汤显祖 Tang Xianzu

汤显祖 Tang Xianzu
Tang Xianzu (simplified Chinese: 汤显祖; traditional Chinese: 湯顯祖; pinyin: Tāng Xiǎnzǔ; Wade–Giles: T'ang Hsien-tsu, September 24, 1550 — July 29, 1616), courtesy name Yireng (義仍), was a Chinese playwright of the Ming Dynasty.

Tang was a native of Linchuan, Jiangxi and his career as an official consisted principally of low-level positions. He successfully participated in the Provincial examinations at the age of 21 and at the imperial examinations at the age of 34. He held official positions in Nanjing, Zhejiang province, Guangdong province etc.. He retired in 1598 and returned to his hometown where he focused on writing.

His major plays are collectively called the Four Dreams, because of the decisive role dreams play in the plot of each one. All of them are still performed (in scenes, or in adapted full versions) on the Chinese Kun opera (kunqu) stage. Generally considered his masterpiece, the Mudan Ting (The Peony Pavilion) has been translated into English several times; each of the other plays has been translated once.

More Detail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tang_Xianzu

牡丹亭(节凌) The Peony Pavilion (Excerpt)

Author: -- 汤显祖 Tang Xianzu
原来姹紫嫣红开遍,
A riot of deep purple and bright red.
似这般都付与断井颓垣。
What pity on the ruins they overspread!
良辰美景奈何天,
Why does Heaven give us brilliant day and dazzling sight?
赏心乐事谁家院?
Whose house could boast of a sweeter delight?
朝飞暮卷,
At dawn on high rainbow clouds fly;
云霞翠轩;
At dusk the green pavilion's seen.
雨丝风片,
In misty waves mingle the threads of rain;
烟波画船。
The wind swells sails of painted boats in vain.
锦屏人
For those behind the screens
忒看的这韶光溅!
Make light of vernal scenes.

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