This study examines the characteristics of Gwangak literature from the epitaph of the 15th century royal family, which were included in Jongbanhaengjuk(宗班行蹟).
The royal family[宗親] is a paternal relative of the king and a special status that is placed in the relationship between the king and his servant. The epitaph of the royal family in the 15th century were written by influential Gwangak writer such as Seo Geo-jeong(徐居正), Lim Sa-hong(任士洪), Hong Gwi-dal(洪貴達), and Nam Gon(南袞).
The epitaph on the 15th century's royal family in Jongbanhaengjuk shows the following three characteristics. First, these works include praise and honor for the noble royal lineage. In particular, they tend to praise King Sejong and King Seongjong's political stability. This is the result of the 15th century's royal family functioning as human evidence to remind the to them, who have led the booming period of Sejong and Seongjong, to the Taepyeongseongdae(太平聖代).
Second, it describes the king's private feelings toward his family without hesitation. In particular, it features anecdotes that highlight the family love of the king and vividly depict them. This seems to be the result of judging that the insertion of personal anecdotes does not undermine the image of the king as generous parents of the people.
Third, on the other side of the normative life of the royal family, it shows an anecdote emphasizing that they are people who are immersed in reading and are born with a deep knowledge of art. By repeating the stereotyped expression, the writers present to the reader the image of a normative figure who conforms to the hierarchical order of the royal family and contributes to political stability.
The 15th century Gwangak writer recall the Joseon's peaceful times through the exemplary lives of royal families. However, they did not create the epitaph of the problematic royal family, which opposed or criticized the royal family's policies, and turned a blind eye to its historical assessment. This contrast is in line with other Gwangak literature in the 15th century.