Characterisation in Hikayat Hang Tuah
HANG TUAH (Cont'd)
The traits which mark off Tuah from Jebat are caution, restraint and diplomacy. He is fond o fhis words ‘bichara’ and ‘pikir’. One night in Majapahit the Malay party was discussing things among themselves when Tuah warned Jebat and Kasturi that a Javanese warrior was at that moment lurking in their compound. Jebat and Kasturi, therefore, offered to stand guard at the door. Tuah cautioned them to be patient, saying that in all matters they should think carefully.(1) Likewise while in Inderapura Tuah was a restraining influence on Jebat who then had proposed to kill Megat Panji Alam in the audience hall itself.(2) And during the great duel when Jebat , with deep feeling, told him the reasons why he rebelled, Tuah concurred but added “tetapi akan kita diperhamaba Rajja ini, hendaklah barang sesuatu pekerjaan itu bicharakan sangat.” (3)
(3) p. 338. (4) Cf. p. 114.
(5) On one occasion the sultan of Melaka received a letter from Majapahit inquiring why he had not sent any delegation to Seri Batara for a long time. The Raja was completely concerned ; he could not think of an excuse to offer to the Javanese envoys. Tuah, however, came out with a brilliant reply.
(6) One example is when Seri Batara pretended to apologize for having sent him to fight against so many odds, saying that he thought there was only one man running amuk. Tuah retorted: “Adapun pada bichara patik yang hina ini, jikalau ada seribu atau dua ribu sekali pun tiada patik indahkan, mudah juga kepada patik akan mengembari dia jika orang berani berhadapan; akan orang penakut membuai didalam diamnya, inilah sukar patik akan menggambari dia, banyak budi bichara hendak mngenai dia.”
(7) Cf. p. 347
(8) Two examples testify to this. On one occasion he spoke otthe Bendhara and the Sulatn for the luckless officials on whom the wrath of both had fallen because theyhad deserted the former when a group of bandits intercepted as they were escorting him home (Cf. pp.34-42). On another, he defended the escorts of Adipati Solok before his ruler-father , Adipati Agung, with the consequent result that the order to execute them for deserting was repealed (Cf. p. 403).t re
(9) Cf. p. 309. (10) Cf. p. 311.
(11) Cf. pp. 301 & 356.
(12) The keris was lost in the sea off
(13) We list here a few; the fight in Seri Batara’s garden (Cf. pp. 1717), the “horse saving” incident (Cf. p. 215), the fighting with the Portuguese (Cf. pp. 452-4), the journey to and adventures in Istanbul while he is supposed to be sick (Cf. pp. 456-97), and the “getting-into-the-grave” incident (Cf. pp. 500-2).
(14) This is a characteristic feature of the epic hero (Cf. Brown p. 95).
(15) Cf. footnote 1 p. 55.
(16) “Maka Laksamana pun tahulah akan alamat dirinya itu….” (p. 447)
(17) He is said to be “gila gila sakit kepala dan tubuhnya pun demam”. (p. 447).
(18) Cf. p. 504.
(19) There is no doubt that it was thought sothen as no expression of disapproval is heard. Brown cites several examples to prove that craft and strategem were valid means by which a hero secures his code. (Cf. Brown, pp. 100-2).
(20) The same is the case with that of the Sultan. Their fares appear to run parallel and to exercise a strange influence on the fate of Melaka.
(21) The Sultan, on the eve of the first Portuguese attack, made a prophetic remark: “Alalhlah Melaka ini oleh Perinngi karena Laksamana lagi sakit.” (p. 450).
Next: Installment #13: Chapter IV Hang Tuah (Cont’d)