Romance of the Western Chamber 西厢记

A masterpiece of realism in Chinese Classical Drama


Chinese Name: 西厢记

English Name: Romance of the Western Chamber

Other Name: The Story of the Western Wing, The West Chamber, Romance of the Western Bower

Author: Wang Shifu 王实甫

Originally Published: AD 1271-1368 (Yuan Dynasty 元朝)

Genre: Literature, Zaju 杂剧

Romance of the Western Chamber 西厢记
Romance of the Western Chamber 西厢记

Brief Introduction of Romance of the Western Chamber

The Romance of the Western Chamber 西厢记 is a Zaju 杂剧 created by Wang Shifu 王实甫 of the Yuan Dynasty. It is a masterpiece of realism of Chinese classical drama. It has a total of five books with twenty-one discounts and a complete story, which is rare in ancient Zaju. The plot Festival is fascinating, vivid, elegant and poetic.

The Romance of the Western Chamber describes that scholar Zhang Junrui 张君瑞, who was on his way to the imperial examination, ran into Cui Yingying 崔莺莺, the daughter of the former prime minister, and fell in love with her at first sight. In order to see more Yingying several times, he lived in the West Chamber 西厢 of the Pujiu temple 普救寺. They loved each other and poetry.

Romance of the Western Chamber 西厢记
Zhang Junrui is dating Cui Yingying. 张君瑞与崔莺莺约会

Later, the rebel general Sun Feihu 孙飞虎 surrounded the Pujiu temple and wanted to rob Yingying as his wife. Yingying’s mother promised in panic: whoever can defeat the rebels, I will marry my daughter to him. Zhang Junrui stepped forward and saved the Cui family with the help of his good friend Du Que 杜确. But Yingying’s mother repented, and they were in great pain. The Hongniang 红娘 helped them meet.

Romance of the Western Chamber 西厢记
Cui Yingying eavesdrops on Zhang Junrui playing the piano.崔莺莺偷听张君瑞弹琴。

Zhang Junrui, who had not seen Yingying for many days after the meeting, got lovesickness. Yingying learned from his letter that she asked Zhang Junrui to meet in the garden, but Zhang Junrui’s wall climbing behavior caused Yingying’s dissatisfaction. Under Yingying’s rebuke, Zhang Junrui’s lovesickness worsened. Yingying couldn’t bear to make a promise.

Romance of the Western Chamber 西厢记
Cui Yingying is practicing for Zhang Junrui. 崔莺莺正在为张君瑞践行。

After Yingying’s mother found out, she pressed Hongniang. Hongniang argued and accused her of being at fault. Yingying’s mother was helpless and allowed the two to marry, but asked Zhang Junrui to go to the exam immediately. Finally, Zhang Junrui returned to the Hezhong 河中 after winning the first prize in the exam and got married with Yingying.

Author of Romance of the Western Chamber

Romance of the Western Chamber 西厢记
Wang Shifu 王实甫

Wang Shifu (1260-1336), a native of Beijing 北京, was a famous dramatist in the Yuan Dynasty and the author of the drama “Romance of the Western Chamber”.

Wang Shifu, together with Guan Hanqing 关汉卿, Bai Pu 白朴 and Ma Zhiyuan 马致远, was known as the “four masters of Yuanqu 元曲四大家”. His works were exquisite in language, absorbed the lively oral language of the folk in the Yuan Dynasty, and created a brilliant vocabulary of Yuanqu.

He had written 14 kinds of Zaju in his life, The “Romance of the Western Chamber” was not only his masterpiece, but also one of the best works in the creation of Zaju in the Yuan Dynasty. At that time, it was known as the best drama in the Yuan Dynasty.

He played an important role in the history of Chinese drama.

Excerpts From Romance of the Western Chamber


The east wind shook the long strips of weeping poplars like thin lines, the hairspring tied the falling petals of peach flowers, and the curtain decorated with pearls covered the beautiful face like hibiscus flowers.


It’s better to do something intentionally to win his eyes and get his love than unintentionally. My amorous feelings are always hurt by his ruthlessness.


I wish all lovers in the world can have a perfect result.

Evaluation of Romance of the Western Chamber

The Qu 曲 and words are alarming, and the lingering fragrance is full.

Cao Xueqin 曹雪芹

New Zaju, old legend, “Romance of the West Chamber” won the world championship.

Jia Zhongming 贾仲明

The “Romance of the Western Chamber” is a wonderful article in the world.

Jin Shengtan 金圣叹

Top 100 Books in China

Taiping Guangji 太平广记

2022-3-24 20:44:22

Top 100 Books in China

Retreating Figure 背影

2022-3-24 20:51:34

0 comment A文章作者 M管理员
    No Comments Yet. Be the first to share what you think!
Message Message