The 36 Strategies

Use The Beauty To Discord The Enemy


The Strategy Of Beautiful Women

Means that you will send a beautiful woman to your enemy to cause discord between your enemies. Your male enemies will be distracted and the female enemies will be jealous. Now you can take advantage of this disordered situation by attacking and that leads to victory.

Send your enemy beautiful women to cause discord within his camp. This strategy can work on three levels. First, the ruler becomes so enamored with the beauty that he neglects his duties and allows his vigilance to wane. Second, other males at court will begin to display aggressive behavior that inflames minor differences hindering co-operation and destroying morale. Third, other females at court, motivated by jealousy and envy, begin to plot intrigues further exasperating the situation.

When faced with a formidable enemy, try to subdue their leader. When dealing with an able and resourceful commander, exploit his indulgence of sensual pleasures in order to weaken his fighting spirit. When the commander becomes inept, his soldiers will be demoralized, and their combat power will be greatly weakened. This stratagem takes advantage of the enemy's weakness for the sake of self protection.


Han Dynasty China

In 199 BC the Han emperor, Gaozu personally led his army against the invading Xiongnu.

The emperor, however, was no match against the cunning tribesmen and he was led into a trap and suffered serious casualties. He and his remaining forces retreated to the city of Pingcheng for refuge but were surrounded by some 300,000 horsemen. There the emperor remained surrounded for seven days with no possibility of bringing in either provisions or reinforcements.

The emperor thought here was nothing left to do but surrender when his advisor, Chen Ping, came up with another strategy. Chen had a painting made of a beautiful Chinese princess that he secretly delivered to the wife of the Xiongnu commander. Along with the painting he sent a message that read: 'My Emperor intends to surrender to your husband and so to win his favor he is sending him a present of one of China's famous beauties to be his concubine.'

When the Xiongnu commander's wife saw the painting and read the note she was mad with jealousy. Fearing that such a beautiful rival would steal her husband's affections, she persuaded her husband to lift the siege and return home. The next morning when the emperor awoke he discovered the Xiongnu had left and he was able to return safely to his capital.


In the year AD 189, Han Emperor Ling Di died and Emperor Shao Di replaced him. Dong Zhuo deposed Emperor Shao Di and put Emperor Xian Di, a child, on the throne. He forced the puppet emperor to appoint him as top imperial advisor and held power with the backing of Lu Bu, the mightiest warrior of the time.

Court official Wang Yun wanted to ge rid of Dong Zhuo and decided to exploit both their weakness of being lustful. He told his sing-song girl Diao Chan, a great beauty, that there is no peace because of Dong Zhuo. Diao Chan agreed to help, for the good of all.

First, Wang Yun told Lu Bu, "General Lu Bu, this is my daughter Diao Chan. I can present her to you as a concubine." Lu Bu thanked Wang Yun and asked him to pick an auspicious date for the ceremony.

A few days later, after letting Dong Zhuo see Diao Chan dance, Wang Yun told him, "I'm willing to let you have her." When Dong Zhuo accepted, Diao Chan was immediately sent to Dong Zhuo's residence.

When Lu Bu learnt that Diao Chan had been taken as concubine by Dong Zhuo, he went to see her whenever Dong Zhuo was in court. Playing along, Diao Chan said, "My father bethrothed me to you, but the old thief took me by force. Please save me."

Soon, Dong Zhuo and Lu Bu's relationship soured. A few days after Wang Yun's instigation, Lu Bu killed Dong Zhuo.


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