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杨度的《君宪救国论》是要陷袁世凯于不义之地吗? 这是一个值得调查的假设。

Is there an English counterpart just as idiomatic and expressive?

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Don't know enough about 袁世凯 and don't have time to read it all.

袁世凯的荣辱功过各有评说,有人说他是“独夫民贼”[1] 、“窃国大盗”[2] ,也有人认为他对中国的近代化做出贡献,是真正的改革家。[3] 总之,袁世凯是中国近代史上最具争议的人物之一。

There is a saying 'hoist by his own petard' which originally meant "blown up with one's own bomb"

Basically it means: someone's own misdeeds caused their downfall.

For tis the sport to haue the enginer Hoist with his owne petar ["Hamlet" III.iv.207].

Maybe it fits, I don't know enough to be sure. 如果看袁世凯为‘不忠不义’ it might work!
杨度的《君宪救国论》是要陷袁世凯于不义之地吗?
Does 杨度的《君宪救国论》 want 袁世凯 to be hoist by his own petard?

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  • @George Chen - The original Chinese text doesn't translate to" trick someone to make himself a public enemy." if you are asking for an English idiom with this meaning, then the Chinese sentence would have to be edited completely.
    – Tang Ho
    May 18 '17 at 12:43
  • If you want an accurate translation that also fit your interpretation, then no one can help you, because your interpretation is wrong.
    – Tang Ho
    May 18 '17 at 12:53
  • That's what I wrote in my answer. It is not the same as "to trick someone to make himself a public enemy. "
    – Tang Ho
    May 18 '17 at 13:06
  • That would be 要讓袁世凱引火焚身
    – Tang Ho
    May 18 '17 at 13:11
  • That is basically what it means. I'm looking for a translation less figurative, more scientific but still expressive and idiomatic. Yuan failed to take politically important desires into account. Everyone envied his spot, but had no good excuses to overthrow him. It took him only a tiny step forward to give everyone a good excuse. May 18 '17 at 13:55
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[陷]某某[于]某[地] = [put]某某[in]某[position]

Example: "袁世凯不义之地" = "put Yuan Shi kai in the position of being unjust"

Similar structure: [置]某某[于]某[地] = [put]某某[in]某[position]

Example: "置袁世凯于死地" = "put Yuan Shi kai in the position of certain death"

The difference between 陷 and 置 is 陷 has the added meaning of 'to entrap'

George Chen wrote: Accurate but definitely not idiomatic or expressive.

Some common expressions that might fit:

Origin of 'paint (someone) into a corner' is: "A painter was paining a flood, he started from the exit, and at the end he found himself trapped into a corner. Any step he took would ruin his works. That's how the idiom came about. So, to put Yuan Shi kai in a position that no matter what step he took, would be seem as unjust (therefore, became a public enemy). Yuan was in effect, be painted into a corner,

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Your understanding of 陷某某于不义之地 is narrow. This expression is simply used by the defamed to express his resentment, whether it is an unfair defamation or well-deserved critique.

This expression is available to anyone, not exclusive to governors. If treated unfairly, a commoner can also use it. But he will never be listed as an enemy to the public.

You are asking for a preexisted translation not only equates with the source language but also prevails in the target language. Nah, there is no such thing.

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