Shi En

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Shi En
Water Margin character
Nickname "Golden Eyed Tiger Cub"
金眼彪
Rank 85th, Concealment Star (地伏星) of the 72 Earthly Fiends
Infantry leader of Liangshan
Origin Prison warden
Ancestral home / Place of origin Mengzhou, Jiaozuo, Henan
First appearance Chapter 28
Names
Simplified Chinese 施恩
Traditional Chinese 施恩
Pinyin Shī Ēn
Wade–Giles Shih En
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Shi.

Shi En is a fictional character in Water Margin, one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. He ranks 85th of the 108 Liangshan heroes and 49th of the 72 Earthly Fiends. He is nicknamed "Golden Eyed Tiger Cub".

Background[edit]

The novel describes Shi En as a handsome man six chi tall, with a fair complexion and a beard. He is nicknamed "Golden Eyed Tiger Cub". He is the son of the commander of a prison camp for convicts exiled to Mengzhou, Jiaozuo, Henan.

Meeting Wu Song[edit]

Wu Song is sentenced to exile in Mengzhou after avenging his elder brother, who was murdered by Pan Jinlian and Ximen Qing. According to the regulations, every new convict who enters the prison must be flogged 100 times. The corporal punishment is meant to tame unruly and arrogant prisoners who enter prison for the first time. Shi En has heard of Wu Song's reputation before and is eager to befriend him, so he manages to convince his father to spare Wu from the beating on the excuse that Wu appears to be ill.

Shi En helps to arrange for Wu Song to live in a clean cell and enjoy many privileges. Wu Song feels grateful towards Shi En and wants to repay him for his kindness. Shi En tells Wu Song that he used to run a restaurant called "Forest of Delight" (快活林). One day, a hooligan called Jiang Zhong, nicknamed "Jiang the Door God", came and beat him up and took over his restaurant. Wu Song promises to help Shi En take back the restaurant.

Wu Song defeats Jiang Zhong in a fight, orders him to apologise to Shi En and never to return to Mengzhou again. Jiang Zhong feels resentful and plots revenge on Wu Song. He bribes Inspector Zhang to help him. Inspector Zhang pretends to request for Wu Song to be transferred out of prison to be a servant in his residence, and then frames him for theft later. Wu Song is arrested and sentenced to exile to a further prison camp. In the meantime, while Wu Song was away, Jiang Zhong returns to the Forest of Delight, beats up Shi En, and takes over the restaurant.

Becoming an outlaw[edit]

The guards escorting Wu Song into exile have been bribed by Jiang Zhong to kill him along the way. However, Wu Song senses something amiss so he breaks free when the guards are about to kill him, slays them, and returns to Mengzhou to take revenge. He kills Inspector Zhang and Jiang Zhong and flees from Mengzhou. He eventually finds refuge on Mount Twin Dragons (二龍山) in Shandong. Shi En also leaves Mengzhou later and joins the outlaw band on Mount Twin Dragons.

Campaigns and death[edit]

Shi En and the others from Mount Twin Dragons join the outlaw band at Liangshan Marsh after the victory over imperial forces in Qingzhou (in present-day Shandong). He becomes one of the leaders of the Liangshan infantry after the Grand Assembly of the 108 Stars of Destiny, and follows the heroes on their campaigns against the Liao invaders and rebel forces after they have been granted amnesty by Emperor Huizong.

During the campaign against the rebel leader Fang La, Shi En accompanies the Ruan brothers on a naval assault on the enemy at Kunshan (in present-day Suzhou, Jiangsu). He falls into the river by accident and drowns because he is not a good swimmer.

References[edit]