Study Korean Through Drama: Deep Rooted Tree ep02 상왕 Sang Wang

From episode 2, I chose this clip to study as it’s one of my favourite scenes in the whole drama and it’s also dramatic and important because we finally see Yi Do standing up to his father, the former king (the title for an abdicated king was 상왕 sang wang).

Although Yi Do is technically the King (King Sejong), in reality it is his father who still rules the land and he is ruthless. Yi Do doesn’t understand why his father is like this and he feels helpless. He can’t stop his father killing anyone who gets in his way. In this scene, Yi Do is trying to save the life of the young slave Dol Bok. It’s important to him that he is at least able to save ONE of his subjects. But his father simply wants to kill the boy because he is a ‘traitor’ (although his only crime is to be a slave at the house of the king’s father-in-law.)

First, here’s some useful vocabulary from the scene.






a group of rebels/traitors








national law


oppose/fight against



break out of prison



high treason

(the person)






attack /assault








the King’s command

King Sejong has just hidden the slave boy in a barn. The boy is a slave at the prime minister’s house (the prime minister is also the king’s father-in-law). But Yi Bang Won, the former king has decided that the prime minister is a traitor and so has had everyone at his house, including family members and slaves, arrested. Anyone who struggled was killed. King Sejong tried to help the prime minister, but failed. He saw the fighting going on at his father-in-law’s house and so brought the boy here to an unused barn to save him. But Yi Bang Won arrives and wonders what his son is doing out here….

이도: 그냥 어린 아이옵니다.
Yi Do: He’s just a child.

note: 옵니다 = 입니다

이방원: 역당의 노비이다.
Yi Bang Won: He’s the slave of a band of rebels.

이도: 아직 어리고, 철모르는 아이일뿐이옵니다.
Yi Do: He’s still just a young and reckless child.

이방원: 역당의 노비이며, 국법에 대항하여 파옥을 한 대역죄인이다.
Yi Bang Won: He is the slave of a band of rebels, opposed our national law, escaped  from prison, and so committed high treason.

이도: 아직은 어리고… 어리석고 철모르는….
Yi Do: Yes, but he’s just young and foolish ….

이방원: 역당의 노비이며, 국법에 대항하여 파옥을 했고 병사를 공격한 죄인이다.
그 아이를 데려와 죽이거라.  역당의 노비만으로도 죄를 면치 못하거늘, 파옥을 했고 감히 나의 병사를 공격했다.  이 자리에서 목을 벨것이다. 어서.
Yi Bang Won: He’s the slave of a band of rebels, and a criminal who has opposed our national law, escaped from prison, and attacked my soldiers. Bring the child here and kill him. We cannot forgive him for even just being the slave of rebels, but he also escaped from prison and dared to attack my soldiers. I will cut his throat. Hurry!

note: 감히 …….. 하다 dare to do (something)

이도: 한 발짝도 움직이지 마라.
Yi Do: Stop right there! Don’t move another step.

이방원: 뭐라? 어서 그 아이를 데려와 즉시 참하라. 왕명이니라.
Yi Bang Won: What? Hurry up and bring the child here and kill him. It’s the king’s command.

note: These days 뭐라고? is used rather than 뭐라?

이도: 왕을 참칭하지 말라. 상왕은 왕이 아니다. 내가… 내가 조선의 임금이다.
Yi Do: Don’t assume the title of King. Sang Wang is not the king. I am, I AM the king of Joseon.

notes: 참칭 僭稱 참칭하다 assume the title (of), usurp the name (of)
상왕 (上王) Sang Wang = former king (Yi Bang Won abdicated the throne and his son Yi Do became King Sejong. But Yi Bang Won, formerly King Taejong, continued to rule anyway!)  But finally, here we see King Sejong telling his father to back off. But he will suffer for this later ….

One thought on “Study Korean Through Drama: Deep Rooted Tree ep02 상왕 Sang Wang

  • April 29, 2012 at 4:22 am

    in these days i’m watching Tree with deep root drama and tried that to obtain information about this drama and i saw your site and i was really happy. because you wrote Korean sentences from drama. i have wanted to know and learn sentences from kdramas. thanks for you for writing them. thank to you i am learning new words and new information about Korean language and Korea. thanks again

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: