The Similarities & Differences between The Peony Pavilion and Romeo and Juliet
There are many outstanding dramas in history, and The Peony Pavilion and Romeo and Juliet register representatives of Chinese and Western dramas, respectively.Although Tang Xianzu has also written poems and essays, the greatest achievements are still legends. He was another great dramatist in ancient China after Guan Hanqing. Tang Xianzu the proudest, and the most influential was The Peony Pavilion. In the history of opera, he enjoys the same reputation as Guan Hanqing and Wang Shifu, and has an important position in the history of Chinese and even world literature. He is called "the Shakespeare of the East".
In the era of Shakespeare, Italy and many countries in Europe were carrying out an ideological and cultural movement, namely the Renaissance. It affirms the life of the world and thinks that the happiness of the present world is above all else. The purpose of life is to pursue personal freedom and personal happiness. Shakespeare's early works mainly promote this humanism. And Romeo and Juliet is a love tragedy with anti-feudal consciousness under this background.
This dissertation compares The Peony Pavilion and Romeo and Juliet, which can be divided into three main parts. The first two parts are comparison of the life of Tang Xianzu & Shakespeare, to making the readers have a general picture of The Peony Pavilion and Romeo and Juliet. The third part refers to details comparison of The Peony Pavilion and Romeo and Juliet, including historical background and theme, characters and their personalities, pattern of drama and plot structure and expression and plot contents, which make readers have a profound understanding on the two great works.
There are many outstanding dramas in history, and The Peony Pavilion and Romeo and Juliet register representatives of Chinese and Western dramas, respectively. Tang Xianzu (1550-1616) lived in the late Ming Dynasty, and Shakespeare (1564-1616) lived in the British Renaissance period. As for the age, they were both contemporary. Both of them are poets and playwrights. They not only have deep understanding and warm praise for love, but also write dramas based on young men and women's love. Shakespeare made Romeo and Juliet in 1594. Tang Xianzu made The Peony Pavilion in 1598. In the history of world drama, it was an immortal work in the end of the 16th century. These two famous dramas are produced in two different countries and societies. They have no literary affinity and influence between them, so it is difficult to carry out a scientific comparative study. However, we can see from the similarities and differences between the two plays in terms of thought and art. It can also be seen that some of their own national characteristics and similar drama techniques.
Chapter One Tang Xianzu and The Peony Pavilion
1.1 The life of Tang Xianzu
Tang Xianzu is a Chinese opera writer and litterateur in the Ming Dynasty, who was gave birth in Linchuan, Jiangxi Province. In September 24th, 1550, Tang Xianzu was born into a scholarly family. Four generations of his ancestor were all known for literature. Their earnest study attitude had laid a deep on Tang Xianzu in his childhood. Tang Xianzu was talented, well-educated, hardworking and studious. When he was 5 years old, he went to family school. At the age of 12, he could write poem. At the age of 13, he learned ancient Chinese articles from a famous scholar Xu Liangfu , and he became one of the outstanding s