HOMEWORK #3               NAME________________________

 

This homework assignment follows up on the first two in being devoted to close reading, but as you are learning more background context, there should be an increased opportunity to use what you know to view the passage you're reading in a broader context, and relate its phrases to issues that you know to be significant in the context of Classical China.  The text below is from the Liji (Records of ritual), a late Classical text.  It is part of a larger selection, which appears in online reading 1.8 (the parts here appear on pp. 4-5), and you should read the passage below closely in light of that context, the larger context of the reading on ritual, and the still larger contexts of the structure of Confucian thought (part of your reading for Thursday) and the culture of Classical China that we have been exploring.  Write your comments on this sheet, as in the previous assignments.  (Due Thursday, January 28.)

 

The archers, in advancing, retirement, and in all movements, were obliged to observe all the li.  With minds thus correct and bodies thus upright they were to hold their bows skillfully and firmly.  Only when they did so would one be able to say that their arrows would hit the mark.  In this way, from the quality of their archery their true characters could be seen.

 

To regulate the archers' rhythm, music was performed.  In the case of the Son of Heaven, it was "The Game Warden"; in the case of the patrician lords it was "The Fox's Head"; in the case of the high grandees it was "Plucking the Marsilea"; in the case of shi it was "Plucking the Artemisia" . . .

 

Therefore the Son of Heaven regulated his shooting by keeping in his mind appropriate appointments of his officers; the patrician lords' shooting was regulated by thoughts of timely audiences with the Son of Heaven; the high grandees regulated their shots with thoughts of following the rules of law; the shi regulated their shots with thoughts of fulfilling their duties.