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A Study on Deification of Guan Yu and Aspect of ‘Guan Yu play’ in Qing dynasty

  • 중앙사론
  • 2012, (35), pp.395-424
  • Publisher : Institute for Historical Studies at Chung-Ang University
  • Research Area : Humanities > History

You Jinhee 1

1오산대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

At the end of the Eastern Han to the Three Kingdoms period, Guan Yu was a general who had been active during the war with his sworn brothers, Liu Bei and Zhang Fei. Guan Yu had never expressed religious teachings in his lifetime. But becoming known as a loyal and righteous person through『Romance of the Three Kingdoms』 and other novels, he became an object of worship to the chinese government and people and finally was considered as a god continuously like Buddha, Confucius. In this paper, I considered the deification process by government and the performance aspect of Guan Gong drama in the Qing Dynasty when the most positively deification of Guan Yu was proceeded. Through this process, we can learn that the special treatment for Guan Yu by Qing Dynasty began from the early Qing Dynasty and the deification beyond respect of Guan Yu was proceeded with other political intentions though they was fascinated by Guan Yu's character through『Romance of the Three Kingdoms』. In Qing emperors' position, Guan Yu was a incarnation of loyalty and righteousness protecting Qing government. And they hoped that the people following Guan Yu give their fealty to the government. Thus, proactively lead by the Qing government deifying Guan Yu resulted in building Temple Of Guan Yu all over the country. It's easy to imagine that shrine visitors and merchants naturally loved and were inspired by Guan Yu play which was about the hero(Guan Yu) of these plays because stages were set up in Temple Of Guan Yu and Commercial center used for Guan Yu play. In this nation wide religeous environment of universal worship of Guan Yu, among royalties and people in line with their yearn for nations peace in unstable political climate in late Qing Dynasty brings forth mythical stories about Guan Yu that he protects the country and watches over them. In such social environment provides historical background in wide spreading of Guan Yu play.

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