Feminine Imagery in Chinese Lyrics of the Six Dynasties

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This article deals with the specifics of female imagery in Chinese poetry of the Six Dynasties period ( Liuchao ). The aim is to characterize female imagery in the works of the poets of this period and find out what changes these images underwent in comparison with previous epochs, and how the structure of these images differs in female and male poetry. The aim is to analyze the “women topic” in the works of the leading poets of the Six Dynasties period. The conclusion is made that in men’s poetry of the mentioned period the female image remains idealized, unified and narcissistic. Male poets used a standard set of artistic means to portray female images. The woman was presented as an object of aesthetic pleasure, and appeared to the reader in an inseparable connection with her surroundings and boudoir objects. In this regard, the thesis of the emergence of the image of a “beautiful lady” in Luchao poetry is put forward. Nevertheless, in both women’s and men’s lyrics more individualized images began to appear and a departure from traditional gender stereotypes is obvious; the main change in Six Dynasties poetry is the development of self-awareness in female and male poems, both in life and poetry, and the increasing understanding of their own subjectivity. The female characters of the Luchao era turn out to be endowed with reflexivity and psychologism. Lyrics on women’s themes developed both quantitatively and qualitatively.

About the authors

Daria E. Malakhevich

The Institute of Asian and African Studies of Lomonosov Moscow State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: malakhevichd@yandex.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0340-4495

MA in Philology, PhD student at the Department of Chinese Philology

11/1 Mokhovaya St, Moscow, 125009, Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2022 Malakhevich D.E.

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