Titel: Wang Shifu: Romance Of The Western Chamber (zweisprachig Chinesisch-Englisch) - 王实甫: 西厢记 (汉英对照)
Author / Editor: (元 Yuan-Dynastie) 王实甫 Wang Shifu
ISBN: 978-7-04-027665-7, 9787040276657
Series: 青春绣像版中国古代四大名剧 The Famous Chinese Classical Plays
Publisher: Higher Education Press - 高等教育出版社
Language: bilingual Chinese-English
Date of Publication: 2010.06
Number of pages: 157
Dimensions: 21 x 14.5 cm
This edition is bilingual Chinese-English, the story of the classic play is rewritten in modern language and illustrated with colored paintings as well as black-and-white drawings.
Romance of the Western Chamber is one of the best-known and most widely-admired plays of ancient China. It was composed from 1299 to 1307 by a famous dramatist Wang Shifu in the Yuan Dynasty about seven hundred years ago.
Since the play was distributed as a book, it was frequently forbidden by the imperial courts for hundreds of years, and parents did not allow their children to read it It shows a similarity with A Dream of the Red Mansions. Another famous novel written about six hundred years after Romance of the Western Chamber. In A Dream of the Red Mansions, there is a description of the two characters, Jia Baoyu and Lin Daiyu, reading Romance o the Western Chamber secretly in their garden.
Romance of the Western Chamber depicts an age of feudalism in which young people could not freely love each other. Their marriages were arranged by their parents. In this play, Wang Shifu expressed his wish that all young lovers could one day get married and find happiness at last. The author of the play opposed the concept of feudalism. His work is like a ray of light illuminating the darkness of his age.
In the play, Wang Shifu successfully created three characters: Zhang Sheng, Yingying, and Hongniang. Each of the characters had a unique personality.
The first of the three characters, Zhang Sheng, was a young scholar known for his honesty and integrity. He loved Yingying and wanted to marry her. During a time of crisis, when bandits attacked the temple they were staying in, he showed his bravery and intelligence, and dispelled the intruders. Later, though he passed the civil imperial examinations, he didn't change his character and continued to show his fidelity and adoration to Yingying.
Yingying's character was a little more complex. She loved Zhang Sheng, but she seldom expressed her feelings directly. She needed Hongniang's help, But occasionally, she kept some secrets from her. Her words were often different from her behavior. She hesitated at first, but with the help and encouragement of Hongniang, she gradually became braver and more self-confident.
Although Hongniang's social status was Iow and she was only a servant girl, she was the most memorable character in the play, She was highly intelligent and full of enthusiasm, and she always supported the free-choice and true love between Zhang Sheng and Yingying. She provided the two lovers with advice to help make their relationship a success and skilfully persuaded Madame Cui, Yingying’s mother, to accept the marriage.