A notable Chinese playwright and poet in the Yuan Dynasty. He has been described as among the most prolific and highly regarded dramatists of the Yuan period. Analysis:
The Injustice Done to Tou Ngo is one of defining works of Chinese drama and theatre that has been produced ever since the thirteenth century. The theme of story shows an eloquent denunciation of injustice, great dramatist concern for the people and hatred for the oppressive ruling class. Kuan Han-ch’ing’s nobility of characters represent kindness, courage and spirit of self-sacrifice.
Tou-Ngo served as a payment for her father’s debt to Mistress Tsai. She and her mother-in-law are bullied by Sai Lu Yi, an unscrupulous physician. He almost kills Dou’s mother-in-law by strangling her. Zang saved them and offer Tou Ngo to marry but she refused. Zang plot a murder scene by poisoning Tou Ngo’s mother-in-law. Unexpectedly, Zhang’s father drinks the soup instead and dies from poisoning. Zhang Lü’er then frames Dou E for murdering his father. Tou Ngo is executed to a crime she did not commit. Before her execution, she swears that her innocence will be proven. The prophecy comes true. After three years, her father condemns all those who acted falsely to her prosecution. The truth finally comes out to light.
This play has a remarkable complexity in the areas of ethics and values as it was surrounded through social means. Tou Ngo defends traditional Chinese beliefs and practices but also referred to the social conditions and unethical tendencies in China. The play shows the conflict between Mother Cai and Dr. Lu as it threatened their life and Tou Ngo and Zang scenario resulting to murder. It vocalizes and illuminates the events of constitutive of society’s routine of violence. Tou Ngo’s famous aria indicts the social mechanisms of gendered violence against which she and her mother-in-law struggle.
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The appearance of the ghost is the means by which the wicked at lasts will be punished and the name of the innocent Tou Ngo will be cleared. The ghost scene is strictly conventional, a device used in many other Chinese plays.
It is actually a framework criticism on the evils of society. Tou Ngo is unjustly sentenced to death for a crime she did not commit. She cry against injustice not only condemns a social mechanism that victimize her but also radically questions the foundation of this mechanism: the imperial apparatus of Chinese society. Her tragic fate marks a routine instance of how the judicial mechanism of China’s imperial establishment are corrupt, socially destructive and politically illegitimate as a part of Yuan dynasty empowered position. Feminist Theory
In a way that she finally get her justice in the end of the story. Tou Ngo is actually more honorable than the men in the story. Gender/Patriarchal Theory
The play implies the characteristic of Chinese families being patriarchal. Tou-Ngo always obeys her father’s commands; submitting to whatever plans his father has for her. She whole-heartedly accepted to be Mistress Tsai’s helper and soon to be daughter-in-law. That has to be because Tou-Ngo served as a payment for her father’s debt to Mistress Tsai. The Chinese culture strongly recognizes the authority of fathers in the family as the highest. Tou Ngo’s moral obligation to her mother-in-law comes in a conflict as it what reflected with her obligation toward the law in a morally excessive which results to a tragic scenario. It shows that the significant of the females are rendered vulnerable.