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The features and significance of Jingju plays (1790-1911)

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Guo, Jingrui (2002) The features and significance of Jingju plays (1790-1911). PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

Jingju as a genre has been extensively studied and its performance is not unfamiliar
to the Western audience, who know it by the terms "Chinese opera" or "Peking
opera". There are however few studies on the texts of jingju plays. The present
thesis examines jingju plays written from 1790 to 1911, analyzing their features and
achievements. It makes extensive use of texts from the Che Wang Fu Repertoires,
which have been edited and published only in recent years. It will argue that,
contrary to the accepted scholarly opinions, fin& plays are highly significant
because they deal with new ideas, reinterpretations of history and the critique of
traditions.
The thesis devotes each chapter to one major subject area in jingju plays. They are:
Marketplace Play and Love Story Play produced during the incubating period of
jingju, History Play, Courtroom Play and Frontier Fortress Play created during the
later stage of the development of jingju. In dealing with each area the thesis will
analyze the achievements and significance of the texts of jingju plays. Developed from various popular xiqu in the late eighteenth and nineteenth century,
jingju plays arose at a time when the traditional Chinese hierarchical society was on
the verge of collapse. In the depiction of daily life or matters involving historical or
ideological issues, jingju playwrights raised a number of major questions not
touched on by classical xiqu playwrights. Jingju playwrights have achieved
breakthroughs in their criticisms of traditional culture, traditional moral codes and The thesis argues that three main factors contributed to the breakthroughs of jingju
plays. Firstly, commercialism played an important role in the rise of popular
playwrights and the expansion of popular arts and literature in the later periods of
Chinese traditional society, particularly in the late Qing. Another factor was
political. The abolition of the official musician prostitutes, for example, facilitated
the further commercialization of the performing arts. The third factor was literary.
Jingju playwrights inherited new ideas, plots, characterization and settings of
popular literature such as popular novels.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Operas, Chinese, Operas, Chinese
Copyright Holders: The Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2002 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (Ph.D. )--University of Tasmania, 2002. Includes bibliographical references

Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 00:07
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 05:54
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