(Korean History) Death Of Crown Prince Sado And Lady Hyegyong Prince Sado's Insanity And The Events That Led To His Death

1254 words - 5 pages

In January of 1735, Prince Sado was born to King Yongjo and Lady Sonhui. With the birth of the heir, the future of the throne was secure. Due to King Yongjo's impatience to formally establish him as the Crown Prince with legal status, he was moved to Choson Pavilion, which was the residence that was intended for the Crown Prince. The pavilion was located far from his parents' home. There he was cared for by nurses and governesses. Putting him there created the impression that the nation already had an adult heir. However, in Lady Hyegyong's opinion, Sado's early separation from his parents is what led his to insanity. There are many events that may have contributed to Sado's illness. These events take place throughout Sado's life starting from his early years.Living at Choson Pavilion without the guidance of his father, Prince Sado began getting into trouble. His deviant behavior is said to have started with palace matron Han's suggestion to let the Prince play occasionally so that he could vent his frustrations. The matrons made swords, bows and arrows to play martial games with him. Sado thoroughly enjoyed the games, however he soon began to worry that his parents would find out. Nonetheless, the games soon became an obsession. Several years later when King Yongjo found out, Han was dismissed. At about this time, a barrier began to grow between the father and son.The year when Prince Sado's behavior became noticeably strange was 1745. He often fell ill and lost consciousness. His illness worsened after the death of his sister Princess Hwap'yong whom he was very close to. Sado returned to his martial games and when he wasn't occupied with his games he painted. He also grew an avid interest for occult texts. He spent a large amount of his time studying and memorizing magic formulas. Thus his studies suffered significantly. King Yongjo would publicly humiliate Sado by testing him on his studies in the presence of many officials by asking one difficult question after the other. But in the presence of his father, the Prince became inarticulate and hesitant out of fear and nervousness. This led to scoldings from his father who became apprehensive about how the Prince was developing. The Prince grew bitter and angry. This anger coupled with his terror of his father and his sense of rejection, eventually led to his insanity.In 1749, when Sado was 15 years old, the second part of the capping ceremony, which marked his passage into adulthood, was held. At this time, King Yongjo unexpectedly sent down a decree appointing Prince Sado as the Prince Regent. This meant that Sado was to be treated as a ruler, holding him responsible over administrative matters. Despite the fact that the regency was already ridden with existing problems, the King was unhappy with how Prince Sado dealt with matters. Before long, Sado was frightened and anxious over everything. His illness developed gradually as his sense of terror spawned unwholesome imaginings and strange...

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