To speak on behalf of the Confucian sages was the aim of writing the eight-legged essay. Previous studies have generally posited that this writing aim was influenced by the portrayal skills of the operas of the Yuan and Ming dynasties. Others have pointed out that the flourishing of the Ming opera was indeed influenced by eight-legged essays. Because the Ming playwrights received training in composing eight-legged essays from an early age, they paid long-term attention to the technique of portraying Confucian sages, which ended up benefitting portrayals of operatic characters in their later years. These opinions, nevertheless, are only the intuitive speculation of researchers. The mutual influences of the two genres have never been specifically examined and analysed. Since the Jiajing and Longqing periods of the Ming Dynasty, the mutual influences between characters’ portrayals in the two genres became more and more significant. Tang Xianzu grew up during this period. He was a famous playwright of the Ming dynasty and a master of eight-legged essays in his time. His portraying techniques have long been praised by his contemporaries. For this reason, this article takes several kings and emperors portrayed in Tang’s eight-legged essay as examples, analyses how polyphony inspired him to conceive his eight-legged essay’s portrayals of these rulers, and elaborates on the mutual influences between the portrayal techniques used in his eight-legged essays and those used in his operas. Copyright © 2022 EACS.
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2022|
|Event||The 24th Biennial Conference of the European Association for Chinese Studies - Olomouc, Czech Republic|
Duration: 24 Aug 2022 → 27 Aug 2022
|Conference||The 24th Biennial Conference of the European Association for Chinese Studies|
|Abbreviated title||EACS 2022|
|Period||24/08/22 → 27/08/22|