The Art of War



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Master Sun (Sun-Tzu)

The writer/narrator of The Art of War, Master Sun shares his wisdom and experience with the reader over the course of thirteen chapters. Not only does he provide theoretic guidance on matters of strategy… read analysis of Master Sun (Sun-Tzu)

The General

In The Art of War, Master Sun primarily discusses the values, skills, and characteristics to which a wise general ought to aspire. In Master Sun’s day, such a general would invariably have been a… read analysis of The General

The Enemy

The antagonist in The Art of War, the faceless enemy is (according to the principle of Yin and Yang) the counterbalancing force to the general. The leaders of the opposing armies are locked… read analysis of The Enemy


A whole chapter of The Art of War is dedicated to spies, who, aside from the general, have the most important role when it comes to warfare, according to Master Sun. If not… read analysis of Spies

The Officers

Comprising varying layers of authority between the general and the men, the officers lead the men into battle and execute the general’s orders. The general has direct responsibility for their ability and morale—Masterread analysis of The Officers
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The Men

The state of the men in the army—that is, the regular soldiers and peripheral support—are a gauge of the general’s ability to lead. If the general is strong, wise and steady, the men will… read analysis of The Men
Minor Characters
The Ruler
The ruler of the state hires a general and expects his total loyalty. While the general must serve his ruler, he does not always have to listen to his orders. The ruler must be morally outstanding to deserve the general’s loyalty.
The People
In war, regular people suffer much hardship, and so the general should bring conflict to a speedy conclusion.