Ma Su - 88

183 Beijing Operas - Ma Su - Number 88

Ma Su

Beijing Opera - "Loss of Jieting"

Ma Su with an oily white three-tile face in "Loss of Jieting." Ma Su was one of Zhuge Liang's trusted staff officers, When a powerful Wei army was on its way to attack the strategic pass of Jieting, Ma Su volunteered to defend the pass. Zhuge Liang cautioned him against belittling the enemy, but he vowed that nothing would go wrong and signed a pledge to be executed if he failed. Because of his arrogance and overconfidence in himself, he refused to take the advice of Wang Ping, his second in command, when they arrived at the pass. Instead of guarding the important approaches to the pass, he stationed his troops on a nearby mountain where they were quickly surrounded by the enemy. His blunder led to the loss of Jieting and forced Zhuge Liang's whole army to retreat. To enforce discipline, Zhuge Liang tearfully ordered the execution of his long-time friend and advisor.

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