Ancient China - Sample Essay

Who was Wu Zhao? Was she a sparkling director, a woman who was working as if she was a man or was she a brutal woman who wanted power? It will be decided when we get to learn about her life, how she rose to power and what did she do when she was on the throne. Wu Zhao or Wu Zetian was born in 624 A. D. She was born into a wealthy family in the province of Shanxi, in China. When she was young she was taught to write, read and was also taught music. Wu Shihuo, her father in the Tang Dynasty was one of the most praiseworthy chancellors.

When she was just a child her father gave her good education and also was asked by her father to read as many books as possible. She was an intelligent and beautiful girl. When she was 14 she became a lesser wife (imperial concubine) of the Emperor Taizong. Emperor Taizong died in A. D 649 and at that time she was a fifth rank wife (concubine) and was nick named Mei Niang, because of that she was sent to the nunnery. There are numerous women in History who have stepped outside their culture.

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These cultures which were full of moral values, behavior expectation for women and all the traditions were left behind by these women. These women are normally seen as disgraceful, corrupt, and shameful or even more than being evil. After leaving their traditions these women would risk each and everything in return of some reward. These women jeopardized common endorsement. They threatened being hated and even worse were they were jeopardizing their own life. One of these women was Wu Zhao.

When she was the empress of China, she confronted customary roles of women and she normally behaved in numerous ways like what the male rulers did. Confucius and his knowledge greatly inclined the social formation of almost the entire Asian Continent. Japan, Vietnam, Korea and China, all founded their common teaching upon the opinions of this thinker as the foundation for the stratification and behavior codes. In the Han Dynasty, in between 206-200 BC China entirely took Confucianism as the official policy of the government and was taught in the states authorized prospectus.

In Confucianism the status of women were low and with woman being a ruler would be as abnormal as anything else in the world. The order which was followed in China was of the subjects will be guided by the ruler, the son will be guided by the father and the wife will be guided by the husband. Women were to pursue the five stable qualities of sincerity, propriety, benevolence, wisdom and righteousness. There was three more conformity which was before marriage to obey her father, during her marriage obey her husband and after being a widow obeying her son.

Not only that there were four more conformities which were essential for women so that they could keep the honor of the family which was: politeness in speech, woman’s loyalty, ability with the needle and physical attraction. As Confucianism persisted during the following dynasties, a more authority of male arose and different customs became the traditions. Women were given a much lesser position than what men had and this model was thought to be the common array of the entire universe.

Worship of husband, invading Mongols giving gifts and wife loyalty formed the observance of binding of foot which demonstrate the requirement to bound the ability of a women to be itinerant. These beliefs were resistant by the Chinese edition of books of self help. Regulatory manuals were formed to give proper suggestion for behavior to be proper. One of the book written on the culture of China at that time was written by Ban Zhao who was a famous female historian and tells that “Surrender to others; she will put others first instead of herself”. (Rothschild, N. Stearns, Peter N, 2008)



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