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關羽

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ganyuehan

關羽 is an interesting and confusing historical figure for me. I've gotten conflicting information on him. Some people say that his character in The Three Kingdoms is a vast exaggeration and glorification, and that he was arrogant, and not really that brave. Then again I've also read that he really was a brave, loyal and honorable hero.

Because it was such a long time ago, would it be unrealistic to know for sure either way?

I read that he fled his home town after killing a local bully? Is that true, and are there any more detailed accounts of this incident than just a sentence?

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Outofin

The novel is an exaggeration, but not a "vast" one. The novel incorrectly put many achievements of other people under Guan Yu's (and Zhuge's) name. But yes, Guan Yu was a brave, loyal and honorable hero. Understandably, he was arrogant too and the arrogance costed him his life. He died because he belittled the kingdom of Wu.

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leigao

Also please note that he's bee deified some times in the 宋 dynasty. It's very evident nowadays since people would put his picture along with 钟馗 as the "door gods". So... obviously there are lots of Washington's cherry trees stories in there over the ages, but most people believe historically he's a pretty good person / general.

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hanxue

Also, I've heard that mobsters worship him, as he is some kind of an idol for them...

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stonelee
Is that true, and are there any more detailed accounts of this incident than just a sentence?

关羽的介绍

Here is true and more details about 关羽.

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Shi Tong

Guan Yu.

try this

On Kongming.net they study all about all of the heros of this era, they give three different offerings of bios; the novel bio (exactly as you find in ROTK), the historical bio (which is always a slightly debated item, based on Sanguozhi), and a comprehensive one, which is a bit of a splice of the two.

Basically speaking:

There is no historical evidence that Guan Yu did a peach garden oath with Liu Bei and Zhang Fei, or made his way through the gates and killed those generals. It is also arguable that he defected to Cao Cao when Liu Bei dissapeared from the scene after the battle at Changban bridge. To his merit, he did return to his original leader, but it's debatable as to why he did this too- he may have gone back to find his "brother" because he was going to be a bigger more important person in Shu than he could ever have been in Wei- Cao Cao had many amazing generals and may not have recognised Guan Yu as anything other than a man who managed to kill Hua Xiong.

Then we have the debacle in Jingzhou- did Sun Quan lend or give this area to Liu Bei? Historically I can find arguments both ways- personally I think it looks as if he gave a city to Liu Bei and then Liu and his men took over lots of cities in Jing Zhou. When he went to the West, Sun Quan didn't mention about "giving it back" until he decided to betray Guan Yu, and the trust of Shuguo.

Guan Yu was foolish, but then, he wasn't a political genius, and Liu Bei made a mistake leaving him alone in Jing Zhou with very few quality men.

My overall assessment of Guan Yu is that he was a strong devoted man who was very physically powerful, he could lead an army and use basic stratagems, but he was prone to corruption and wasn't the smartest man, historically speaking.

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rivercao

Guanyu, historically, was a very strong general, it seems he never lost in one on one situation. He can lead an army, but his pride always got in the way of his judgment. According to some historic materials, Guanyu and Zhangfei were both physically undefeatable, the were described as tigers.

I think Guanyu was simply an emotional man, Caocao was very generous to him, gave him the best horse, Chitu, many gold, and respected him. Guanyu was not afraid of being killed, but if you can give a high evaluation on him and let him know, he will be satisfied.

I think Guanyu was already famous when his was at Caocao's side. Why he went back to Liubei? I don't know. Perhaps Liubei did better on making Guanyu happy.

An evidence is: Sunquan defeated him and captured him, but Guanyu refused to defect, I think this was partially because the loss of Jingzhou made Guanyu embarrassed.

Guanyu was not a smart man, and nor he was a coward, he just liked positive comments and lived in his own world.

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Shi Tong

I agree with you on a lot of points there.

Guanyu, historically, was a very strong general, it seems he never lost in one on one situation. He can lead an army, but his pride always got in the way of his judgment. According to some historic materials, Guanyu and Zhangfei were both physically undefeatable, the were described as tigers.

Dont forget that historically, the "one on one" battle between Lu Bu, Guan Yu, Liu Bei and Zhang Fei did happen, so if they were so amazing, why couldn't they take down one man?

That said, he did have his arm opened up and bone scraped, and was reported to be playing chess and laughing while it happened.. so.. he didn't fear pain.

I'm not entirely sure how amazingly strong Guan Yu was, mainly because he's long gone, but I'm sure he was definately a very strong and very confident person.

Battlewise, we can see how great he was when he was winning while fighting with Cao Cao (and Sun Quan) on the Jing Zhou borders. He DID flood the city, he DID scare Cao Cao.. he even got him to move his capital* (did he actually move, or just consider it.. cant remember now!??!).. some argue that Cao was too old and senile to really be able to comprehend this clearly, and this was why he moved the capital(?).

But he was too wrapped up in his own world.. I think he wanted to be his own leader, like Lu Bu, but always wanted to remain loyal to Liu Bei.

Why he didn't defect to Sun Quan? I'd say he wasn't given that much of a choice.. plus, remember that when Liu Bei dissapeared, Guan Yu was a young man.. by the time we get to Guan Yu at Jing Zhou fighting with Sun Quan, he is then pretty old.. I think people change over time.. and I think Guan Yu certainly did.

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rivercao
Dont forget that historically, the "one on one" battle between Lu Bu, Guan Yu, Liu Bei and Zhang Fei did happen, so if they were so amazing, why couldn't they take down one man?

It's a hot topic in SG, my point is Lu Bu was a monster, but Guan Yu could somewhat handle him...or make sure he wouldn't be killed by him. I don't know why Liu Bei attended the fight, he obviously added an deficit to Guan Yu and Zhang Fei. If Guan Yu and Zhang Fei fight together, I don't think anyone in SG can fight agianst. If Lu Bu's physical ability is 100, Guan Yu could be 97 or 98( Have u played SG Game ever? Haha).

Battlewise, we can see how great he was when he was winning while fighting with Cao Cao (and Sun Quan) on the Jing Zhou borders. He DID flood the city, he DID scare Cao Cao.. he even got him to move his capital* (did he actually move, or just consider it.. cant remember now!??!).. some argue that Cao was too old and senile to really be able to comprehend this clearly, and this was why he moved the capital(?).

Yes, Cao Cao did consider moving his capital, but didn't do it. Guan Yu's threaten was obviously a factor. But I think it is normal, It's just Guan Yu's fans (inlcuding the author of SGYY) exaggerated the importance of Guan Yu.

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Shi Tong
It's a hot topic in SG, my point is Lu Bu was a monster, but Guan Yu could somewhat handle him...or make sure he wouldn't be killed by him. I don't know why Liu Bei attended the fight, he obviously added an deficit to Guan Yu and Zhang Fei.

Hmm.. I'm not so sure.. Liu Bei was maybe even more experienced than the other two at the time.. and sure, I dont think he was quite as strong or able as Guan and Zhang, but Liu Bei wouldn't have hindered the "brothers" IMO.

Lu Bu was obviously an amazing one on one fighter, but this doesn't make him anything other than that.. so that's why Lu fell, he wasn't as tactical as the others and put his head above the parapit.. at which point it was lopped off.:lol:

Yes, Cao Cao did consider moving his capital, but didn't do it. Guan Yu's threaten was obviously a factor. But I think it is normal, It's just Guan Yu's fans (inlcuding the author of SGYY) exaggerated the importance of Guan Yu.

Yeah.. I agree. Guan Yu was a good man, and a good general, but historically speaking he had too many chinks in his armour.. hence he was blind sighted by betrayal on all sides (I actually feel really sorry for him- betrayed by Sun Quan AND his own Liu (Fang?) generals.... that just sucks!!)

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rivercao
(I actually feel really sorry for him- betrayed by Sun Quan AND his own Liu (Fang?) generals.... that just sucks!!)

Liu Feng (刘封), Liu Bei's adopted son. Guan Yu is sort of like Achilleus, the difference is his arrogance is his only weakness, which caused his big loss in Jingzhou.

But historically, I think Guan Yu's lose in Jing Zhou is not a personal lose, it's Liu Bei and Zhu Ge Liang who had made that decision and Guan just executed. Also, Sun Quan's decision on invading Jing Zhou was also an objective factor.

If Guan did not gurd Jing Zhou, then who else could do it? Liu Bei was really weak then, Guan Yu's fame and name may be the best choice and the only choice on defending Jing Zhou. So, I guess maybe Liu Bei had sacrificed Guan Yu to get Xi Chuan.8)

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Shi Tong
Guan Yu is sort of like Achilleus, the difference is his arrogance is his only weakness, which caused his big loss in Jingzhou.

Well.. we call it arrogance, but how many times have you read "x praised x and x was very pleased with the praise".. similar to Ma Chao when he joined up with Liu Bei.. similar to Dong Zhuo and Li Su's (I know it was a Li.. was it Li Su?) relationship- very much a praise the leader style thing.

Guan Yu was a little arrogant, but I dont think he was any more arrogant than some others during this time. I think the reason he lost Jing Zhou was betrayal.

On who to leave in Jing Zhou.. I think he should have left Guan Yu with an adviser, basically, and there were some around.. the advisers he was left with were very, very poor, and he also had the option to leave Zhang Fei or Zhao Yun instead.

Dont forget that Zhang Fei, historically speaking was absolutely not the type he was portraid in SGYY, and certainly wasn't prone to drinking too heavily etc. Zhao Yun was quite level headed.. I think he might have stood up to the tests. But they all needed better advice, which was the main problem, IMO.

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rivercao
Dont forget that Zhang Fei, historically speaking was absolutely not the type he was portraid in SGYY, and certainly wasn't prone to drinking too heavily etc. Zhao Yun was quite level headed.. I think he might have stood up to the tests. But they all needed better advice, which was the main problem, IMO.

According to SanGuoZhi, Guanyu was arrogant to those who have a upper social class, and was kind to his soldiers, while ZhangFei was the opposite, that's why he was ultimately killed by his man. So ZhangFei was not fit for such important position. Yes he historically was not a drunk man but his temple was sort of crossing. SGYY just exaggerated that and used alcohol as a concrete factor.

ZhaoYun was actually a real bodyguard IMO, he never had a real big battle. After GuanYu and ZhangFei was dead, Zhao began to do more things away from Liu Bei. So in that case, GuanYu was definitely the best choice.

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Shi Tong

Therefore, he needed to leave Guan Yu with an adviser he would respect. That's always been my position on the problem which occured at Jing Zhou..

While I agree with you on what SGZ says about Zhang Fei and that Zhao Yun was certainly not much of an actual general (yes, he was more famously known as a bodyguard), I'd also say I'm not so sure exactly how "cruel" Zhang Fei was to his men.. I'd also ask how accurate the idea that Guan Yu was "arrogant".

I'm a little sceptical about SGZ, but then, it's the only and best text we have on the matter!!! :D

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JonBI

Guan Yu, of course, is a mighty character, but his mightiness was exaggerated even further by the second editor, Mao Zonggang, who moved the story to revolve around 3 people - Cao Cao, Guan Yu, and Zhuge Liang. If Cao Cao is the embodiment of evil, and Zhuge Liang is made, especially by Mao, as an ideal sort of neo-Confucian, Guan Yu then functions as the embodiment of 义, as Liu Bei sits as the embodiment (in the Mao version more so) of 仁.

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Kat Doo

Maybe it's true, novel is just novel, the characters are molded by the author. But I do like this character, too.

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Mak Jo Si

Oh here I just wanted to add to all the good points above..

As a Taoist master I wanted to share my knowledge here.. Kwan Yue is not even a Taoist or whatever, people who worsihp him is really not a right. Thanks to the brainwashing of the kings and the white lotus rebellions, they all started those folks-worshiping practice and brew up tons of stuff like that. You ever wonder why Chinese just worship all those stuff that are all made up? Yeah, it's a common controlling tactic by the king back then. They made up tons of deities and gods, and so Kwan Yue was one of them as well. Sigh.. China is just so over controlling and over ruling... even back then.

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