SGYY: A Tragedy?

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Unread postby Liu Yuante » Sun Sep 12, 2004 6:26 pm

While the turning point in Shakespearean tragedy may occur around the third act, that doesn't really address the point regarding the story moving on even as the major players die in RoTK because in Shakespeare, usually the tragic deaths occur at the end. Hamlet, Claudius, Gertrude and Laertes all die at the end of Hamlet; Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet all die at the ends of the plays bearing their names.

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Unread postby yagij » Sun Sep 12, 2004 7:19 pm

LiuYuanTe wrote:While the turning point in Shakespearean tragedy may occur around the third act, that doesn't really address the point regarding the story moving on even as the major players die in RoTK because in Shakespeare, usually the tragic deaths occur at the end. Hamlet, Claudius, Gertrude and Laertes all die at the end of Hamlet; Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet all die at the ends of the plays bearing their names.


Well, the end of the day, I don't know of any piece of Western literature that can even begin to compare to SGYY. Yes, I know that--at the end of the day--all of Shakespeare's works still revolve around any individual and his/her environment. I guess I'm still kinda just amazed at the progression of this piece of Chinese fiction, and any sort of association I make will be woefully inadequate. Lady Wu said that the SGYY was the first full-length novel in that country's history, and since it is, obviously it can't really be compared to anything--during its creation--in its own culture or another one.

I guess at the end of the day--as someone else stated--it is kinda tragic that none of the three kingdoms lived to see the end of the era that is based/named on their existance.
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Unread postby Liu Yuante » Sun Sep 12, 2004 9:15 pm

Well, I hope it doesn't seem as if I'm trying to dismiss your comparison to tragedy in Western literature- I'm not. I think there is much to be learned in the way of different ways of looking at things by making comparisons such as these. For example, in college once I took certain economic texts and then read them through the viewpoint of other texts, some by the same authors on different subjects, and analyzed the results, what was distorted, what changed. None of what I came up with could be called genuine aspects of content of the economic texts themselves, but all the same they bore fruit in the form of new ideas and new ways of looking at those things. Similarly, here, though RoTK really kind of defies the traditional genre labels, by comparing and contrasting, new and interesting ways of looking at it, or at least of putting into focus the unique characteristics of the text, can potentially be arrived at. It is worth noting, also, that in the Western world, the very first novels were very different things from what eventually came to bear that name. Thus it is not too surprising to me to find that RoTK is something of a misfit, especially considering the different revisions and editing that have taken place on the original text.

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