Zhao Gao - 16

Zhao Gao Number 16

Opera "Sword of the Universe"

Zhao Gao with a watery white full face plays a eunuch in the opera "Sword of the Universe." In 221BC, Ying Zheng, the ruler of the State of Qin), became the First Emperor of Qin when he successfully conquered and subjugated all the other States in the land and established the Qin Dynasty (221BC to 207BC). In 210 BC, while on a tour of the Eastern part of his vast empire, he died there from a severe asthma attack in the city of Sha Qiu in the northeast of present day Ping Xiang county in Hebei province. His second son Hu Hai, the Prime Minister Li Si and the chief eunuch Zhao Gao were with him when he died. The city of Sha Qiu was more than 1000 kilometers to the east of the Qin capital, s in Sha'anxi province.

The crown prince, Fu Su, then was in the north and far away from the capital. He was sent there by his father to help supervise the construction of the Great Wall. Actually Fu Su was the son-in-law of the Prime Minister Li Si. Under the will made by the first Emperor, the crown prince should become the next Emperor. However, the trio of Hu Hai, Li Si and Zhao Gao destroyed the original and forged two new wills in its place. One pronounced Hu Hai as the successor and the other ordered Fu Su the crown prince to take his own life. The death of the Emperor was concealed from the people and the Emperor's corpse was covered with salted fish to disguise its odor. On his arrival back in the capital, Hu Hai was installed as the Second Emperor of Qin. However, he proved to be stupid and idiotic. Li Si, the Prime Minister lost favor with the Second Emperor and the executive power gradually shifted to Zhao Gao, the chief eunuch.

⇦ Back to Opera Mask 15    Return to Chinese Opera Masks Page 2    On to Opera Mask 17 ⇨