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|Other Titles:||The Narration of Regicide in the Zuozhuan: Taking Zhao Dun and Cui Zhu as Examples|
Department of Chinese, NTNU
The death of the rulers of Jin (晉) and Qi (齊), at the hands of their prominent ministers Zhao Dun and Cui Zhu respectively, were high-profile regicides in the Spring and Autumn period (722-468 B.C.). The Zuozhuan narrates these two instances of regicide in particularly fine detail, because they exemplify the problems of social order and personal character taken up by Chinese traditional historiography as the heart of its concerns. This paper studies the narrative perspectives employed by the Zuozhuan to play out these concerns. First, the paper analyzes the background factors leading up to the regicides. Then it proceeds to compare and contrast the figures of Zhao Dun and Cui Zhu as portrayed in the Zuozhuan. Subsequently, it explores the various attitudes toward regicides as held by different characters within the text, so as to present the Zuozhuan's efforts at establishing a position with regard to the difficult balance between maintaining social order and encouraging the assertion of personal talent and ability. The implication of these efforts are such that the Zuozhuan both affirms individual endeavor and upholds the stability of lord-minister relations as, ideally speaking, two sides of the same coin. Examining the interplay and tension between these twin values will also help us better appreciate the following: the foundation of Pre Qin Confucian ideals reflected therein; the standards of judgment exercised by the Chunqiu (春秋 Spring and Autumn Annals); the narrative qualities of the Zuozhuan; as well as the Zuozhuan's composite use of a range of opinions from different commentators—such as the Gentleman (junzi 君子) and Confucius (Zhongni 仲尼) –to put together its system of ethical principles. Lastly, this paper suggests that referecing Occidental historiographical tradition and narrative theory can also shed light on the properties and significance of the Zuozhuan as a historical narrative with ethical purposes: that is, though the course of history may flow o
|Appears in Collections:||國文學報|
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