Submission Title

Love Is Not Just Love: Approaching “Tragedy” Cross-Culturally

Location

Ford Hall: Fireside/Lobby

Subject Area

English: Literature

Description

Widely examined and classified in William Shakespeare´s plays, the Western definition of the tragedy genre has remained influential for literary scholars to approach other non-Western texts. However, under other literary cultures, the “tragedy” genre comes in various forms and does not necessarily fall under the dominant Western understanding of a “tragedy.” This project aims to explore the diverse meaning of “tragedy” in the Western and Chinese literary canons through two plays, William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Tang Xianzu’s The Peony Pavilion (牡丹亭). By comparing the elements constituting the romantic plot between the two sets of couples, the redefinition of “tragedy” will bring the audience to understand the inadequacy of viewing Western literary traditions as the standards, as well as the importance of a culturally sensitive approach to interpret non-Western texts. Most importantly, a comparative literary setting diversifies the literary scholarship and encourages scholars from different cultural backgrounds to engage in the conversation.

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May 17th, 11:00 AM May 17th, 11:30 AM

Love Is Not Just Love: Approaching “Tragedy” Cross-Culturally

Ford Hall: Fireside/Lobby

Widely examined and classified in William Shakespeare´s plays, the Western definition of the tragedy genre has remained influential for literary scholars to approach other non-Western texts. However, under other literary cultures, the “tragedy” genre comes in various forms and does not necessarily fall under the dominant Western understanding of a “tragedy.” This project aims to explore the diverse meaning of “tragedy” in the Western and Chinese literary canons through two plays, William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Tang Xianzu’s The Peony Pavilion (牡丹亭). By comparing the elements constituting the romantic plot between the two sets of couples, the redefinition of “tragedy” will bring the audience to understand the inadequacy of viewing Western literary traditions as the standards, as well as the importance of a culturally sensitive approach to interpret non-Western texts. Most importantly, a comparative literary setting diversifies the literary scholarship and encourages scholars from different cultural backgrounds to engage in the conversation.