Paranoid integrity: revealing the reason why Zhang Fei wanted to kill Guan Yu

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Taoyuan San Jie Yi

According to an article in a newspaper, there was a couplet in the temple of Guandi somewhere in Henan Province, which commented on Guan Yunchang as follows: “the horse killed Yanliang, the enemy was captured by the forbidden army, the powerful military shook the three armies, and the Marquis of the grand Pavilion were not killed. Xuzhou fell to mengde, Nanjun lost Sun Quan, and the head traveled thousands of miles. It is hard to eliminate the shame of being called the great emperor.” To be honest, in all Guandi temples, the glory of his martial arts merits, moral integrity, loyalty and uprightness is highly praised. It is rare to see such a dichotomy to treat Guanyu as fair.

Guan Yu surrenders

Cao Cao

This stain and the immortal image of Guan Yu as a God are contradictions that make it difficult for writers to explain. There is a Peking opera called the ancient city meeting, which performs this story. Zhang Fei, who fell in the grass on Mount Mangdang, did not trust Guan Yu because he had fallen to Cao Cao. He immediately had the idea to kill him. He was also distressed that he could not defend himself. Anyway, he really surrendered. Just at the right moment, Caiyang chased him to clean up Guan Yunchang. He offered a head and stabbed him. Brother, let go of the past.

At that time, there was a scuffle among the princes, and thieves swarmed up to fight for the city and the land. Betrayal or surrender, a counterattack or leaving without saying goodbye are not very great things. The most famous example is Lu Bu. He killed Ding Yuan, his adoptive father, and then Dong Zhuo, who was also his adoptive father. He didn’t even blink an eyelid. When Zhang Fei played against him, he called him a “family slave with three surnames”, which was a severe reproach. It seems that Zhang Fei is not only fierce, but also has the spirit of revolutionary criticism. He has exposed Lv Bu’s old background all at once.

Another example is Liu Bei, who dealt with Cao Cao when he cast Lv Bu; After running to Cao Cao, he turned around and killed Lu Bu; When he worked under Cao Cao, he attacked Yuan Shu; Relying on yuanshaoshi, he became the enemy of Cao Cao. In less than ten years, it was so unpredictable that it could really be called a state of perpetual change. But all this seemed to have nothing to do with defection. It was just regarded as a political trick.

As for the literary ministers and military generals under Cao Cao, many of them were recruited by Cao Cao from opposing camps. For example, Zhang Liao was a former Minister of Lv Bu, Xu Huang was a subordinate of Yang Feng, Zhang Ying was an old minister of Yuan Shao, Pangde was a former Minister of Ma Chao paoze, and Wen pin was a former Minister of Liu Biao… As for the great counselor Jia Xu, who had once fought against Cao Cao and finally joined Cao Cao, he has now become the leader of the three changes; As for Xu you, it was in the Guandu campaign that he betrayed yuan to Cao and made great contributions. None of these people thought that their behavior was absurd?

Zhang Fei wanted to kill Guan Yu because he had demoted Cao Cao. The reason why he was so angry was that he could not forgive his treachery from the point of brotherhood. If he hadn’t worshipped his son and became a sibling with a different surname, Zhang Fei might not be worried about Guan Yu.

After Guan Yu was demoted to Cao Cao, Cao Cao gave a small banquet on three days and a big banquet on five days in Xudu. His desire to bribe and seduce was not included. The rest


I also admire Guan Yu. He did not look down on him because he betrayed Liu Bei. There was only one exception. That was Caiyang, who was later sacrificed to the sword by Guan Yu. On the contrary, Guan and Zhang were reconciled, and the brothers got together.

All sorts of signs show that in the Three Kingdoms, or in the years to come, laying down arms and surrendering, or betraying the former master, is not a great thing. Westerners believe that the value of life is above all else. If the only way to fight is to die, then it is extremely normal to surrender. According to the Geneva Convention, as a prisoner of war, the enemy should be treated humanely. According to the situation that Guan Yu was besieged in the earth mountain by Cao Jun and the presence of Liu Bei’s two wives, it is beyond reproach that he put down his Qinglong Yanyue sabre.

However, the later Chinese people, who stressed integrity to the extent of bigotry, went too far. From this point of view, Guan Yu’s even slightest vacillation is a treason. We should kill ourselves and become benevolent on the earth mountain, wrap up our bodies, defend to the death, and resist surrender. Therefore, it is absolutely possible for Zhang Fei to kill Guan Yu. Imagine, in

Cultural Revolution

During this period, those rebels believed that all those who had worked in the white area were traitors, and it was only strange that they were not traitors. It was this extreme paranoia that caused so many people to be locked in cowsheds, humiliated, beaten into tricks, and died with hatred. That was, of course, absolutely absurd logic, but for a while it became a very serious revolutionary action.

Therefore, when Luo Guanzhong wrote the romance of the Three Kingdoms at the end of the Yuan Dynasty and the beginning of the Ming Dynasty, he spent a lot of time on the moral integrity of Guan Yu’s demotion to Cao. Because at the time of writing the novel, the Chinese people had already reached the point where they were bound by the ethics and were about to suffocate. Even women have been nailed to the chastity memorial archway. What’s more, they are rebels and generals? So the things that were not taken seriously during the Jian’an period of the Eastern Han Dynasty became serious.

In this way, Mr. Luo hesitated when writing. If he criticizes and exposes harshly, and denounces and accuses Guan Yu, it will damage Guan Yu’s positive image. It’s hard to say if you don’t mention it at all. So he came up with an excuse which seemed to be justified. This is, of course, self deception. The Chinese are the masters of the game, and the masters of the game are the masters of the game.

Why can’t the later Chinese be tolerant? Because the feudal ethics suffocated the Chinese people, who had little freedom of thought, but could not think freely, they would lose magnanimity, tend to extremes, be absolute in everything, and see things metaphysically. As a result, such self shackled people lack the minimum understanding, sympathy and trust for others, only suspicion and vigilance, only doubt and fear. Their circles are smaller and smaller, their horizons are narrower and narrower, their friends are fewer and fewer, and their enemies are more and more. Finally, it even requires 100% purity. Therefore, to drive fish away from the deep and birds away from the clumps can only force more people who should be united to go to their opposite.

Sima Qian’s surrender to the Huns in order to be encircled reflected the second division to Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty


The truth was that the rescue was not effective and had to be defeated. As a result, he was sentenced to palace punishment and put in the silkworm room. From then on, no one dared to say more for those who were defeated but did not die.

Of course, there should be a clear distinction between right and wrong. Otherwise, what is the difference between justice and evil, light and darkness? However, if you are so paranoid that you are acting on your own will, so suspicious that you are not realistic and so narrow that everyone is an enemy, then the ancient city meeting will end up with Guan’s head on the ground. Looking back at history, and even the cultural revolution not long ago, is it rare that such tragedies did not die at the hands of real enemies but were mutilated by their own people?

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