Tao Zongwang – Water Margin

九尾龟陶宗旺 - 《水浒传》

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Tao Zongwang is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. Nicknamed “Nine Tailed Turtle”, he ranks 75th among the 108 Stars of Destiny and 39th among the 72 Earthly Fiends. Wikipedia
Played by: Sun Fuli

Tao Zongwang is a character in the classic Chinese novel “Water Margin,” also known as “Outlaws of the Marsh” or “All Men Are Brothers.” Tao is a complex and interesting character who undergoes significant changes over the course of the novel.

When Tao is first introduced, he is a lowly peasant who is forced to work as a servant for a wealthy family. He is shown to be hardworking and loyal, but also somewhat naive and gullible. Tao dreams of a better life for himself and his family, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve his goals.

Despite his many hardships, Tao is a fundamentally decent person, and his innate goodness is one of the things that makes him such a compelling character. He is shown to be kind and compassionate towards those less fortunate than himself, and he is willing to stand up for what he believes in, even when it puts him at risk.

As the novel progresses, Tao undergoes a dramatic transformation. He is taken in by the outlaws and becomes a key member of their band, using his cunning and resourcefulness to help the group in their fight against the government.

One of the most significant moments in Tao’s character arc comes when he is faced with the decision of whether or not to betray his fellow outlaws in exchange for a pardon from the government. At first, Tao is tempted by the offer, seeing it as a way to secure a better life for himself and his family. However, he ultimately realizes that he cannot betray his friends and allies, and he chooses to remain loyal to the outlaw cause, even if it means putting his own life in danger.

Tao’s loyalty and bravery make him a beloved member of the outlaw band, and he is shown to be a skilled strategist and warrior despite his humble origins. His resourcefulness and quick thinking are key assets to the group, and he is often called upon to devise plans and strategies to outwit their enemies.

One of the most significant aspects of Tao’s character is his ongoing struggle with his own sense of identity. He is torn between his loyalty to the outlaws and his desire for a better life for himself and his family. He is also acutely aware of his lowly origins and is often made to feel inferior by those of higher social standing. However, over time, Tao comes to realize that his innate goodness and his loyalty to his friends are what truly define him, rather than his social status or wealth.

In the end, Tao is remembered as one of the most endearing and inspiring characters in “Water Margin.” His journey from humble peasant to brave and resourceful outlaw serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of loyalty, compassion, and inner strength. Through his story, readers are encouraged to examine their own values and to strive for a greater sense of purpose and meaning in their lives.

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