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Battles, Betrayals, and Brotherhood: Early Chinese Plays on the Three Kingdoms

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Overview

No cycle of historical legends has enjoyed greater or more enduring popularity in China than that of the Three Kingdoms, which recounts the dramatic story of the civil wars (c. AD 180–220) that divided the old Han empire into the Shu-Han, Wei, and Wu states, and the eventual reunification of the realm under the Western Jin in AD 280.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Beginning with the swearing of brotherhood in the Peach Orchard and continuing on to the most famous battles and betrayals of the Three Kingdoms era, this selection of expertly translated plays enables readers to discover how the major heroes of the legend were portrayed on the Yuan and Ming stage. Informative introductions and annotations enhance enjoyment of the plays, as do appendices that expand on the core selections by providing alternate versions of some famous episodes. Translations of selected incidents from a popular history, the Sanguo zhi pinghua, enable comparisons between a popular historical account of these heroes’ careers and dramas about them. [This book is] indispensable as a companion to translations of the classic novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, as a student introduction to Chinese culture and theater, or as a guide for any readers simply interested in Three Kingdoms lore. --Catherine Swatek, University of British Columbia

Battles, Betrayals, and Brotherhood is a brilliant introduction to one of China's best-loved heroic traditions. And of course the translations are wonderful—very lively! --Katherine Carlitz, University of Pittsburgh

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781603848138
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/15/2012
  • Pages: 512

Meet the Author

Wilt L. Idema is Professor of Chinese Literature, Harvard University.

Stephen H. West is Foundation Professor of Chinese, Arizona State University.

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