A core Course of General Education An outline of the Traditional Chinese Culture 中国传统文化概览 Shandong University Contents

Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (The Butterfly Lovers, Leon and Jo)

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2. Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai (The Butterfly Lovers, Leon and Jo)

Zhu Yingtai, the daughter of a ministry councilor, disguised herself as a male and left her hometown to study. During the three years of study, she fell in love with Liang Shanbo, who was unaware of her real identity. At departing, Zhu invited Liang to visit “his” family, and told him “he” would ask parents to marry “his” sister to Liang. But since Liang was short of money, he delayed the visit. Councilor Zhu betrothed Zhu Yingtai to childe Ma. Two years later, Liang Shanbo went to visit Zhu. Only then did he realize that the “sister” was actually Zhu Yingtai herself. Liang was in deep remorse. He fell ill and failed to recover. He succumbed to the disease soon. On the day of wedding, childe Ma sent a flower boat to Zhu’s home to bring her over. When the flower boat for the bride passed Liang’s tomb, there came a fresh gale, which caused the wave to surge so that the boat could not go any further. Informed that Liang’s tomb was on the shore, Zhu ran there and knelt down in front of the tomb wailing bitterly. Suddenly the skies fell and the earth cracked. Liang’s tomb split open. Seizing this opportunity, Zhu jumped into the tomb and soon the tomb closed, burying Zhu inside. Then the rain passed off and the sky cleared up; the wind abated and waves calmed down. A couple of butterflies danced gracefully among the wild flowers.

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