The first chapter of “The Romance of the Three Kingdoms”

“The Romance of the Three Kingdoms” is a famous Chinese historical novel written by Luo Guanzhong in the 14th century. The novel is set in the Three Kingdoms period (220-280 AD) of Chinese history and tells the story of the political and

military struggles between the three rival kingdoms: Wei, Shu, and Wu. The first chapter of the novel, titled “The Oath of the Peach Garden,” introduces the main characters and sets the stage for the story.

The chapter begins with a description of the Yellow Turban Rebellion, a peasant uprising that broke out in the late Han dynasty. The rebellion was led by Zhang Jiao, a Taoist priest who claimed to have received a mandate from heaven to

overthrow the corrupt Han government. The rebellion was eventually suppressed by the Han army, but it left the country in chaos and paved the way for the rise of warlords and regional powers.

The story then shifts to the three main protagonists: Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei. Liu Bei is a descendant of the imperial family of the Han dynasty, but he is now a wandering warrior without a home or a following. Guan Yu is a loyal

friend and skilled warrior who has sworn to serve Liu Bei. Zhang Fei is another warrior who becomes Liu Bei’s follower after an incident in which he saves Liu Bei’s life. The three men meet in a peach garden and make a solemn oath of

brotherhood, pledging to support each other in good times and bad and to work together to restore the Han dynasty.

The narrative then introduces Cao Cao, a powerful warlord who has taken control of the Han court and is effectively ruling the country. Cao Cao is described as a cunning and ruthless leader who uses his military prowess and political

acumen to maintain his grip on power. He is also portrayed as a man of culture and sophistication who values talent and is willing to reward those who serve him well.

Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei are determined to oppose Cao Cao and his regime, but they lack the resources and the support to do so. They decide to travel to the city of Zhuo, where a famous strategist named Kong Ming (also known as

Zhuge Liang) is said to reside. Kong Ming is renowned for his wisdom and his ability to see through people’s true intentions. Liu Bei hopes to recruit Kong Ming to his cause and use his skills to defeat Cao Cao.

The chapter ends with a scene in which Liu Bei and his two companions meet Kong Ming for the first time. Kong Ming tests their loyalty and their commitment to their cause, and they pass his test. He agrees to join their cause and help

them in their fight against Cao Cao.

In conclusion, the first chapter of “The Romance of the Three Kingdoms” sets the stage for the epic tale of political intrigue, military conflict, and personal relationships that will unfold in the rest of the novel. It introduces the

main characters and their motivations and establishes the historical context in which the story takes place. The chapter also sets up the central conflict of the novel, which is the struggle between Liu Bei and his allies and Cao Cao and

his regime for control of the Han dynasty.

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