The relationship between Guan Yu, Cao Cao and Diao Chan

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In the old days, Guan Yu was honored as the “sage of martial arts”, with temples all over the world. Even an ordinary village built a temple related to the emperor, which was more than Confucius, the sage of literature.

Saints have the character of saints. They are aloof from things, do not eat fireworks between people, and cannot be seduced by women. However, in the early legends of the Three Kingdoms, Guan Yu had something to do with the stunning beauty Diao Chan: Cao Cao and Liu Bei surrounded Lu Bu in xiapi, and Cheng Po Lu Bu was captured. Guan Yu knew that Diao Chan was beautiful, so he asked Cao Cao to marry Diao Chan. Cao Cao saw that Diao Chan really deserved his name and wanted to take it as his own. His counselor advised Cao Cao not to lose too much for small, and Cao Cao Cao had no choice but to give Diao Chan to Guan Yu. This story is detrimental to the image of the martial saint. Guan Yu was seduced by women! Therefore, in the Zaju of the Yuan Dynasty, there appeared the play “Guan Wang beheaded Diao Chan on the moonlit night” by anonymous. This script has long been lost, but the later Peking Opera “beheading Diao Chan” followed its plot: xiapi city was broken, Lu Bu was captured, Cao Cao gave Diao Chan to Guan Yu, and at night Diao Chan teased and seduced Guan Yu in every way, but Guan Yu was unmoved, and finally angered Guan Yu and killed him. The intention of this play is very obvious, and its purpose is to wash away the stain of “lust” for Guan sage. Later, in Luo Guanzhong’s Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Lu Bu was captured and killed, Diao Chan completed his mission and disappeared, and there was no connection with Guan Yu.

Diao Chan is a fictional character in the legend of the Three Kingdoms. However, its fictional material is still traceable in the historical records of the Three Kingdoms. According to Jiang Xingyu’s textual research on “beheading Diao Chan”, there are three fictional materials: the first two materials are Dong Zhuo’s maid and young wife, which can be seen in the annals of the Three Kingdoms – Biography of Dong Zhuo and the annals of the Three Kingdoms – Biography of Lv Bu, respectively. The third material is the notes of Pei Songzhi in the annals of the Three Kingdoms – Biography of Guan Yu, quoting the book of Shu: “Duke Cao and Liu Beiwei, Lu Bu in xiapi, Guan Yu Qi Duke, and the cloth envoy Qin Yilu went to ask for help, begged to marry his wife, and promised it. When it was broken, it was repeatedly revealed to the Duke, and the Duke suspected that it had a different color, so he greeted it in advance. Yu was uneasy because he kept it.”

Obviously, Guan Yu once “begged” Cao Cao to marry Qin Yilu’s wife, which is an irrefutable historical fact. The ancients had a feudal sense of mischief, and it was understandable that they thought it would damage the image of Guan saints. Unexpectedly, in the early 1980s, there was an impressive debate on whether Guan Yu was lecherous in the drama and film newspaper. Those who advocate Guan Yu’s lust are based on the record of Shu Ji. Opponents interpreted “marriage” as “taking” and believed that Guan Yu was rescuing Qin Yilu’s wife and did not take it as his own. The interpretation of historical materials is ambiguous, and each takes what he needs.

This matter concerns whether Guan Yu is “lecherous”, of course, it is necessary to clarify its context. The record of Shu Ji is not isolated. The truth will be revealed to the world when it is connected with relevant historical records. According to Chen Shou’s records of the Three Kingdoms, Qin Yilu, a subordinate of Lv Bu, married a beautiful wife and had a son named Qin Lang. Liu Bei once made peace with LV Buyan, and Guan Yu met three members of Qin Yilu’s family in xiapi, making quite a friendship. At that time, the heroes fought against each other and fought frequently. Liu Bei later parted ways with Lv Bu. Then the life of Qin Yilu and his family was broken and changed. Pei Songzhi’s note in the annals of the Three Kingdoms – Emperor of the Ming Dynasty quoted the emperor’s offering period as saying: “(Qin) Lang’s father’s name is Yi Lu, who is Lu Bu’s envoy to Yuan Shu, and his wife is the daughter of the Han clan. His ex-wife Du Shi left PI. When Bu Zhi was surrounded, Guan Yu repeatedly asked Taizu (Cao Cao) to take Du Shi as his wife, and Taizu suspected that he had sex. When he saw the city subsidence, Taizu accepted it.”

This record is more clear and unambiguous than Shu Ji. Obviously, after Lu Bu sent Qin Yilu as an envoy to Yuan Shu, in order to win over and detain Qin Yilu, Yuan Shu “married a Han clan woman”, while his ex-wife Du stayed in xiapi. This “stay” also shows that Qin Yilu stayed in Yuan Shu place since then and never returned to xiapi. Later, Cao Cao and Liu Bei surrounded xiapi, and Qin Yilu still came to Cao camp as a “cloth envoy”. On the one hand, he mediated the relationship between Lu Bu and Cao Cao, and on the other hand, he entrusted his ex-wife Du Shi to Guan Yu through personal friendship. So Guan Yu “repeatedly invited Taizu to take Du as his wife”. This move aroused Cao Cao’s suspicion that Du must be a natural beauty. After seeing Du, he was greatly attracted, so he “accepted it” and completely forgot his promise to Guan Yu at the beginning. Guan Yu failed to marry Du Shi, and felt deeply that he had lost the trust of his friend Qin Yilu and was “uneasy”.

The concept of chastity and chastity was a feudal consciousness gradually formed after the Yuan Dynasty, which was not the case before the Yuan Dynasty. It was not surprising that Guan Yu wanted to marry Qin Yilu’s ex-wife Du at that time. In life, it is natural and natural to marry and have children. Before Guan Yu was canonized, he was also a mortal foetus. He couldn’t help but get a wife and have children, could he? In fact, Guan Yu did marry and have children later, as Shi youmingzai did. Therefore, Guan Yu’s desire to marry du not only cannot prove his lust, but also shows his true character of “being entrusted and loyal to others”, which is admirable! Cao Cao is the real lecherous. He forgets righteousness when he sees color and doesn’t know what honesty is.

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