Biographies and Essays by SOSZ Members

Discuss historical events and information concerning any culture, time, or location in our world (or even the frontier beyond).

Unread postby LKS » Thu Apr 19, 2007 12:30 am

My A Level Coursework , please if you read it do give some advice as its not too late to change little bits lol. Enjoy. its along read i know.





To what degree was the Easter Rising of 1916 successful?

“The republic which was declared at the Rising of Easter Week, 1916, was Ireland’s expression of the freedom she aspired to. It was our way of saying that we wished to challenge Britain’s right to dominate us”. 1

Those the words of Michael Collins, a rebel in the rising and one of the signatories of the agreement signed with the British government in 1922 that granted dominion status to the 26 counties of Ireland that would become the Republic of Ireland today. In order to establish whether the rising itself was a success and to what degree one must first recognize the groups that made up the rising and their goals, these often remarkably different, then to see to what degree these were successful or unsuccessful .The main groups that planed and had goals for the rising are generally accepted to be the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB), the Irish Citizen Army (ICA) and Germany, although a number of other smaller groups did play a part these are considered the main parties.
The IRB and more importantly the military council which contained the leaders of the rising and the main signatories of the declaration for a republic, consisted of the leadership of nearly all the republican organizations in Ireland, from the Irish Volunteers to “Comman na Ban” had many goals for the Rising, most incorporated in the declaration which was read aloud from the General Post Office during the rising, but also responses to offers of home rule and counter offers. One aim that the IRB pursued was a free Ireland, including the north that was not under British rule, the leaders saw offers of home rule as “mere crumbs from the rich man’s political table”.2.This aim is further supported in the declaration during the rising where they proclaimed “the Irish Republic as a Sovereign Independent State”.3 The aim of an independent state is further enforced by the large numbers of rebels that were part of the Rising who were or had been part of other republican groups such as Clan Na Gael , Sinn Fein and the Irish Parliamentary Party, all of whom in their own way pursued Irish independence. One major point of controversy in the aims of the rising is in the theories of “blood sacrifice”, against that of actual military aims. Many historians argue that the IRB saw the rising as a chance to make a stand against British occupation; they argue though that this stand was more symbolic than realistic and that the leaders sought to inspire a sense of nationalism across the country and in future generations. This theory is backed up by the character of Patrick Pearse , one of the leaders of the rising , evident in such examples as a speech he made at the funeral of O’Donovan Rossa , a republican in 1915 : “Life springs from death : and from the graves of patriotic men and women spring living nations.”4 Pearse’s had a very strong belief in martyrdom and death for a cause, he wrote of it in relation to the Great War, “the old heart of the earth needed to be warmed with the red wine of the battlefields. Such august homage was never before offered to god as this, the homage of millions of lives given gladly for love of country”.5 However the strongest claim for the theory that the rising was a sacrifice came in Pearse’s last letter home to his mother before his execution: “This is the death I should have asked for if god had given me the choice of all deaths – to die a soldiers death for Ireland and for Freedom…. People will say hard things of us now, but later they will praise us”.6
However other historians in light of the evidence that has been released both by the British, Irish and German administrations have argued that the rising had a strong, competent and valid military plan and goals. The “Irish Report” is the greatest source of evidence and was written primarily by Joseph Plunkett. The report was an in depth plan of taking control of Ireland including the landing of German troops in the west, a large number of arms to be imported as well as the taking of important strategic places such as the English harbors for the Germans, very lucrative for the German war struggle as “an independent Ireland would provide the German navy with naval bases in the west of the country from which U Boats could sever England’s Atlantic lifeline.”7 Many historians argue that the Ireland report is one of great military competence and shows that the rising was aimed at more than just sacrifice but higher goals: “What emerges from any study of the Ireland report is the wealth of hard detail which the military council had assembled, a definite belief that given the right circumstances, a quick victory over the British was both desirable and attainable”.
The Irish Citizen Army was founded by James Connolly in wake of the Dublin lockout of 1914, to protect workers in the union from violent oppression by the British forces. Connolly was a true socialist and student of Karl Marx, he saw the rising as a chance for a better system for the working class, his classic statement was “The cause of labor is the cause of Ireland, the cause of Ireland is the cause of labour”8 The socialist background of the ICA is further seen by Connolly who was editor of Irelands first socialist paper “The Workers Republic” in fact at Liberty hall , ICA headquarters, just before the Rising Connolly warned his men that he had separate goals to the Irish volunteers “if we should win , hold on to your rifles , because the volunteers may have a different goal. Remember, we are not out only for political liberty, but for economic liberty as well.”9. However due to the conservative and highly devout catholic culture of Ireland a socialist cause was never going to receive much attendance, therefore Connolly in this frustration started to threatened action to free Ireland with his own army, “By the end of 1915 Connolly’s frustration had lead to increasingly strident demands for action and to threats that if nobody took the lead then he would act with his tiny citizen Army.”10 The IRB saw this as a threat, not to them but to the rising as any smaller rising would bring about a stricter system by the British government and make the Easter Rising a less likely success. So in 1916 the military council of the IRB had Connolly kidnapped and brought for three days of negotiation , where it was decided that “in return for abandoning his own insurrectionary plans Connolly was offered an alliance between the Irish Volunteers and he Citizen Army , and a place on the military council.”11 The ICA was too small to have actually beaten the British out of Ireland but with this combination Connolly was in a position where he could hope to bring about socialist changes under an independent Ireland , this best seen by his appointment during the rising as “Vice President and commandant General of the Dublin Division of the army”.12
The final group that had hopes for the rising were the Germans, it is often questioned however if the Germans took the rising seriously, given the mixed support from them. Plunkett in his Irish report took the Germans as a serious ally who would be the keystone in turning the rising into a success, he had hoped for military leadership and ammunition as well as a U boat to control the waters. However it is clear that the Germans were not serious in showing tangible support and their aims were to cause disruption to England, “The Germans rendered assistance to both Orange and Green factions in the hope of making trouble for the British and to a degree the Americans.”13 This help is seen by at different times the Germans offering assistance to the Orange side through pamphlets such as “The Kaisers Ulster Friends”, as well as meetings between the Kaiser and Carson where they seemingly agreed to support the Ulster Volunteers. The IRB was given assurances itself of German help when Plunkett visited Berlin with roger casement, there they were assured that “an expeditionary force armed with artillery, was a real possibility”. 14 However this a lie and when the assistance was supposed to be delivered by Roger Casement he was outraged to find out that no tangible help would come , his liaison Captain Nadolny told him that , “ The Germans had little interest in Ireland beyond the possibility of some military diversion”. 15 It is clear therefore that the Germans wanted the Irish to fight on their own , the did provide a shipment of Arms that was to be delivered to the rebels on board the vessel the Aud , it however was discovered by British warships and was forced to destroy itself. The Germans aim was to cause the British confusion and divert troops from the war, to do this however they expected much but contributed little.
Depending upon how one looks at the events of Easter week one can see it as a massive success or a terrible defeat, or of course somewhere in between. For the IRB if ones take the belief that Easter week was to be that of “blood sacrifice”, an example for future generations to fight for a free Ireland to determine its success is to look into the future. “1916 helped give birth to a period in which an alternative, more aggressive brand of Irish nationalism replaced that of the IPP [Irish Parliamentary Party], with Sinn Fein”.16 the result of the Easter Rising gave Sinn Fein great support and lead it massive success in the coming election of 1918:


17.

Another point of success is to look at Sinn Fein’s leadership, after the election results of 1918 Sinn Fein took it upon themselves to set up an independent government the “Dail Eirann”, “a cabinet including leading military men such as Michael Collins, Cathal Brugha and Richard Mulcahy”18, all men whom had been involved in the Easter Rising, lead by Eamon de Valera who was the only surviving member who signed the declaration in the rising. It is clear that not only did the rising invoke a cry for national independence, seen by the leadership of Sinn Fein and its success; it also created those who had died into Martyrs seen best by murals in Belfast and commemorations:

19.
21.
20.


A final success of the “blood sacrifice” theory comes from Tom Barry, a prominent figure in the IRA (Irish Republican Army); his words echoing Pearse’s own are an account to the impact the rising had on the Irish population “through the blood sacrifices of the men of 1916, had one Irish youth of eighteen been awakened to Irish nationality. Let it also be recorded that those sacrifices were equally necessary to awaken the minds of ninety per cent of the Irish people.”22 This ninety percent of the Irish people that Tom Barry refers to is not only seen in the election results that with Sinn Fein and the IPP combined meant that the call for Irish independence was shouted by 70% of the people but also by the military action of the formed Irish Republican Army against the British forces between 1916-1922 which forced them into negotiations and the coming treaty.
On the other hand the strong evidence that the rising was meant to be that of a military success is clearly a failure. The Irish report had banked upon the help of German forces this was a complete failure as to avoid capture the Aud carrying the arms was exploded “to send to Aud to the bottom, taking with her what little prospect there had been of the rising succeeding”.23 Not only was there no support from the Germans in any form but the hopes that there would be a national rising was also destroyed by Eoin MacNeil, one of the leaders of the Irish Volunteers who was being used by the IRB military council. After the failing of the Arms with the sinking of the Aud MacNeil using his position and trying to save lives in what was now becoming a inevitable defeat for the rising wrote a countermanding order to all volunteer brigades ordering them to not mobilize “MacNeill now dispatched messengers such as the O Rahilly throughout the country with countermanding orders for the Sunday Manoevueres”.24 MacNeill also tried to save bloodshed in Dublin by writing a message to the volunteers in the Sunday Independent “oweing to the very critical situation , all orders given to the Irish Volunteers for tomorrow Easter Sunday are hereby rescomded.”25 From the start of the Rising it is clear that it was a doomed affair although one minor piece of success comes from the casualties list that state during the whole rising that 450 dead, 2614 wounded and 9 missing of the dead 116 were British army and a roll call for the volunteers stated that 64 were dead rebels. 26
The ICA had hoped the rising would lead to socialist reform, not only in terms of politics but economically. Connolly who was a devout socialist had hoped that this would spark a change in the fortunes of the working class in Ireland, this majority Catholic. After the rising the IRA and was comprised of mostly lower class Catholics , the people Connolly was attempting to help, “the IRAs 1919-21 war was a sense of social or status resentment amongst a Catholic lower-middle class.”27 Although after 1922 and the civil war there were good movements by the government to improve the situation of the poor such as the 1924 Ministers and Secretaries act that included “slum clearance and new housing construction, making grants of some £300,000 available,” as well as to restrict the squalor such as drinking hours being contained however the Irish government never truly became what Connolly wanted, a socialist government.
Finally the Germans saw the rising as a distraction for Britain one which might give an opportunity for them in the great war, this however would prove to be a failure too. Firstly the rising was not popular enough , thanks to MacNeill’s orders as well as the failure of the Aud the Rising turned from what the Germans hoped would be a distraction to a small contined battle in Dublin between just over a thousand rebels. “64 rebels as having died out of a grand total of 1,558”.28 When you compare that this was contested agains some twenty thousand british troops it is a miracle that the rebels held out for so long , this in due thanks to their training in street fighting , the easter rising ended after just




1. [Armed Struggle the History of the IRA, Richard English]
2. [The 1916 Easter Rising, Tim Pat Coogan].
3. [Declaration of an Irish Nation]
4. [Ireland in the Twentieth Century, Tim Pat Coogan]
5. [Ireland in the Twentieth Century, Tim Pat Coogan]
6. [The Easter Rising, Michael Foy]
7. [The Easter Rising, Michael Foy]
8. [The Course of Irish History, T.W. Moody]
9. [1916: The Easter Rising, Tim Pat Coogan]
10. [The Easter Rising, Michael Foy]
11. [The Easter Rising, Michael Foy]
12. [The Easter Rising, Michael Foy]
13. [Ireland in the Twentieth Century, Tim Pat Coogan]
14. [Ireland in the Twentieth Century, Tim Pat Coogan]
15. [Ireland in the Twentieth Century, Tim Pat Coogan]
16. [Armed Struggle the History of the IRA, Richard English]
17. [www.wikipedia.org]
18. [Armed Struggle the History of the IRA, Richard English]
19. [Falls Road, www.stanford.edu/group/ww1/spring2000/B ... Image2.htm]
20. [90th Year Commemoration of 1916 Easter Rising, 2006]
21. [Celebrative Post Stamps of 1916 Leaders]
22. [Armed Struggle the History of the IRA, Richard English]
23. [1916: The Easter Rising, Tim Pat Coogan]
24. [The Easter Rising, Michael Foy]
25. [The Easter Rising, Michael Foy]
26. [The Easter Rising, Michael Foy]
27. [Armed Struggle the History of the IRA, Richard English]
28. [The Easter Rising , Micheal Foy]
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Unread postby Jebusrocks » Tue Jun 05, 2007 4:19 am

Here is my bio of Yeon Gae Seo Moon. Although it is incomplete and sometimes even inaccurate cuz by bro wants to use the pc. I'll finish maybe tommorow. :)

Woo Jae

Bio on Yeon Gae Seo Moon

Yeon Gae Seo Moon (연개소문, 淵蓋蘇文), is a famous general and politician during the mid 6th century. He is the son of a famous line of Gorguryo Prime Ministers, Grandfather Yeon Ja Yu (연자유, 子遊) and Father Yeon Tae Ju (연태조, 太祚). He was born with a prophet saying that he will overthrow the King made him a great target for the Crown Prince, and sent assassins to kill him. Yeon Gae Seo Moon escaped to Shillia with the help of his father, and lived there for most of his teenage life. He was taken in by Kim Yu Shin’s family as a slave, and was eventually trained as a trainee (at that time, non-Shillian people and slaves did not have the rights to become a hworang). He then tried to return to Gorguryo, but failed and ended up in Sui. From there, he was taught by a famous merchant, and married a daughter of a famous politician. When his father died, he returned back to his home nation to take his father’s positions, but the Imperial family and many politicians rejected Yeon for the fear of the prophet about Yeon. But Yeon protested as he had every right to succeed his father, and appealed to the Royal Court. Finally he was able to convince them. However, Yeon Gae Seo Moon was unsatisfied with how the government handled the diplomatic affairs with Tang. In 642, he invited 100 of the most important politicians and the royal family, and killed them including the Emperor. He then put Bo Zhang on the line of succession. He then named himself “Grand Minister of Gorkuryo”.
In 645, the Tang Emperor seized this opportunity to defeat Gorguryo, with an army set to be above 1 million soldiers. He saw early success, taking over strategically castles such as Gae Mo Castle and Bi Sa Castle. Here, instead of heading straight for Pyongyang, he decides to secure the road by attacking Fort Liaodong (Yodong). He succeeds, and was praised for Liaodong never fell in the entire invasion the Sui Dynasty attempted. Yeon Gae Seo Moon sends to of his sub-ordinates with 150 000 men, but faces utter defeat. But Lee Sae Juk was miraculously held off by Yang Man Choon at Fort Ansi, and is forced to retreat. Here, Yeon Gae Seon Moon leads a van guard towards the fleeing Emperor, and chases him all the way to modern-day Beijing, before returning to his homeland. Lee Sae Juk dies a few moments after due to the humiliation at losing against Yeon Gae Seo Moon, who was his former friend. The First Gorguryo/Tang War ended as a victory for Gorguryo. Soon after, Lee Sae Juk’s son sends another invasion force led by So Jung Bang and Bang Hyu Tae to revenge his father. Here, instead of attacking Ansi and Liaodong, he takes a shortcut through the seas and the eastern border to enter the war. Ignoring Yang Man Choon, they lead straight to Pyongyang. Yeon Gae Seo Moon sends his son, Yeon Nam Sang to battle, but he loses tragically. Yoo Gae Seo Moon than leads an army himself at Salsu, and defeats the Tang army. This battle is known the Greatest Victory for Gorguryo during the Gorguryo/Tang Wars. In 662, he dies of a wound he could not recover, leaving his position to his eldest son, Yeon Nam Sang. It is said that he spent his last minutes with his best friend, Yang Man Choon, and that when Kim Yu Shin conquered PyongYang, the first thing he did was visit his old slave (although Kim Yu Shin treated Yeon Gae Seo Moon like a friend)’s grave.
It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat.
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Unread postby Jebusrocks » Sun Aug 05, 2007 3:42 am

Woo Jae

Yi Sun Shin was born in April 28, 1545, in Joseon , A Korean dynasty at that time. His father was convicted a criminal at his early years, so they family had hard time trying to survive. Thankfully, Yi Sun Shin met with Yu Seong Ryung at his early life. They became friends, and were important characters to the later life, at the Japanese Invasion.

Yi tried to go into military service by entering the annual military examination, but failed due to a fractured leg at the cavalry section of the test. A year after, he passed the test, and was positioned at the norther border. Here he proved his worthiness by capturing the Jurchen (A tribe in Manchuria). People of high power feared the young man's intelligence and wit, so he was convicted of desertion amongst many other things for him to leave military service. He was captured and tortured, with his military rank stripped. When he was released, he once again served Korea as a common soldier. With his skills, he rose up quickly among the ranks once again, and was soon appointed ze "Commandant of the Seoul Hunryeonweon". He rose amongst the ranks once again, and soon practically controlled the Korean navy.

News had it from the government that Hideyoshi will attack Korea when he unified Japan, and Yi was left in charge of building a navy to repel it, Here Na Tae Young, a subordinate of Yi Sun Shin, built the world's first ironcald warship, by the name of "거북선"(turtle ship).

True to the rumors, Hideyoshi declared war on Korea, and amassed a large army to supresss Korea. His saw early success, capturing Busan. But soon Yi Sun Shin entered the war, and thus teh Imjin War commenced.

The first battle of Imjin was the Battle of Okpo. The Battle of Okpo lasted two days total, which took place in Okpo Harbor. Okpo was already conquered by Japan, and fifty ships were surronding the island harbor now. With 24 Korean ships (not Turtle Ships), and surrounded the enemy. The enemy, led by Todo Takatora, attempted to fight back, but failed, and retreated. The Korean navy, surrounding the enemy destroys all buy 2 ships, without losing a single soldier (although according to some records, a soldier was wounded). Around 4000 Japanese lost their lives.

Next goal was to capture the city of Sacheon. Yi Sun Shin, numbering at 25 ships (not turtle ships), attacked a much larger army of 70. It looked as if he was fighting htem head on, but soon Admiral Yi began to retreat. Around 40 ships followed the retreating fleet. At near night, Yi hailed at the enemy with fire arrows and cannons. This time the Japanese were prepared, and started shooting with their own guns. Guns however had low range at that time, and they needed to close in on the Korean fleet. Before any Japanese soldiers could climb in to Korean ships however, the heavy fire kept them back. In addition, Admiral Yi had unleased his secret weapon; the turtle ship. The one turtle ship frightened the Japanese soldiers. The ram destroyed every ship nearby, and the cannons were firing and destroying all Japanese fleets nearby. Nearly indestructible against Japanese cannons, it continued to wreak havoc. The entire fleet was destroyed, leaving the rest of the Japanese in Korea frightened at the news of a invincible ship.

Hideyoshi, seeing the troubles, tried to deeply, tried to deploy two Portugese Galleons, but failed, and instead, increased his navy size to 700. Admiral once again won numberous battles, even with the news of loss at mainland Korea, the soldiers remained in high morale due to Yi Sun Shin's excellent leadership. He also won many battles due to his knowledge in the coastal regions, and the superiority in ships; especially that of the Korean Turtle ships. In 1592 alone, he commenced and won 4 consecutive Campaigns, winning all 23 major battles. With little to no casualties, Yi has sunken 100 Japanese fleet and thousands of Japanese soldiers.
To add to this cause, Kato Kiyomasa and his 30 000 soldiers were defeated in Korea by a mere 3000 soldiers, a third of them being monks.

The Japanese soldiers in Busan became frantic, little to no supply ships were coming in, and the entire invasion was halted. Although Busan was now secure, Hideoyoshi needed Yi Sun Shin to be dead.

A Japanese agent holding high power in Korea informed the General-in-Chief that a spy has informed him that Kato Kiyomasa was bringing a large fleet to the Korean shores. He immediately told Admiral Yi this, and told him to set up ambush at a certain point. Yi refused, because the particular area was filled with sunken rocks, and he knew a renown general such as Kato Kiyomasa would be stupid enough to go through it. Because of refusing orders, Admiral Yi was stripped of command, sentenced to death and was tortured.


At 1597, Woo Gyun, the Admiral who took the place of Admiral Yi, fought against a much larger Japanese Army; and was massacred. The navy in which Yi had made for so long was destroyed in one day, with only 13 ships left and all turtle ships destroyed.

King Seonjo, realizing his mistake, personally apologized to Yi, and gave him full position as the Admiral-in-Chief. Yi, acting as if nothing has happened, took the 13 ships that was left, and charged at the Japanese navy which numbered at 333 ships. Using the current, morale, etc of the soldiers, the 13 ships pushed the Japanese Navy back. The Koreans lost no ships, and a total of 5 casualties; while the Japanese lost almost 12 000 soldiers, 31 ships sunk, and 90 unrepearable for service. This enabled the Japanese at the Korean peninsula to be totally pinned down, without reinforcements or supplies, and the Korean/Ming defeated them. Also, the Ming navy, finally convinced that the Japanese could be defeated at sea, helped the Korean navy from so forth. However, he died, and quoting he said under his last breath,

[QUOTE=Yi Sun Shin]“Do not weep, do not notify my men of my death. Beat the drum, blow the trumpet, wave the flag for advance. We are still fighting; finish the enemy to the last one.”[/QUOTE]
It is said that Yi has lost less than 100 soldiers in his entire campaign, while killing tens of thousands of Japanese soldiers.


Today, he is renown in Korea as the greatest admiral of all time, and other countries are starting to do the same.
The Admiral George Alexander Ballard of the Royal navy quotes,


It is always difficult for Englishmen to admit that Nelson ever had an equal in his profession, but if any man is entitled to be so regarded, it should be this great naval commander of Asiatic race who never knew defeat and died in the presence of the enemy; of whose movements a track-chart might be compiled from the wrecks of hundreds of Japanese ships lying with their valiant crews at the bottom of the sea, off the coasts of the Korean peninsula... and it seems, in truth, no exaggeration to assert that from first to last he never made a mistake, for his work was so complete under each variety of circumstances as to defy criticism... His whole career might be summarized by saying that, although he had no lessons from past history to serve as a guide, he waged war on the sea as it should be waged if it is to produce definite results, and ended by making the supreme sacrifice of a defender of his country. (The Influence of the Sea on The Political History of Japan, pp. 66–67.)


And also Admiral Tetsutaro Sato of the Imperial Japanese Navy quotes,
Throughout history there have been few generals accomplished at the tactics of frontal attack, sudden attack, concentration and dilation. Napoleon, who mastered the art of conquering the part with the whole, can be held to have been such a general, and among admirals, two further tactical geniuses may be named: in the East, Yi Sun-sin of Korea, and in the West, Horatio Nelson of England. Undoubtedly, Yi is a supreme naval commander even on the basis of the limited literature of the Seven-Year War, and despite the fact that his bravery and brilliance are not known to the West, since he had the misfortune to be born in Joseon Dynasty. Anyone who can be compared to Yi should be better than Michiel de Ruyter from Netherlands. Nelson is far behind Yi in terms of personal character and integrity. Yi was the inventor of the iron-clad warship known as the Turtle Ship (Geobukseon). He was a truly great commander and a master of the naval tactics of three hundred years ago. (A Military History of the Empire (Japanese: 帝國國防史論), p. 399)



Most of these are off the top of my head, but things like the quotes, are from wikipedia
It is curious that the Americans, who calculate so carefully on the possibilities of military victory, do not realize that in the process they are incurring deep psychological and political defeat.
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Re: Biographies and Essays by SOSZ Members

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:13 pm

Hello, scholars.

Attached is my final paper (PDF) from my Classical Chinese / Literature course, an analysis of the character of Cao Cao in the Maoban - I'd appreciate any feedback you guys might have on it.
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神奸密雄: Enigmatic Villain, Unsung Hero
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Re: Biographies and Essays by SOSZ Members

Unread postby Mike » Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:56 pm

WeiWenDi wrote:Hello, scholars.

Attached is my final paper (PDF) from my Classical Chinese / Literature course, an analysis of the character of Cao Cao in the Maoban - I'd appreciate any feedback you guys might have on it.

I had a look at your paper. Overall, I thought it was a fairly interesting topic. I do have a couple suggestions though. I was having trouble pinning down your exact argument. Were you comparing Cao Cao's portrayal in the historical novel to that of official histories and commentaries? I think it would help if you stated your thesis a bit more clearly. A few sentences were a tad wordy and awkward as well. I think you could have also used a few more academic secondary sources to enrich your analysis. In addition, when you were talking about Cao Cao's mistrust as a fatal flaw, you could've added a few instances from the Battle of Chibi (ie: stabbing Liu [sorry his name escapes me at the moment]). But on the whole, I quite enjoyed the paper. Good work!
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Re: Biographies and Essays by SOSZ Members

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:44 pm

Mike wrote:I had a look at your paper. Overall, I thought it was a fairly interesting topic. I do have a couple suggestions though. I was having trouble pinning down your exact argument. Were you comparing Cao Cao's portrayal in the historical novel to that of official histories and commentaries? I think it would help if you stated your thesis a bit more clearly.


Ah, that's true. I had several mini-theses running around in my head as I was writing - I eventually narrowed it to something like 'Luo Guanzhong and Mao Zonggang took definite liberties with the actual history in order to embellish Cao Cao, placing him in the role of operatic / Shakespearean villain, but the Cao Cao that comes through is still a complex and intriguing character'. But you're right - that should have come off far more explicitly in the opening paragraph.

Mike wrote:In addition, when you were talking about Cao Cao's mistrust as a fatal flaw, you could've added a few instances from the Battle of Chibi (ie: stabbing Liu [sorry his name escapes me at the moment]).


Huh. I'll have to go back and look at that. I notice on going back and reading the paper that I was looking for examples in the novel of Cao Cao's progression deeper and deeper into paranoia, and how it inevitably undid him, though this incident at Chibi might well have served to highlight that progression.

Mike wrote:But on the whole, I quite enjoyed the paper. Good work!


Thanks!
Some more blood, Chekov. The needle won't hurt, Chekov. Take off your shirt, Chekov. Roll over, Chekov. Breathe deeply, Chekov. Blood sample, Chekov! Marrow sample, Chekov! Skin sample, Chekov! If I live long enough... I'm going to run out of samples.
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Re: Biographies and Essays by SOSZ Members

Unread postby Mike » Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:49 am

WeiWenDi wrote:Huh. I'll have to go back and look at that. I notice on going back and reading the paper that I was looking for examples in the novel of Cao Cao's progression deeper and deeper into paranoia, and how it inevitably undid him, though this incident at Chibi might well have served to highlight that progression.

I suppose the events at Chibi weren't so much paranoia as Cao Cao acting rashly and becoming susceptible to deception, but they still probably could fit in. In Ch. 48, Cao Cao sings a song with some fairly ominous words, which is noted by Liu Fu. Out of anger, Cao Cao throws a spear at Liu killing him. Another example of Cao Cao's rash actions could be his execution of Cai Mao and Zhang Yun, which could be construed as paranoia in a way.
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