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Chinese Literature - Theatre Plays and Opera
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Pipaji 琵琶記 "The Romance of the Lute"
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by Gao Ming 高明 (Gao Zaocheng 高則誠; mid 13th cent.) is a long, but simple kind of love story basing on several anecdotes and stories about the Han Dynasty scholar Cai Yong 蔡邕 . In the play, he is called Cai Boxie 蔡伯諧 . Just married, he is told by his father to pass the state examinations in the capital. Esteemed by the chancellor, he rises to high positions and is forced to marry a new wife. Meanwhile, in his home town famine reigns, and his first wife Zhao Wuniang 趙五娘 suffers badly. Cao Boxie's mother dies of hunger and disappointment. Zhao Wuniang takes her lute and wanders to the capital, searching for her man. In the end, they reunite, mourning together at the grave of their starved parents.