• The Orphan of Zhao: Chinese Revenge Drama and European Adaptations

    Author(s):
    Shiao-ling S. Yu (see profile)
    Date:
    2018
    Group(s):
    GS Drama and Performance
    Subject(s):
    Comparative literature--Chinese and Western
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Chinese-Western comparative literature
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/8nmd-1586
    Abstract:
    This paper is a comparative study of the thirteen-century Chinese revenge drama The Orphan of Zhao and its European adaptations from the eighteenth century to the present. Generally considered one of China’s great tragedies and the first Chinese dramatic work introduced to Europe, this play makes a good case study as intercultural theater. Unlike the earlier studies which emphasized Chinese influence on European drama, this study examines how European adapters tried to remake the Chinese play to conform to Western criteria of drama, such as the three unities. It also discusses how the dramatic actions in William Hatchett’s and Arthur Murphy’s adaptations reflected the conditions of England rather than China, and how Voltaire appropriated the Chinese play to articulate his ideas of European Enlightenment. In contrast to the Eurocentric eighteenth-century adaptations, the 2012 production by the Royal Shakespeare Company represents a changing Western attitude toward Chinese drama and a new direction in intercultural theater. This study provides a history of cultural exchanges between East and West through a systematic analysis of transnational transmissions of an important Chinese play.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    3 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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