Qin Xianglian: A Beijing Opera

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The plot of Qin Xianglian is relatively simple.Chen Shimei,a married man with children,wins the first place in the highest imperial examination and is hence married to the princess,the emperor’s sister.When his wife Qin Xianglian finds him,he refuses to recognize her and their children.He even sends an assassin to kill them but the assassin kills himself instead,due to an awakening of conscience.Qin Xianglian sues him for betrayal and attempted murder and wins the case on the verdict of Bao Zheng,an official famous for uprightness and integrity.The drama ends with the execution of Chen Shimei.
The opera is hence devoted to Qin Xianglian,a success story in the Beijing opera that has stood the test of time.It aims at helping the readers gain some understanding ofboth Qin Xianglian as a Beiiing opera and the Beijingopera as aform of art.
Table of Contents
Qin Xiang lian as a Beijing Opera 
1.The origin of the story 
2.Synopsis of the plotline 
3.Main characters 
4.Performance and infIuence 
5.Summary of ChapterⅠ 
Interpretation and Appreciation 
Qin Xiang lian 
Dramatis Personae 
Scene4:In Chen's Palace 
Scene5:Meeting Wang Yanling 
Scene6:Birthday Party 
Scene7:Temple KilIing 
Appendix:The Beijing Opera ABC 
Works Consulted and Cited
Sample Pages Preview

2.3. Notes on translation 
In Chapter III, footnotes are provided for terminologies appearingin the play that are essential for the understanding of the script. Tomaintain the smooth flowing of the script, explanations are offered hereon the translation of the original Chinese script into English. 
Firstly, care was taken to stay with the meaning of the originalas closely as possible while ignoring terminologies that play only aperipheral role to the understanding of the script. Take literary allusionfor instance. With its long literary history, works of Chinese literatureand art are known for allusion to classics. These allusions no doubt createcultural-specific images in the minds of a Chinese reader or audience.However, to present them without discrimination to an English readermay not be the best option. For one thing, it would slow the process ofreading and hence impede the process of appreciation. Therefore many ofthese allusions have been omitted. 
Secondly, the lyrics for singing have been arranged to rhyme and,by and large, to conform to the basic conventions of the poetic meter.Among the many differences between the Chinese and the Englishlanguages, the one that is the most relevant to the translator of verses isthe way phonological meter is defined in them. Chinese is what a linguistwill call a syllable-timed language," meaning the time it takes to utter aline depends on the number of syllabus in it. Since each written word-referred to as a character--represents one syllable, the length of a lineis hence determined, typographically, by the number of characters itcontains. Thus one of the most popular classical Chinese poetical form iscalled qilii (七律), meaning a form of poetry with eight seven-word lines."
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Qin Xianglian: A Beijing Opera