Lingchi of the evil eunuch
Title: Lingchi of the evil eunuch (ID: 188)
LI Yutang 李玉堂 Wanhualou Yang Bao Di yanyi 万花楼杨包狄演绎
Date_of_event: Song Dynasty (fictional)
Text_Interest: This section is the first occurrence of the pseudo-historical tale of “the heir of the crown exchanged for a wild cat”(limao huan taizi), which will be included in all the following versions of Judge Bao’s legend. Several novels depict the punishment of Guo Huai: this one is the wors.
Comment: Detailed descriptions of lingchi are relatively rare in Ming-Qing Chinese novels, especially when, like this one, it actually describes the sufferings of the prisoner. So this passage of Wanhua lou is quite an exception, but happens in peculiar circumstances too: the condemned man has designed a complicated plot in order to eliminate the normal heir of the Chinese throne. His gruesome death, is, in a way, a personal revenge for the emperor, and maybe should be more justly compared to other royal vendettas than to “normal” applications of justice; it is supervised by the legendary Judge Bao himself, while one of the victims of the condemned man, an elderly eunuch, looks at the scene…and dies from the extreme pleasure of seeing his old enemy and persecutor submitted to lingchi!
Derniére modification le : 2005-11-15