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Ch. 3 - The Mad King 
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Post Ch. 3 - The Mad King
This thread is for talking about Ch. 3 - The Mad King. :|



Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:11 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 3 - The Mad King
And exactly what attributes make the king mad?

BTW, the reason for le Guin's choosing the title?

I really wasn't expecting this book to have so many interesting facets.


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Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:34 am
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Post Re: Ch. 3 - The Mad King
The king doesn't seem as insane as we have been led to believe. A bit paranoid perhaps.


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Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:35 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 3 - The Mad King
geo wrote:
The king doesn't seem as insane as we have been led to believe. A bit paranoid perhaps.


Exactly! Why does she mention so often that the king is mad, that insanity is necessary to rule? I think she has to mention it because the king's actions certainly don't appear to be those of someone who is mad but are rather normal for a head of government. So is simply being a head of government the same as being mad?


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Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:22 am
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Post Re: Ch. 3 - The Mad King
I no longer think of Argraven as "mad." More along the lines of having an extreme shiftgrethor, or being cunning. Ai determines that his shiftgrethor is insanity?

And sorry, I have been very busy lately and have not had a chance to talk.


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Wed Jan 13, 2010 6:00 pm
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Post Re: Ch. 3 - The Mad King
I agree, Argaven does not seem to be mad. He is scary in this chapter, though, laughing and snarling -- Ai says himself he is "a good deal more afraid of him than I had expected to be." And, as he says himself, he is afraid: of what Ai brings, and probably of losing his place in their small universe to a larger one. But he says he rules well because of that, and that only fear rules the people. Seems rational actually. And Estraven's description of the king's state of mind in Ch 1 ("his power is threatened, his kingdom is a dustmote in space") also does not describe madness, really -- it's a pretty understandable reaction, seems to me. Yet Estraven himself (our most reliable source at this point, being the one who understands the culture) says the king is mad (Ch 1: "the king of Karhide is not only insane but rather stupid"). So why does Estraven think so? Because E. has his sights on something much wider and finds the king's concerns about his shifgrethor trivial to the point of craziness?

You made a great point about the king's fear in the ch 1 thread, Jlane5516: "If Argaven is afraid (paranoia bordering on insanity),he induces fear into his subjects, if he is terrified of the object, person, whatever, they should be too." He admits to being afraid of Ai and Ai is starting to realize that he should be very afraid for himself too.



Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:41 am
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Post Re: Ch. 3 - The Mad King
The king can be seen as "mad" or "insane" because he is so intolerant of change. He has a set of beliefs that will not waver, in this respect, he could be seen as a religious zelot, and because he has such a strong hold on beliefs that are outdated to someone like Ai, yes, he can be seen as insane.



Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:22 am
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