The Life and History of Korean Monarch Sejong Essay

Submitted By jorgeevalle
Words: 457
Pages: 2

Many kings in the world since organized political life began; the list of truly great ones is comparatively short. One should include a Korean Monarch Sejong. He was the fourth king of the Choson Kingdom, who is universally regarded by Koreans as the wisest and gifted ruler of their long history. Koreans have always known that King Sejong first announced the new alphabet during the winter, and that he formally proclaimed it as the correct sounds for the Instruction of the people in October 1446.

Of all the Korean kings, Sejong is the most remembered. He is the king who appears on the postage stamps and the money, whose name identifies boulevards, cultural centers, foundations and prizes. The political culture, which produced King Sejong, eschewing charisma and personality as the chief criteria of royal greatness, rather emphasized Confucian morality and conformance to the image of the "sage" established in the Confucian classics. Even in his lifetime, the king's persona was socialized. The most powerful political figures could only approach him with utter deference, while the
Common people, on the relatively rare occasions when he left his palace for some necessary royal function, actually had to cover their windows and turn away from him lest their gaze sully his sagely presence. The attention given by Sejong to study and research did not detract from his primary duties as king; in no sense was he a scholarly escapist. He opened his court each day at dawn and after the ceremonial visits of his senior officials went directly to work on state affairs. He rarely accepted the opinions or arguments of petitioning officials without asking questions and contributing his own remarks, and not infrequently these were more to the point. In thousands of recorded discussions of this kind, he showed an evenness of judgment