Dukat's love for Ziyal--genuine or selfish?

Discussion in 'Deep Space Nine' started by Nerys Ghemor, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. JustKate

    JustKate Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Yeah, but goodness, Redshirtguy, using your child to get to a woman...that doesn't sound like love. Not even for Dukat.

    But as I said above, I expect there was some real love in it, though no doubt it was twisted and odd, since this is Dukat we're talking about.
     
  2. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As I said, I don't find it believable in the least that he would risk losing his career, social standing, his family back on Cardassia (7 children!), getting disowned by his own mother... just to possibly get a woman into bed. Does this really seem plausible to you? :cardie:
     
  3. JustKate

    JustKate Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    No - I didn't intend to indicate that it did. I was merely addressing Redshirt's point - pointing out that even if we could accept that he had accepted Ziyal for this reason, that wouldn't constitute "love." I'm not sure exactly what it would constitute, but love wouldn't describe it. But no, I don't really think this is the reason he spared her.

    As I've said a couple of times now, I believe Dukat felt some real love for (and responsibility for) Ziyal. But...

    ....But I do think that after he made that great sacrifice for love, he used her and her love for him a LOT, and that doesn't fit into my definition of love. Like just about anything else having to do with Dukat, it's all very twisted and complicated. That's why we talk about him so much.
     
  4. Kira Nerys

    Kira Nerys Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I thought Dukat was selfish .He only expressed his love or caring for Ziyal if their was a political angle to it or a way up the job ladder .The fact that he tried to kill her in the beginng was proof of that .
     
  5. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    How did having Ziyal ever help his career or political agenda? :cardie: Taking her to Cardassia only did the opposite.
     
  6. Browncoat

    Browncoat Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I think it was shown quite clearly at the moment Dukat lost his sanity that he loved her as a daughter. She'd spurned him, and yet he would have accepted her again had she not been murdered.

    I think that Dukat bought into some Cardassian conservative values (like duty, honor, family loyalty) on their surface, but clearly went against these values from time to time. His rejection of his previous wife and family in favor of being with Ziyal, his lovechild, even though his lover had been Bajoran and his lovechild of mixed race, is an example. There are many instances of Dukat loving very deeply and honestly on the show --- and it made him into quite a complex character/villain, until he went nuts and, as did, shortly after, the writers of the show (who possessed him, making him "twirl his moustache" with vigor, so to speak).
     
  7. Browncoat

    Browncoat Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    I disagree that he was using Ziyal to get Kira. I think that he and Kira really did have a common bond over Ziyal, one that had begun from the moment Ziyal was found and Kira convinced Dukat (who was close to making an honor killing) not to murder her.

    Then Kira took Ziyal off his ship to give her a more secure, stable home, and vowed to protect the girl. This is when Kira and Dukat were "getting along" in their own way.

    The bond they shared over Ziyal was real, and Dukat didn't want to use Ziyal to exploit Kira, he wanted to increase the bond between himself and Kira, which had started over Ziyal.
    They were happy and got along as strange parents to Ziyal, and though Dukat was indeed a villain character, he was very familial (as are many Cardassians). I can see him deciding that Kira, Ziyal, and himself was the family unit he desired, and attempting to strengthen that.

    But just to get Kira in bed? While his methods to attract Kira were uncouth and holdovers from the Occupation, I doubt he was just trying to get her in bed. Besides, he knew Kira wouldn't fall for something like that, and would be too smart to try to trick her. I think he honestly wanted something more, and was too much of a fool to know how to go about getting it.
     
  8. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If he loved her, he didn't seem terribly interested in what made her happy. I think he needed her love and forgiveness to obtain a feeling of absolution for his actions during the occupation.
     
  9. JustKate

    JustKate Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's a really good point, Kelso. It was love, I think, but love with a very strong element of self-interest and self-aggrandizement in it. It was a very...Dukatian kind of love.

    He may not have even really loved her - that is, loved her in a more normal, a less twisted, Dukatian way - or realized how much she meant to him, until she was dead. Of course, in a way, it's easier to love somebody then because it's easier to idealize a person who no longer does anything to anger you or annoy you. I'm not being sarcastic or belittling - it really does happen that way sometimes in real life.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
  10. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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?
     
  11. PSGarak

    PSGarak Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  12. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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...
     
  13. JustKate

    JustKate Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  14. Nerys Ghemor

    Nerys Ghemor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  15. PSGarak

    PSGarak Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Are you saying that people who went up against him found themselves pistil whipped? (Sorry, I positively could not resist.)
     
  16. JustKate

    JustKate Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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? ;)

    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: Oct 20, 2009
  17. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Oh, definitely. As DevilEyes has said, no other character inspires quite so many threads here. :)
     
  18. PSGarak

    PSGarak Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    This is me, quietly back-petaling. :p
     
  19. Deranged Nasat

    Deranged Nasat Vice Admiral Admiral

    Too late; you already carry the stigma of a known punner. ;) (Boom Boom!)
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
  20. JustKate

    JustKate Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Both Enabran/PSGarak and Deranged rose to the occasion. (Wah, wah, waaaaaah!)
     

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