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A Study on Diplomatic Documents (Pyojeons) during Joseon (2) - With a focus on the rhetorical strategy

  • The Research of the Korean Classic
  • 2012, (26), pp.469-500
  • Publisher : The Research Of The Korean Classic
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature > Korean Literature > Korean classic prose

Eunyoung Lee 1

1이화여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study examined Pyojeons, the diplomatic documents in the relation with Ming and Ching during the Joseon period from the perspective of rhetorical strategy to create a realistic effect of national interest and practical interests based on the logic of justification and the Sino-centric world view. Joseon had a conflict with Ming regarding the Pyojeons from its initial stage of founding a country. Thus, Joseon accepted the format of the Pyojeons suggested by Ming to the possible extent, but attempted to describe it in order to maximize an effect of delivery and persuasion. For Saeunpyo and Hapyo, which had strong commercial characteristics in its structure, it displayed the main theme in the front to emboss the respect and compliment. On the other hand, as for Cheongpyo, which was used to persuade Ching with special reasons, it secured logic and persuasion by using discussion type and displayed the main theme in the latter part. Jinwipyo, in which excessive wordings might be improper, was composed with short sentences. The expression had varied strategies by purposes and conditions. While regular Saeunpyo or Hapyo focused on making the counterpart to be pleased and keeping stable relation in the form of Byeongryeomun, Cheongpyo or Saeunpyo, which was intended to plea the position of Joseon in the conflict situations or to gain diplomatic goals by attracting communication and sympathy, employed a prose style to deliver truthfulness and desperate sense. However, detailed description was excluded but abstract ideological pattern was employed in order to express the duty of the superior country along with the submission and ideology while sustaining peaceful world rather than to make a reckless respect to a specific object. The Pyojeon, which was devised with meticulous efforts by the country in the name of prose type, was an important resources to demonstrate Joseon’s effort to seek balance between justification and practical interests keeping national interest and pride in writings even though Joseon had to opt submission policy in the Sinocentric world order. The critics of the Pyojeons have argued that “Beauty and desperate [Wanijeol]” are the conditions of good Pyojeons. Thus, vocabularies, display of sentences and rhetorical expression were meticulously reviewed in order to make a ‘beautiful’ writing, and the ‘desperate’ sense was attempted to be achieved by logical and persuasive expression. Thus, it might be proper to evaluate the value of the Pyojeons in Joseon in terms of literary value.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.