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Old October 20 2009, 07:41 PM   #31
PSGarak
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Re: Dukat's love for Ziyal--genuine or selfish?

Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post
I think you're right--perhaps it was an ideal of Ziyal that he loved, not the real person.

But I'm wondering...does anyone else think that perhaps he saw in her what he could have been but never had the courage to become?
I honestly don't. I think he already believed he was as perfect as a Cardassian could get. He didn't have the self-awareness to aspire to be anything else. I think he believed he loved her because of her worshipful attitude toward him. When that attitude began to fade, so did his affection. I also think that what DiaboliKate said has a lot of merit. Once she was dead, he could cling to the ideal. The real Ziyal was no longer around to confront him about his bad behavior or disapprove of him.
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Old October 20 2009, 08:02 PM   #32
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Dukat's love for Ziyal--genuine or selfish?

Enabran Tainted wrote: View Post
I honestly don't. I think he already believed he was as perfect as a Cardassian could get. He didn't have the self-awareness to aspire to be anything else.
I don't think he would've fully understood what it was he was seeing, and he sure as hell didn't know how to change himself, but personally I do think he saw something in her that spoke to what he could have been. But then I have always felt that the reason Dukat became as he was was because there was something in himself that he was afraid of, so he tried to fill his life with all these empty visions to escape it.

BTW, PM on the way...
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Old October 20 2009, 09:04 PM   #33
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Re: Dukat's love for Ziyal--genuine or selfish?

It's so hard to say. When a person (whether real or fictional) spends his entire life acting a particular role, it's hard to tell where the actor stops and the real person begins. And that can change, actually. Sometimes you become what you pretend to be, whether for good or ill.

It could be that Dukat was so self-deluding that he never ever let any doubts that he may have had come to the surface - that he kept these so deep that he wasn't even aware that he had them...Kind of the way you describe, Nerys, except that I have put it far less charitably.

But as Enabrain/PSGarak points out, it is equally likely that he didn't actually didn't have any, or at least not very often. He never gave me the idea he had any self-esteem issues, you know? He really did seem to consider himself the flower of Cardassian manhood. That enormous vat of self-confidence was one of his most potent weapons.
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Old October 20 2009, 09:15 PM   #34
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Dukat's love for Ziyal--genuine or selfish?

DiaboliKate--I think what you said in your first paragraph is very true, personally...it's my theory that he put on a mask of sorts and that over time, the mask became him. He did not want it to be seen who and what he really was, but he played the role so long that I think he destroyed in himself the capacity to be any other way.

Personally, I DID get the idea that there were self-esteem issues. MAJOR ones. He was always, always seeking validation from those around him, seemed to need it like food or air. He talked himself up, big time, yes...but when someone would deprive him of that external fix, he'd just go further and further and further until he got it, just like a junkie. What we saw--that massive ego...to me, it was more like a man on a high he's afraid to ever come down from, than anything genuine. And the one time he ever completely crashed--"Sacrifice of Angels"--it destroyed whatever was left of his sanity.
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Old October 20 2009, 09:15 PM   #35
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Re: Dukat's love for Ziyal--genuine or selfish?

DiaboliKate wrote: View Post
He really did seem to consider himself the flower of Cardassian manhood. That enormous vat of self-confidence was one of his most potent weapons.
Are you saying that people who went up against him found themselves pistil whipped? (Sorry, I positively could not resist.)
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Old October 20 2009, 09:55 PM   #36
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Re: Dukat's love for Ziyal--genuine or selfish?

Clearly, Enabran/PSGarak, your addiction to punning stems from your own self-esteem issues. You've pollen into bad habits, that's all.

Well, I could have resisted. But I didn't, OK?

Nerys Dukat wrote:
DiaboliKate--I think what you said in your first paragraph is very true, personally...it's my theory that he put on a mask of sorts and that over time, the mask became him. He did not want it to be seen who and what he really was, but he played the role so long that I think he destroyed in himself the capacity to be any other way.

Personally, I DID get the idea that there were self-esteem issues. MAJOR ones. He was always, always seeking validation from those around him, seemed to need it like food or air. He talked himself up, big time, yes...but when someone would deprive him of that external fix, he'd just go further and further and further until he got it, just like a junkie. What we saw--that massive ego...to me, it was more like a man on a high he's afraid to ever come down from, than anything genuine. And the one time he ever completely crashed--"Sacrifice of Angels"--it destroyed whatever was left of his sanity.
It's all just so muddy. Sure, Dukat needed validation - he needed to be the hero, the leader. But did he need to be perceived as the hero because deep down he thought he wasn't? Or did he need to be perceived as the hero because he thought he was? That it would be only right, only fair, that everybody realize what a great guy he was and that anything else would be a gross injustice?

In theory, someone who is a great writer or painter and is confident about that shouldn't need public validation. Yet most of them really want it, right? What's the point, most of us would say, at least at times about our various talents and skills and character traits, of having these wonderful attributes if nobody seems to notice them?

And that's kind of how Dukat struck me. But I agree that it is equally possible that he was a mass of self doubts who used the admiration of others as a drug to mask his need.

Either way...what a great character, eh?

Last edited by JustKate; October 20 2009 at 11:09 PM. Reason: Decided to spell Enabran's name correctly!
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Old October 20 2009, 10:19 PM   #37
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Re: Dukat's love for Ziyal--genuine or selfish?

DiaboliKate wrote: View Post

Either way...what a great character, eh?
Oh, definitely. As DevilEyes has said, no other character inspires quite so many threads here.
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Old October 20 2009, 11:04 PM   #38
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Re: Dukat's love for Ziyal--genuine or selfish?

DiaboliKate wrote: View Post
Clearly, Enabrain/PSGarak, your addiction to punning stems from your own self-esteem issues. You've pollen into bad habits, that's all.

Well, I could have resisted. But I didn't, OK?
This is me, quietly back-petaling.
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Old October 20 2009, 11:20 PM   #39
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Re: Dukat's love for Ziyal--genuine or selfish?

Enabran Tainted wrote: View Post
DiaboliKate wrote: View Post
Clearly, Enabrain/PSGarak, your addiction to punning stems from your own self-esteem issues. You've pollen into bad habits, that's all.

Well, I could have resisted. But I didn't, OK?
This is me, quietly back-petaling.
Too late; you already carry the stigma of a known punner. (Boom Boom!)
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Last edited by Deranged Nasat; October 20 2009 at 11:47 PM.
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Old October 21 2009, 12:02 AM   #40
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Re: Dukat's love for Ziyal--genuine or selfish?

Deranged Nasat wrote: View Post
Enabran Tainted wrote: View Post
DiaboliKate wrote: View Post
Clearly, Enabrain/PSGarak, your addiction to punning stems from your own self-esteem issues. You've pollen into bad habits, that's all.

Well, I could have resisted. But I didn't, OK?
This is me, quietly back-petaling.
Too late; you already carry the stigma of a known punner. (Boom Boom!)
Both Enabran/PSGarak and Deranged rose to the occasion. (Wah, wah, waaaaaah!)
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Old October 21 2009, 01:25 AM   #41
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: Dukat's love for Ziyal--genuine or selfish?

DiaboliKate wrote: View Post
It's all just so muddy. Sure, Dukat needed validation - he needed to be the hero, the leader. But did he need to be perceived as the hero because deep down he thought he wasn't? Or did he need to be perceived as the hero because he thought he was? That it would be only right, only fair, that everybody realize what a great guy he was and that anything else would be a gross injustice?

In theory, someone who is a great writer or painter and is confident about that shouldn't need public validation. Yet most of them really want it, right? What's the point, most of us would say, at least at times about our various talents and skills and character traits, of having these wonderful attributes if nobody seems to notice them?
But that's the funny thing--some of the most talented people are extremely insecure on the deepest levels. Look at Hemingway--he ended his life, even.

And that's kind of how Dukat struck me. But I agree that it is equally possible that he was a mass of self doubts who used the admiration of others as a drug to mask his need.

Either way...what a great character, eh?
Indeed!

It's hard to explain what I think happened, but I think he started out as the second option for sure. The question is, to what extent did he "succeed" in killing whatever he was before he did this to himself? I think he began living a lie and then became (or nearly became) the lie. And yet I think there was still something at a very deep level that was by the critical point too atrophied and too unaccustomed to actually living to be able to help him come back to himself at the two points when I think he had his greatest chance. (When he found Ziyal, and when Ziyal died.)
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Old October 21 2009, 05:09 AM   #42
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Re: Dukat's love for Ziyal--genuine or selfish?

Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post
Personally, I DID get the idea that there were self-esteem issues. MAJOR ones. He was always, always seeking validation from those around him, seemed to need it like food or air. He talked himself up, big time, yes...but when someone would deprive him of that external fix, he'd just go further and further and further until he got it, just like a junkie. What we saw--that massive ego...to me, it was more like a man on a high he's afraid to ever come down from, than anything genuine. And the one time he ever completely crashed--"Sacrifice of Angels"--it destroyed whatever was left of his sanity.
I agree - it's one of the things I see in that last encounter in the Fire Caves. He's not getting the Emissary of the Prophets to bow to him. He's getting Benjamin Sisko, the man who took his station- TWICE- and who is getting the love, respect, and adoration from the Bajorans he feels he deserved to bow to him, to show that Dukat is the greater man, even if he has to force it out of him. That's what's important to him in that moment. Now that he has the power to exert some control over Sisko, he's using that. To him, that moment is part of the conflict between the Prophets and the Pai-Wraths. It's just between those two men.
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Old October 22 2009, 02:31 AM   #43
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Re: Dukat's love for Ziyal--genuine or selfish?

I always thought that he cared for Ziyal only because Kira cared for her. He wanted to impress her.
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Old October 22 2009, 02:47 AM   #44
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Re: Dukat's love for Ziyal--genuine or selfish?

Bluesteel wrote: View Post
I always thought that he cared for Ziyal only because Kira cared for her. He wanted to impress her.
So you don't think he loved Ziyal, but you believe he loved Kira so deeply and passionately to risk losing his career, social standing in the Cardassian Union, his mother, his wife and his 7 Cardassian children?

And you really think that makes more sense than the idea that Dukat loved his daughter?
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Old October 22 2009, 08:18 PM   #45
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Re: Dukat's love for Ziyal--genuine or selfish?

DevilEyes wrote: View Post
Bluesteel wrote: View Post
I always thought that he cared for Ziyal only because Kira cared for her. He wanted to impress her.
So you don't think he loved Ziyal, but you believe he loved Kira so deeply and passionately to risk losing his career, social standing in the Cardassian Union, his mother, his wife and his 7 Cardassian children?

And you really think that makes more sense than the idea that Dukat loved his daughter?
I thought Dukat after a while was a really stupid character who did really stupid things. Probably because he was insane and the people close to him like Damar liked to ignore that. So yeah that's right. He's going to kill his daughter but NO! Kira protests and he realizes if he wants some Bajoran booty he can't kill her. He takes care of her and becomes a model father to impress Kira.
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