Cao Cao, novel and history

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Unread postby TheGreatNads » Thu Jul 24, 2003 5:30 pm

Lady Zhuge wrote:Hmm, I didn't know LGZ was related to a Shu guy. I just thought he was its biggest fan. :wink: Would you happen to know who specifically, PangDeGuy?


It had to do with the time it was written. In that time, Shu was known as the Han, and rightful kingdom or something like that.

Lady Zhuge wrote:And actually, even though the novel is biased towards Shu, many of Cao Cao's bad deeds(like his massacres) weren't even included in the novel, so he wasn't portrayed as negatively as he could have been.


I'd argue that. One could maybe make an excuse that the massacres were war tactics, but he did things like beat Mi Heng until he had no skin left in the novel.
Last edited by TheGreatNads on Thu Jul 24, 2003 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Lady Zhuge » Thu Jul 24, 2003 6:17 pm

TheGreatNads wrote:It had to do with the time it was written. In that time, Shu was known as the Han, and rightful kingdom or something like that.


Lady Wu summed it up beautifully.

TheGreatNads wrote:I'd argue that. One could maybe make an excuse that the massacres were war tactics, but he did things like beat Mi Heng until he had no skin left in the novel.


You would. :lol: Yeah, and I'm sure burying 80,000 surrendered soldiers alive as well as killing many who he perceived as to have looked down upon him, or beating to death a concubine who had his best interest in mind are all debatable as well. :roll: LGZ could have included all of those and let the readers decide if Cao Cao was being fair or not or just using battle tactics, but he didn't. Therefore, the negative depiction of Cao Cao could have been worse.
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Unread postby TheGreatNads » Thu Jul 24, 2003 8:46 pm

Lady Zhuge wrote:Lady Wu summed it up beautifully.


I agree :shock:

Lady Zhuge wrote:You would. :lol: Yeah, and I'm sure burying 80,000 surrendered soldiers alive


Oh come on. Cao Cao didn't even have 80,000 soldiers of his own before them. If even half of them decided to revolt, Cao Cao would be in big trouble. Leaving them alive would be like suicide.

Lady Zhuge wrote:as well as killing many who he perceived as to have looked down upon him, or beating to death a concubine who had his best interest in mind are all debatable as well.


Cao Cao didn't sent a consort to be strangled to death in the novel..

Lady Zhuge wrote::roll: LGZ could have included all of those and let the readers decide if Cao Cao was being fair or not or just using battle tactics, but he didn't. Therefore, the negative depiction of Cao Cao could have been worse.


I suppose it could have. I just don't see how it could get any worse. It could add on to his number of massacres, but I really don't think at that point, his atrocities would be suprising at all, and their addition would really wouldn't make him any worse, just the same. But that's just my opinion. I think LGZ made Cao Cao worse than he was.
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Unread postby Lady Zhuge » Thu Jul 24, 2003 10:24 pm

TheGreatNads wrote:Oh come on. Cao Cao didn't even have 80,000 soldiers of his own before them. If even half of them decided to revolt, Cao Cao would be in big trouble. Leaving them alive would be like suicide.


First of all, you're assuming any of them would have revolted. Secondly, why choose burying them alive versus more humane execution? Finally, then what stopped Cao Cao from accepting the surrender of 300,000 Yellow Turban rebels? You don't think Cao Cao outnumbered 300,000 if he didn't even outnumber 80,000, now do you?

TheGreatNads wrote:Cao Cao didn't sent a consort to be strangled to death in the novel..


That's the point. LGZ didn't include that hideous act(and I'm pretty sure Cao Cao himself beat her to death, not sent her to be strangled) when he could have. It certainly wouldn't have helped Cao Cao's image any. :roll:

TheGreatNads wrote:I suppose it could have. I just don't see how it could get any worse. It could add on to his number of massacres, but I really don't think at that point, his atrocities would be suprising at all, and their addition would really wouldn't make him any worse, just the same. But that's just my opinion. I think LGZ made Cao Cao worse than he was.


You're speaking for yourself in this regard. For other people, more atrocities would most likely make Cao Cao seem worse, not the same, and certainly not better.
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Unread postby TheGreatNads » Thu Jul 24, 2003 11:30 pm

Lady Zhuge wrote:First of all, you're assuming any of them would have revolted. Secondly, why choose burying them alive versus more humane execution? Finally, then what stopped Cao Cao from accepting the surrender of 300,000 Yellow Turban rebels? You don't think Cao Cao outnumbered 300,000 if he didn't even outnumber 80,000, now do you?


I'm not assuming anything. However, it's a possibility that they will revolt, and that would cause Cao Cao many problems. And the Yellow Turbans were untrained farmers with no leader. There's a big difference.

Lady Zhuge wrote:That's the point. LGZ didn't include that hideous act(and I'm pretty sure Cao Cao himself beat her to death, not sent her to be strangled) when he could have. It certainly wouldn't have helped Cao Cao's image any. :roll:


A stupid mistake by me there. I meant to say he did send a consort to be strangled to death.

Lady Zhuge wrote:You're speaking for yourself in this regard. For other people, more atrocities would most likely make Cao Cao seem worse, not the same, and certainly not better.


Look at it this way. It's like saying Hitler would be more hated if he killed killed 100 more people after he had already killed thousands. He wouldn't be more hated, he would be hated just the same as he was before, because he had already killed thousands, and the others won't make a difference. But all I was saying is that, LGZ did in some ways make Cao Cao worse in the novel.(Like the example I used earlier.)
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Unread postby Sam » Fri Jul 25, 2003 10:32 am

I've split your posts from the questions thread. Please continue your debate here, you two.
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Unread postby Lady Zhuge » Fri Jul 25, 2003 3:58 pm

TheGreatNads wrote:I'm not assuming anything. However, it's a possibility that they will revolt, and that would cause Cao Cao many problems. And the Yellow Turbans were untrained farmers with no leader. There's a big difference.


There's also a big difference between the numbers 300,000 and 80,000. Also, the 80,000 were surrendered soldiers, not just enemy soldiers who were still keen on fighting. How do you know they still even had their weapons? In fact, with your reasoning, why would Cao Cao even bother accepting the services of ANY surrendered soldiers or generals and use them at all? How would he know for sure that they would never turn on him in action, which would obviously cause him many problems?

TheGreatNads wrote:A stupid mistake by me there. I meant to say he did send a consort to be strangled to death.


That's almost mild, considering he beat the other one to death himself.

TheGreatNads wrote:Look at it this way. It's like saying Hitler would be more hated if he killed killed 100 more people after he had already killed thousands. He wouldn't be more hated, he would be hated just the same as he was before, because he had already killed thousands, and the others won't make a difference. But all I was saying is that, LGZ did in some ways make Cao Cao worse in the novel.(Like the example I used earlier.)


But there is a difference. Specific incidences and details tear at the heart and conjure up images in one's mind, whereas just stating so-and-so killed 100 people does not as much, since it's not as personal. Of course the LGZ Cao Cao seemed a lot worse, especially compared to the righteousness of many of the Shu characterss portrayals. However, that doesn't mean LGZ made Cao Cao out to the worst that he could have been. This is not only with the exclusion of some massacres, but those specific incidences as well. In fact, I don't recall it being in SGYY how Cao Cao forced his long-time advisor Xun Yu to commit suicide. Now is that any way to treat a guy who was so vital in the foundation of Wei?
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Fri Jul 25, 2003 5:08 pm

Lady Zhuge wrote: Of course the LGZ Cao Cao seemed a lot worse, especially compared to the righteousness of many of the Shu characterss portrayals. However, that doesn't mean LGZ made Cao Cao out to the worst that he could have been.

I agree. Look at Cao Cao's heroism in the beginning of the novel. His attempt to assassinate Dong Zhuo was probably on a par with the heroism of Zhao Yun saving the kid, Zhou Tai saving Sun Quan, Deng Zhi facing Sun Quan, etc. I mean, Dong Zhuo was strong, and Lu Bu wasn't to be messed with! And yet armed with just an ornamental dagger he dared to assassinate the great man. Cao Cao in the novel was also the one who called the Alliance to be formed, the one who held it together for the time it lasted. Clearly he's not all evil. I also suspect that most people would root for the Cao camp during Guandu rather than for the Yuan's. I think Luo himself is undecided whether he liked Cao Cao or not; historical facts say that he's not pure evil (though he committed various atrocities), but popular culture says he was.

In fact, I don't recall it being in SGYY how Cao Cao forced his long-time advisor Xun Yu to commit suicide. Now is that any way to treat a guy who was so vital in the foundation of Wei?

In SGYY, Cao Cao sent an empty food box to Xun Yu, and taking the hint, Xun Yu poisoned himself.
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Unread postby Lady Zhuge » Fri Jul 25, 2003 5:11 pm

Lady Wu wrote:In SGYY, Cao Cao sent an empty food box to Xun Yu, and taking the hint, Xun Yu poisoned himself.


Okay, my mistake. Is that what happened historically, though?
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Fri Jul 25, 2003 5:20 pm

Lady Zhuge wrote:Okay, my mistake. Is that what happened historically, though?

The story isn't recorded in the main SGZ, but is in the Wei Shi Chunqiu "Annuals of the Wei family". I don't know how trustworthy that source is, but Pei Songzhi didn't dispute it like how he disputed the Empress Fu story.
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