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The Composition and Significance of Li Yu’s 『Mei Shan Xiu』

  • The Journal of Chinese Cultural Studies
  • 2016, (34), pp.191-221
  • DOI : 10.18212/cccs.2016..34.008
  • Publisher : The Society For Chinese Cultural Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature > Chinese Literature > Chinese Culture
  • Published : November 30, 2016

Youn HyeonSook 1

1한국교통대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Li Yu(李玉)'s 「Mei Shan Xiu(眉山秀)」 is a classic play based on the five novels 「Su Xiao Mei San Nan Xin Lang(蘇小妹三難新郞)」, 「Yi Chang Zhuan(義倡傳)」, 「Wang An Shi San Nan Su Xue Shi(王安石三難蘇學士)」, 「Ao Xiang Gong Yin Hen Ban Shan Tang(拗相公飮恨半山堂)」, 「Wu Jie Chan Shi Si Hong Lian Ji(五戒禪師私紅蓮記)」 and some historical facts. Some people appreciate this play very much, but some people think it has no literary value. The major reason this work received bad evaluation is that it had adopted existing contents of the five novels. Therefore, it is evaluated to have poor contents. But I don’t think it is an objective evaluation. So, I attempt to do objective analysis on the composition and significance of the play. According to most analyses, 「Mei Shan Xiu」 is known to be based on the five novels. However, it is only one-third of whole work. The rest is created by Li Yu. Moreover, even though the rest part of the work is based on historical facts, Li Yu reconstructed it according to his own historical view. Through this process, it was reborn as a new work. According to 「Mei Shan Xiu Ti Ci(眉山秀題詞)」, 「Mei Shan Xiu」 received fervent response from the audience, which proves its quality. 「Mei Shan Xiu」 depicted the political situation of Song(宋) Dynasty. Actually, it was very similar to the age in which he lived. The characters in the work are not men of the past, and the situation in the work is never the same one as the past. Therefore, Li Yu attempted to throughly depict the past reflect the current situation and this proves that 「Mei Shan Xiu」 has high ideological value.

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