Han Fei

(c. 280 BC - 233 BC)

An aristocrat of the Han state, Han Fei was a stutterer in an era when eloquent oratory was the most effective means of influence at court; he was forced to write his thoughts in book form. When King Zheng of Qin attacked Han in 234 BC, Han Fei was sent to negotiate, as the king reportedly admired his writings. He was, however, treated as a rival by the king’s head adviser (who feared Han Fei would be deemed more intelligent) and was sentenced to commit suicide. He drank poison and died in 233 BC.

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