• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12
  13. 13
    13
  14. 14
    14
  15. 15
    15
  16. 16
    16
  17. 17
    17
  18. 18
    18
  19. 19
    19
  20. 20
    20
  21. 21
    21
  22. 22
    22
  23. 23
    23
  24. 24
    24
  25. 25
    25
  26. 26
    26
  27. 27
    27
  28. 28
    28
  29. 29
    29
  30. 30
    30
  31. 31
    31
  32. 32
    32

In this project, we would like to present to you our findings and research on the Four Great Beauties of China.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

INTRODUCTION: In this project, we would like to present to you our findings and research on the Four Great Beauties of China. We have chosen on this particular topic because firstly it interests us and the fact that in the long historical background of China, much has been said about the political aspects of China but little has been covered regarding the cultural aspect, especially the 4 Great Beauties, which made us decided to look further into this remote topic. There has been quite an avalanche of books in English on China and the Chinese but comparatively few have been written on the women of ancient China. The Four Great Beauties of China are Xi Shi, w**g Zhao Jun, Diao Chan and Yang Guifei. This four women have been extolled by people for their exceptionable and breath-taking beauty which has been said to bedazzle the rulers of the states whom they served, but physical beauty aside, they have been said to have made noble self-sacrifices for the good of their country. Included in this report is a detailed historical background of each of these four respectable ladies and their impact and influence upon Chinese culture and even the society today. For Xi Shi, we can see her significance prevailing even in today's society as there is a temple and pavilion built specially to commemorate her sacrifice and simply just to remember all that she has done for China. w**g Zhao Jun's relinquishment brought about peace between the Xiongnus and the Han (there had been much disputes and violence for years), her intermarriage with the Xiong Nu chief had no only allowed for cordial relations to be forged ever since but also for technology to be inter-exchanged between the two states. She has since then been known far and wide as a political bride. There was also Diao Chan who was also used by the court to sow discord between father Dong Zhuo and son, Lu Bu, to eliminate these two evil men from causing further unhappiness and hardship to the people. ...read more.

Middle

It was said that when she was dancing near a bunch of peony, the peony also danced with her. Therefore she was also known as "Goddess of Peony(????)". Diao Chan is most widely known to be a singing girl from the household of Prime Minister w**g Yun in the Romance of Three Kingdoms�????�. The events of this tale took place during Dong Zhuo(??)'s monopolisation of power. One day, during a palace banquet, Dong Zhuo levelled false accusations against Si-Kong(??) Zhangwen(??), an official. All the eminent officials who had gathered for the feast watched in horror as Si-Kong Zhangwen was dragged outside to be beheaded. Each man feared that the fate of the Han duke might well be his own. Diao Chan lived during the later eastern Han Period. She was born in the southern part of China. Her father died when she was young. It was said that her mother took her to Si-tu (??) w**g Yun's (??) residence after her father passed away. She specialized in the making of "Chan Tou Guan (???)", thus the name "Diao Chan (??)". When w**g Yun returned to his residence, he was so disturbed by what he had seen at the palace that he was unable to sleep. He went for a stroll in the garden. Suddenly, he heard someone praying. The sound seemed to have come from behind a clump of peony trees. Stepping over to investigate, w**g Yun realised that it was Diao Chan, a singing girl from his own household. Diao Chan had come to the w**g mansion as a young child and w**g Yun had looked upon her almost as if she were his own daughter. He asked her: "What are you doing here in the middle of the night?" She answered him: "From early childhood, I have benefited from your kindness and have often wondered how I may one day repay you. ...read more.

Conclusion

Nevertheless, the stories of the four beauties were very famous and many of them were transformed into Chinese drama at that time. As Chinese drama might be the best entertainment for folks and gradually the stories of these four beauties became well known. Therefore we strongly believe that it was from then on the term "Four Beauties" began to appear. DEFINE BEAUTY IN CHINESE CONCEPT: Beauty is a state not a phenomenon; in Chinese sayings, it should comprise innate beauty as well. Yang Yuhuan does not possess enough qualities to be called as 'beauty'. As compared to the other three great beauties, she lacked the quality of self-sacrificial spirit. Xishi, w**g Zhaojun, and Diao Chan made contributions to their country when they sacrificed their own interests to leave for another country in the hope of saving and protecting their own. It is not surprising that the Tang emperor Xuanzong fell in love with the "imperial concubine" Yang Guifei. Beauty was the only asset Yang Yuhuan had. A famous Tang poet, Bai Juyi, said, " If she but turned her head and smiled, then were cast a hundred spells, and the powder and paint of the Six Palaces faded into nothing." If Yang Yuhuan had limited her activities to fashion and dancing, no one would have criticized her. But she used her influence over the emperor to have her friends and relatives given important jobs. Her hold over the emperor caused him to give increasing power to her family and to become increasingly involved in the decadence of the court. Due to the suffering of the populace and the growing influence of the Yang clan, a famous general, An Lu Shan, led a revolt. Finally, the rebellion resulted and Yang Guifei was killed. In comparison, Yang Yuhuan did not possess all aspects of beauty. Although she was not entirely to blame for the downfall of the Tang, she never did make an effort to exert constructive influence for her country. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Ancient History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Ancient History essays

  1. Who was Alexander the Great.

    it was strange because "traditional male relationship in Greece generally involved adults and boys. Alexander and Hephaestion's relationship was unusual because they were at the same age" (Sexuality and Alexander). Alexander always compared his relationship with Hephaestion to that of Achilles and Patroclos from Homer's Iliad, the favorite book of Alexander.

  2. At its core, civilization affects discontent. Although it seems its purpose would be to ...

    Within The Aeneid is an abundance of opposing forces. As the poem unfolds, it continually reveals various aspects of man's disharmony. These are weighed against each other in a quest for balance. Balance is sought between males and females, the instinctive drives of Eros and Thanatos, and the impression of strength and weakness.

  1. Alexander the Great and His Army.

    The army was preeminent as the prime expenditure of the State and knew it. The soldiers that made up the army (second improvement) were paid. All were subjects of the King so it was a national army, drawing from the many landed Barons who were under allegiance to the King.

  2. Anthony J. Spalingers book, War in Ancient Egypt is an introduction to the Egyptian ...

    He cites some of the war records of Thutmose III en route to Megiddo as reliable information and insight into the struggles they faced. Special attention is paid to travelling routes through Palestine, which might have put a constraint on the size and advancement of the Egyptian army.

  1. Hatshepsut. Hatshepsut, the 5th King of the 18th dynasty, however stands out as ...

    to the possible Nubian influence on the 17th and18th dynasties, given the influence that the high influx of Nubians into Egypt during the 17th dynasty, must have had(Redford 1967:67). We observe this earlier with Hatshepsut's grandmother, Ahmose-Nofretari enacting the king's duties till her son Amenhotep came of age.

  2. Archaeological Controversy. The Bosnian "pyramids". Mr Osmanagic also thinks the findings around the hills ...

    Souvenir stands litter the area flogging everything from T shirts to wooden pyramids to cater for the busloads of tourists arriving to see what all the fuss is about. Osmanagic has whipped up so much national feeling within Bosnia that anyone who questions the truth is labelled anti Bosnian (www.smithsonianmag.com).

  1. Ritual human sacrifice. The use of human sacrifice in different rituals has featured ...

    into the 'next' world where they would be able to serve their chosen king or queen. They had willingly so it appears taken poison and laid down their lives for their rulers. Mesoamerican Aztecs The culture that most people automatically associate with ritual human sacrifice is of course that of the Aztecs of Mesoamerica.

  2. A Source Report on Imperial Iconography: Two Coins of Nero

    Whilst it was necessary to do this in order for the people to survive, it is possible to see it as propaganda. By giving gifts in corn and in money to the people, Nero was catering for the people's needs which would have won him popularity.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work