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Qiong Zhang
Fudan University
Continuity in the Floating World: King Lear in King Qi’s Dream, a Peking Opera

The research examines Qing Qi’s Dream (2007), a jingju (Peking Opera) adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear by Shanghai Jingju Theatre. With a discussion of the adaptation, the speaker probes into the related concerns on different art forms, features of jingju performance, its special stage styles, and the variants of the adapted version. The research points out that the jingju adaptation of King Lear can be viewed as an attempt to participate in the thematic representation using one’s own unique discourse. Therefore, the cultural source is inexhaustible in adaptation and active interations across time and space, among which the personal ambition and lust, ethic value and filiality, as well as Lear’s self-quest or cultural reflection triggered thereafter are worth discussion. The research further points out that the unending interpretations of King Lear and its numerous spin-offs reveal the continuity of a canon’s vigorous life. Examining the tragic king as a jingju role demonstrates that the paradigm of theatrical splendor relies on its emotional truth, philosophical quest, and the potential of its artistic multiplicity. Finally, the research tries to indicate that by breaking down cultural borders, we in a more globalized world are facing cultural values which are mutually constitutive.


Joan Qiong Zhang is Professor of English at Fudan University, Shanghai, China and a Fulbright scholar at UC Berkeley (2019-2020). Research interests include English fiction and Shakespeare. Her major publications include Shakespeare in Visual Age: a study on Shakespearean Movies (2009) and Singing Survivance: a Study of Contemporary Native American Poetry (2021). She has also published two collections of prose works on travel, film and books.



Zoom Details

Zoom link: https://hku.zoom.us/j/98951%20844991?pwd=UnNUV1RUc%20G5EY2VTVkFZa1VqYSsz%20QT09

Meeting ID: 989 5184 4991
Password: 039433