Is Chen Gong honourable?

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Do you think Chen Gong is an honourable man?

Yes
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58%
No
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42%
 
Total votes : 38

Is Chen Gong honourable?

Unread postby Lady Wu » Fri Jun 13, 2003 10:24 pm

While I'm on the subject of the advisors serving Lü Bu, I'll ask a question about what Chen Gong. This is, again, based on the novel. The question is, do you think Chen Gong was an honourable man in the novel? I had always thought that he's a respectable and honourable guy, until I reread the novel recently.

Points to consider:
(1) He quit his job and became a fugitive because he had respected Cao Cao as a good man.
-- my comment: Sure it was nice that he could disobey his orders to save the life of someone worth saving, and that's kinda honourable, but on the other hand he wasn't being loyal to his employment, and it wasn't clear what his quitting would do. He could have done better staying on at his job, let Cao Cao go, and use the power in his position to help Cao Cao.

(2) He left Cao Cao without a word, when he saw that Cao Cao would use all means to achieve what he wanted, even if it meant killing innocent people (at Lü Boche's house).
-- my comment: Ok, so Chen Gong had high ideals about righteousness and can't stand hanging out with someone who would kill innocent folk. But wasn't his leaving a bit impulsive? The fact that he considered (even for a fraction of a second) murdering Cao Cao in his sleep shows that he wasn't that much holier than him. Well, good thing he didn't. But at least he could have left him a note or something, admonishing him or at least advising him to be nicer or something.

(3) He joined Lü Bu, out of all people, through Zhang Miao, and stuck with him til the bitter end.
-- my comments: How is Lü Bu better than Cao Cao now? Lü Bu doesn't kill innocent people? Lü Bu's track record was even more miserable than Cao Cao's: whereas Cao Cao killed in self-defense, Lü Bu killed Ding Yuan for money, and Dong Zhuo for a woman. Probably Cao Cao was more dangerous cos he was smarter, but there are plenty other people Chen Gong could have served and do the country some good. He originally left his post to help the country; but how was serving Lü Bu going to help?

(4) He suggested to backstab Liu Bei, who showed them kindness and hosted them in Xuzhou.
-- my comments: so much for Mr Righteous...

(5) ...then in a false gesture of kindness, ceded the little city of Xiapei back to Liu Bei.
-- my comments: that's almost as bad as Liu Bei sending Liu Zhang away to Jingzhou...

(6) Chen Gong urged Lü Bu to ally with Yuan Shu, who is known to all as a traitor to Han.
-- my comments: this is probably a necessary move to secure Lü Bu's position, but where's the ideal of serving the kingdom of Han now?

Based on all that, I'd have to say that Chen Gong doesn't emerge as a more upright man than the novel makes him out to be. I still think that his death scene is one of the most touching scenes (especially in the tv series), but I would definitely hesitate to say that he was a good guy.

What do you think?
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Unread postby Zhou Yu » Sat Jun 14, 2003 4:23 am

I agree with you Lady Wu. While Chen Gong might have started with honorable intentions, he later performed deeds that were quite un-righteous, as you pointed out. Overall, I believe the consequences of his acts of "questionable" nature greatly outweigh everything he did in the sake of honor.
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Unread postby Mengdez New Book » Sat Jun 14, 2003 4:40 am

(1) He quit his job and became a fugitive because he had respected Cao Cao as a good man.
-- There is nothing wrong with this, he found a Lord that he thought really good enough. Most probably at this time he was still loyal to Han after he let Cao Cao go because of Cao Cao's action (wanted to assassinate Dong Zhou).

(2) He left Cao Cao without a word, when he saw that Cao Cao would use all means to achieve what he wanted, even if it meant killing innocent people (at Lü Boche's house).
-- Suddenly, he felt that he followed the wrong guy. So he left Cao Cao. How about if he knew that Cao Cao cannot be advise so he need to find another Lord to stop Cao Cao? And, he saw the incident of Lu Boche by his own eyes, i think this is very important for him to change his mind.

(3) He joined Lü Bu, out of all people, through Zhang Miao, and stuck with him til the bitter end.
-- Finally he found one guy can stopped Cao Cao. This guy was great as a good commander at war and he can be his advisor, both of them will give Cao Cao headache. Plus, maybe he thought that he can influence Lu Bu with his words to kill Cao Cao afterall Lu Bu famous with his 'tiny' mind in SGYY. Plus, he just heard the killing from Lu Bu (Ding Yuan) from other people and the most important, Lu Bu killed Dong Zhou. Therefore, Lu Bu can still be trusted.

(4) He suggested to backstab Liu Bei, who showed them kindness and hosted them in Xuzhou.
-- There is nothing wrong with this, an advisor advise his Lord to take the opportunity that arise. He needed a base to attack Cao Cao, Xuzhou is ideal place and who was Liu Bei anyway? :lol:

(5) ...then in a false gesture of kindness, ceded the little city of Xiapei back to Liu Bei.
-- Well, he needed someone to guard against Cao Cao while him put the whole Xuzhou in order. Also, he thought he can allied with Liu Bei to attack Cao Cao.

(6) Chen Gong urged Lü Bu to ally with Yuan Shu, who is known to all as a traitor to Han.
-- There is not much ally Lu Bu had right? What other chance did he has? And he didn't want his dream to end there.

There was too few honorable guy during RTK era and Chen Gong....Ahem, i think not one of them. :wink:
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Unread postby waynethegame » Sat Jun 14, 2003 12:50 pm

In my opinion, Chen Gong wasn't that honorable, although more honorable than a lot of other people. He berated and left Cao Cao because he [Cao] was ruthless and ambitious, and wouldn't hesitate to murder his own family in cold blood if it would benefit or save himself. But.. then he goes and joins the king of the backstabbers, Mr. Lu Fengxian himself. Sure, Lu Bu was justified in killing Dong Zhuo (after all it was Dong Zhuo :lol: ) but let's not forget that he's the Benedict Arnold of Ancient China... so by this action I feel that Chen Gong threw away his previous humanity and turned into a hypocrite.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Sat Jun 14, 2003 4:52 pm

Mengdez New Book wrote:[...] Plus, maybe he thought that he can influence Lu Bu with his words to kill Cao Cao afterall Lu Bu famous with his 'tiny' mind in SGYY.
[...]He needed a base to attack Cao Cao, Xuzhou is ideal place
[...]Well, he needed someone to guard against Cao Cao while him put the whole Xuzhou in order. Also, he thought he can allied with Liu Bei to attack Cao Cao.

Ok, even if that's true, I'm still confused about his intentions. Why the hostility against Cao Cao all of a sudden? Sure, he's such a mean guy that he can kill his family friends in cold blood, but Cao isn't the only bad guy out there.

-- There is not much ally Lu Bu had right? What other chance did he has? And he didn't want his dream to end there.

Good point -- I guess what I really want to know is what Chen Gong's dream is. Let's say he wanted to restore Han. That's unlikely, given his willingness to ally with the biggest traitor, Yuan Shao. Besides, there are plenty of other people who have more motivation to restore Han after they come to power, among them Liu Bei [*gasp*]. I really cannot see Lü Bu upholding the Han reign and supporting Emperor Xian even if he were to recapture Luoyang.

Let's say he wanted to bring unity to the world, regardless of who the new order is headed by. Perhaps he thought that since Lü Bu was so gullible and manipulatable (in the novel), it's easier to help him than to help people who have a mind of their own (or not, like Yuan Shao). However, this doesn't go through either, since Cao Cao looked the most likely candidate to take over the world, and would make a better ruler than Lü Bu too.

So we get back to the first point -- Chen Gong must have hated Cao Cao's guts (for the previous conjecture to work). But why though? It's not like Cao Cao killed his dad or something.

The last possibility that I can of is that Chen Gong had his own ambitions, to serve in a prestigious position of a lord. Better to be the leader of chickens than be the last of the cows, so the saying goes. The original plan was to manipulate Lü Bu to achieve his (Chen Gong's) own goals. Unfortunately, Lü Bu didn't listen to him and they both ended up dead. In this scenario Chen Gong is a manipulative, power-hungry man.

waynethegame wrote:so by this action I feel that Chen Gong threw away his previous humanity and turned into a hypocrite

Was he really a hypocrite? Or was he just unsure of what he wanted to do?It looks like he never talked about saving the kingdom after he joined Lü Bu, so perhaps he changed his mind somewhere in there?
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Unread postby waynethegame » Sat Jun 14, 2003 11:33 pm

Lady Wu wrote:Was he really a hypocrite? Or was he just unsure of what he wanted to do?It looks like he never talked about saving the kingdom after he joined Lü Bu, so perhaps he changed his mind somewhere in there?


That must be it, then, since he basically went from being all honorable ("You've wronged an innocent man!" in regards to Cao Cao's behavior) to helping Lu Bu, who we all know wasn't honorable at all and cared only for his own ambition.
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Unread postby Zhong Hui » Sun Jun 15, 2003 12:30 am

Why do you guys say that Lu Bu was the wrong liege? He was power-hungry, but mostly just stupid, he needed a strategist! Oh, and about Chen Gong attempting an alliance with Yuan Shu, that proves he was very loyal, he saw Lu Bu needed help and did what he could to save his liege.
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Unread postby Mengdez New Book » Sun Jun 15, 2003 7:06 am

Lady Wu wrote:Ok, even if that's true, I'm still confused about his intentions. Why the hostility against Cao Cao all of a sudden? Sure, he's such a mean guy that he can kill his family friends in cold blood, but Cao isn't the only bad guy out there.


I think i have mentioned that he saw with his own eyes that the incident happened.IMO, This make a big different. Sometimes, people need to see for themselves in order believe it. There maybe some rumours say that certain guys are villain and bad but if you haven't see it for yourself, you find it hard to believe (anyway, people nowaday like to believe to those rumours around him... sigh :cry: )

Anyway, if you go by the real history, it did make sense. According to the real history, Chen Gong betrayed Cao Cao because Cao Cao executed Bian Rang whole family. Chen Gong afraid that he might receive the same faith. That's why he rebelled with Zhang Miao and invited Lu Bu to join them. :wink:

Lady Wu wrote:Good point -- I guess what I really want to know is what Chen Gong's dream is. Let's say he wanted to restore Han. That's unlikely, given his willingness to ally with the biggest traitor, Yuan Shao.

How you define Yuan Shao as traitor? Yuan's family worked for Han for many generations, they had great reputation, i think it is quite normal for Chen Gong to seek for Yuan Shao's help because of this. If you compare with Cao Cao (father use money to buy the officer rank and grandfather as a eunuch), Yuan Shao looks more convince to restore Han.

Lady Wu wrote:Let's say he wanted to bring unity to the world, regardless of who the new order is headed by. Perhaps he thought that since Lü Bu was so gullible and manipulatable (in the novel), it's easier to help him than to help people who have a mind of their own (or not, like Yuan Shao). However, this doesn't go through either, since Cao Cao looked the most likely candidate to take over the world, and would make a better ruler than Lü Bu too.

Well, if like what you said, Chen Gong is a manipulative, power-hungry man. Who do you think he should choose to manipulate? Cao Cao? or Lu Bu?
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Unread postby Kingdom of Cheng » Sun Jun 15, 2003 9:48 pm

At first he seemed honorable but when he backstabed Liu Bei he was like a traitor and now I just don't know
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Unread postby Wizardman » Sun Jun 15, 2003 11:03 pm

Is he honorable? Well, there are many things he did right (ally with Lu Bu), but most of what he did wasn't exactly righteous

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