Stories from History: The Exile of Qu Yuan

Yi Dou

PureInsight | August 29, 2007

[] Qu Yuan lived
in the Warring States Period and his name was Ping. He knew very well
about the hows and whys of the rise and fall of a nation so he was able
to discuss legal matters with the king of the Chu Kingdom. Since he was
also good at literature and repartee, he could cope well with visitors
and other warlords.

Shangguan Daifu, one of his colleagues, was very jealous. Once, the
king asked Qu Yuan to write a decree, but Daifu demanded the draft when
Qu Yuan finished it, who did not give to him. Shangguan Daifu told the
king: "Everyone knows that Your Majesty asks Qu Yuan to write decrees.
However, when a new decree is issued, he always claims: 'Except for me,
no one else could write this."' The king was angry with that and became
estranged from Qu Yuan gradually. Eventually, he was exiled.

Seeing the nation declining, Yu Quan pleaded many times but no one
listened to him. He had no options but to express his feelings in his
poem Li Sao. After Yu Quan died, there was not a single man in the Chu
Kingdom who was able to speak to the king directly. Hence the kingdom
became weaker and weaker and came to its downfall within a few decades.

Jealousy not only murdered Qu Yuan but also destroyed a country. It can be seen that its damage was really serious.

(From Records of the Grand Scribe)

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