chapter  2
17 Pages

SAN-KUO-CHIH YEN-I (THE ROMANCE OF THE THREE KINGDOMS)

Yet not all scholars agree that the-rise-and-fall-of-kingdoms is the novel’s central theme. Some read it, instead, as a study of overreaching ambition; others as a sardonic reflection on obsessive politicism, destructive of jen, human-heartedness, best-loved of Confucian virtues. Still others identify the core of the novel as its observation of the law of retribution inexorably governing human affairs, or, again, as ironic deflation of popular stereotypes and romantic views.