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The tale of Kieu, regarded as the most significant piece of Vietnamese literature is an epic poem written by Nguyeh Du (1766-1820). In the story characters endure numerous painful experience that test their qualities and characters. This essay is bibliography focusing on Thuc Ky Tham. Thuc endures various tribulations in which he exhibits both great strength and weakness in his will power. His strength enables him to get Kieu’s hand in marriage but his weakness lead him to losing her.
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Thuc Ky Tham, a customer at the brothel is a married man. He is a descendant of a family of educated and well bread people and he is also well educated just like his keen. He is an active participant in commerce as the story notes, he owns a trading shop. His wife, Miss Hoan is very independent and has dominant personality, a daughter to a high ranked civic official. Thuc owed much of his success to her and her father. Thuc was a passionate man. When he discovered the beauty of Kieu, he immediately and deliberately falls for her. This is evident in the fact that Thuc and Kieu started seeing each other more often and spent more time together. The activities that transpired between them indicated something more than physical gratification. Thuc started pronouncing his love for Kieu and would not give up even though he was let down by Kieu many times. Kieu was resistant because she thought that her past and present would catch up with her. (p71). Thuc bought her out of the brothel and they live together as a married couple for the next six months.
The return of Thuc’s father who had been away marked another significant development in Thuc’s love with Kieu. His father was furious. He insisted that Kieu be returned to the brothel or face a trial. Thuc’s devotion to Kieu was however unshakable. The lovers were taken to a court of law where their lover prevailed over the ruthless judge who ended ordering them to wed.
When the time came to tell his wife, Thuc had difficulties and instead rekindled his relationship with his wife. This was the first time Thuc showed weakness in his character. His wife knew what had transpired and faked Kieu’s death. When, Thuc hired a shaman to find Kieu in the world of the dead, surprisingly, the shaman informed him that she was not dead and they would meet after a year. They met when he returned home to Miss Hoan who had kidnapped and enslaved her just like she (Kieu) had prophesized; "But if the lady lords over you, I shall be tossed to her, your lioness" (P.71) . Miss Hoan forced her into becoming a nun, but later Thuc encouraged her to run away. When they met again Kieu was a consort of strong rebel leader. She had told him everything about her life and the rebel helped her seek vengeance. When Thuc was brought before kieu for judgment he again exhibited his weak side. His "Face soaked with sweat like indigo, frame shaking like a leaf" (P.121).
In conclusion, Thuc is an interesting character who exhibits both courage and cowardice in his demeanor. At one time he is courageous enough to defend his love for Kieu and at another he is unable to defend Kieu. He is however a passionate man and seem to show much courage when his love for Kieu is involved.