Empress Ki 05

There is no one cause of poverty in this world and the results of it are different in every case. It does not matter what your race or nationality we all suffer the consequences in some way. Some of us may glance at it and throw a few alms or sneer at that beggar or prostitute but even by noticing it at the very least poverty will ruin your mood and at the very worst level it will ruin lives, families and entire nations. Even the entertainment media all over the world have not been left behind in exploring the concept of poverty. Telenovelas and telesereyes and even American soap operas have the tendency to focus on poverty as something bad but to view the poor people in the stories as truly kind and noble in spirit. However is this assumption true of all people who have to live in poverty. Just because you are poor does that automatically make you a mother Teresa of sorts? However after I began watching the South Korean Sageuks dramas I began to notice that they do have a more realistic take on life and view the impact of poverty on a person’s personality with more pragmatism. I am currently watching  Empress Ki and King’s daughter Su Baek Hyang and this two sageuks clearly bring out the impact poverty can have on  the human spirit, how it can warp and twist a person to carry out deeds that even their own parents would never imagine them doing. I have shared a few insights into what poverty can do to the human spirit as per the view of the sageuks

Poverty creates bitterness and a vicious spirit

Poverty is about lack of resources to live one’s life in a dignified manner. It is about having no money or knowledge or even the resources to better one’s life. In historical Goryeo the people were no stranger s to poverty and for every rich noble within early Goryeo there were at least two hundred poor people to match and thus first character Byung Soo from the drama Empress KI was no stranger to poverty, in one speech he explained how his family members died of starvation and he survived because they all died to  make sure that he survived because he was the youngest. You would think that this would have made him a more noble and self sacrificing person but he said that those circumstances of pain and loss only gave him the determination to look out for himself so that he would never ever have to die on behalf of another person. He even went so far as to gouge out his commanders eyes and betray his king and country in the hope of a reward from someone richer and more powerful. For Byung Soo loyalty, kindness or nobility of spirit were never an option. His priority was always the distance he could place between himself and poverty. Throughout the Episodes of Empress Ki ,Byung Soo is the one character who can be relied on to live by the mantra “kill or be killed “ but do what you have to do in order  to avoid poverty

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Rat Byung Soo eavesdrops in order to get ahead in life

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Poverty also breeds envy, what is to stop a young boy or girl who has never had much in life

from turning into an ambitious ruthless being in order to escape poverty. This situation is made very clear in the ongoing sageuk King’s daughter Su Baek Hyang.  This drama centres in part on a young girl who stole her sister’s rightful place as the princess of Baekje in order to escape her life of poverty. The character named Solhi fakes her own death and runs away from her home to the king of Baekje where she presents herself as her half sister Princess Su Baek Hyang who is the King’s long lost daughter. In her bid to keep up her lie as the fake Princess. She causes a lot of damage to the country and the King as she kills many people and ruins many lives in order to live the life that will keep her away from poverty. Her real father and sister are numbered among her many victims in her bid to escape a life of lack and scarcity. She eventually ends up insane but it can be said that poverty is what led her down the path of vicious ambition and greed that led to her downfall.

Many may argue with me and say that it is not about circumstances but the choices that one makes, but don’t the sageuks I mentioned make a strong case that your circumstances will always influence your decisions for better or for worse? However I conclude that poverty more often than not will influence people’s decision’s for worse and rarely for the better

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