlikely given the very very different nature, culture and rulers of the two kingdoms.

Are you getting your stuff from the controversial archlich becuase some of that seems very much like him?

Zhuge Liang did not create Shu history. Where we get Shu's biographies (not including annotations) are....Chen Shou. Who was around one when Zhuge Liang died, the only record of his relations with the Zhuge family say hostile (but that source is considered questionable), whose work was a private project. If Zhuge Liang wanted history written by him, he would have created a history department (and it is a great regret that, perhaps due to the farce when Liu Bei tried to get a history project going, Shu never did), not left it to the chance a baby would later become a leading historian and be pro-Zhuge.

His inventions? that is a lot of debate here :mrgreen:
His organization? the phrase "retreat due to lack of supplies comes to mind?"
Master of retreat? LOL
Ability to use officers and understanding of his men? He never had such "ability", the use of his men only limited to his own faction, he was a narcisist bastard who ignored talents in his own ranks because of his ego.
Had he been Wei or Wu? Had been in Wu, his brother would have helped him A LOT to rise in the ranks, in Wei, he would have been a good prefect to a very far away count (he would have been distrusted because that is a Zhuge in Wu, the same kind of distrust that Zhuge Dan lived)


1) There is to an extent but none the less, we have some inventions recorded from that time and he does seem on a par with Ma Jun in that era

2) I said organization, not ability to terraform the landscape so Hanzhong wasn't a problem :wink:

3) Yep. Got his armies out intact, killed two Wei generals. It isn't a skill you want to use but is a useful skill to have. Imagine if Zhuge Ke had it :P

4) Yes he did. A problem Shu had was the miliatry didn't develop talent after he died whereas Liang left a strong officer core and he managed to keep Wei Yan useful despite Wei Yan's... problematic attitude. His use of generals allowed him to win towns and small scale battles.

Is there some he could have used better? Sure. Liang, like most people in his position, wasn't immune to bias and one wonders if likes of Peng Yang could have been used better. His first NC use of his officers was poor.

5) I didn't make my point clear I fear. I meant for Wei and Wu, his level of results would have been useful, for Shu it wasn't enough becuase they needed a major breakthrough.

In terms of how he would have done elsewhere, he probably would have got to very high levels of civil office in both kingdoms and had some miliatry career. Zhuge Dan had a long career in Wei despite his controversial choice of friends holding him back, would hold high rank and be given key defence points against Wu and he was not the first or last figure with ties to other kingdoms.

He know his limits, merit to him, but that don't make him a good commander, if we used this as a factor, one may say that Sun Quan was a good commander too and that is very far from reality.


No but I have listed other reasons why Liang was a good commander. Sun Quan was a good defensive commander but a terrible (as in actually terrible) offensive commander, problem for Wu is he never accepted the latter

Yes it is!


How does that the novel placed Liang in places he wasn't have any reflection on the historical Liang?

Yong Kai rebellion lasted YEARS (even before Liu Bei died), so, Zhuge have a lot of info about: "how the enemy fight?" (Zhang Yi had failed to supress the said rebellion, Ma Zhong gained merit fighting them) , "knowledge about the terrain (possibles routes of advance and retreat)". The part "Zhuge Liang never had the chance to face Yong Kai" came down here?


Yes, I'm aware Yong Kai's quite successful revolt was going on years. So yes Shu should have such information. That doesn't really answer my point? Zhuge Liang had never fought them before, was in Cheng Du (mostly) till then (his job then settling things after Liu Bei died) and was already gathering the army before Yong Kai was killed.

lorindir wrote:But even a cautious man should have listen more to his officers, he reppeated the same mistake more than once, he took the same road (even knowing that the enemy reinforced it!) and he followed the same mistaken tactic!


The only plan I call him rejecting is Wei Yan's questionable, never altering plan. I don't recall him taking the same road

lorindir wrote:1- Yang Yi was a member of Zhuge Liang faction, so.....


as was Wei Yan given how often Zhuge Liang sacked those Wei Yan disliked



I have fell into the trick of unreliable sources, sorry :oops:
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Re: Zhuge Liang overrated

Unread postby DragonAtma » Sat Jan 28, 2017 1:57 am

Most likely one of the reasons Zhuge Dan was mistrusted is that he was Zhuge Liang's cousin. If Zhuge Liang was in Wei, that would not longer be an issue.

Remember, Osama Bin-Laden was formally disowned by his entire family due to his actions, yet many americans assume that the entire Bin-Laden family is as bad as him.
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Re: Zhuge Liang overrated

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:04 am

DragonAtma wrote:Most likely one of the reasons Zhuge Dan was mistrusted is that he was Zhuge Liang's cousin. If Zhuge Liang was in Wei, that would not longer be an issue.


It was probably a mix of Zhuge Liang and Zhuge Jin's positions! Zhuge Jin would stil be in Wu.
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Re: Zhuge Liang overrated

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:38 am

Wasn't Zhuge Dan distrust a novel thing? He had high profile friends, held key defensive points and major ranks within Wei.
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Re: Zhuge Liang overrated

Unread postby DragonAtma » Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:48 pm

Maybe, maybe not; I do know that ambassador Zhuge Jin made a point of only talking to his brother Zhuge Liang in public, yet there were STILL rumors of him seeking to defect (Sun Quan correctly ignored the rumors).

Now, Zhuge Dan is a bit further away relationshipwise (cousin vs brother), but he was also less reliable (Rebellion #3 of Three Rebellions In Shouchun), so it's entirely possible.
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Re: Zhuge Liang overrated

Unread postby Aaron.K » Sun Jan 29, 2017 12:13 am

Dong Zhou wrote:Wasn't Zhuge Dan distrust a novel thing? He had high profile friends, held key defensive points and major ranks within Wei.


He did indeed have quite a few high profile friends, like Xiahou Xuan, and other well known associates of Cao Shuang. His daughter was also married to Sima Yi's son Zhou, and another daughter was married to Wang Ling's son.

The only reason he had any sort of fame in Wei though appears to have been due to the fact that his group was good at making themselves look good, but didn't have any real accomplishments. That seems to be the reason why Cao Rui was dissatisfied with him, rather than because of any familial relations.

I guess a good way to compare him at this point would be to Gilderoy Lockhart from Harry Potter. It's doubtful few people of the time would trust him after being demoted by Cao Rui because he had no solid accomplishments to his name. He only comes into the fold again once Xiahou Xuan starts exerting his authority after Rui's death.
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Re: Zhuge Liang overrated

Unread postby Xian Xu » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:26 pm

I find the "Zhuge Liang is overrated" conversations are strange to me, I don't fully understand the controversy.

What is the standard by which we are rating Zhuge Liang against? The novel's version? The casual fan's opinion? Zhuge Liang's ratings in the game series? The historical version of Zhuge Liang?

I feel like we can answer most of these questions without argument. Historically, he wasn't Gandalf of the Three Kingdoms. Media such as TV, movies and games tend to skew toward the fictional story, so the causal fan probably overrates Zhuge Liang since they do not have a nuanced understanding of the history/novel.

The only question I can think of that isn't easily answered is: Has the historical version of Zhuge Liang been overrated because of the novel's influence? I guess that's what we're arguing?

Sometimes when I read a thread like this, I'm left wondering if the issue is that when the average Three Kingdoms fan realizes the amount of fiction in the stories, particularly around Zhuge Liang and Shu, the fan feels wronged then overcompensates by taking a view of "that dude was a bum!" If I'm correct that the overcompensation happens, then I wonder does this happen in places like China where the story is a larger part of the culture?

Edited grammar errors. :?
Last edited by Xian Xu on Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Zhuge Liang overrated

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:31 pm

Xian Xu wrote:Sometimes when I read a thread like this, I'm left wondering if the issues it that when the average Three Kingdoms fan when s/he realizes the amount of fiction in the stories particularly around Zhuge Liang and Shu, do they feel wronged then overcompensate by taking a view of "that dude was a bum


Good question about if this happens in China but yes, I think you got to the nub of it. People read the novel, realize that some of it isn't true but don't realize how much of it is made up and then backlash horribly against the history one. That history backlash (and some get overhyped due to being seen as novel victim) does happen and I was guilty of it though more towards figures like Ma Chao
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Re: Zhuge Liang overrated

Unread postby Zyzyfer » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:50 am

Dong Zhou wrote:I was guilty of it though more towards figures like Ma Chao


:evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

I never recovered, Ma Chao is an overrated butt-face.
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