A Comparison of “The Everlasting Regret” and “The Autumn of the Lustrous Emperor of Tang: Rain on the Wutong Tree”

1. Introduction

Both works cover the life of Chinese Emperor Xuanzong of Tang, namely, his personal and political life sides that are being affected by the love affair. The Everlasting Regret was written by Bai Juyi, a high-ranking official in Tang Dynasty, who was very close to the emperor. The Autumn of the Lustrous Emperor of Tang: Rain on the Wutong Tree was written by Bai Pu, who was also a high-ranking official, but not as close to the emperor as Bai Juyi. Nevertheless, both works provide great insight into the character of Xuanzong and his actions.

2. “The Everlasting Regret”

2.1. Bai Juyi-yi

Bai Juyi (772-846) was a Chinese poet and government official of the Tang Dynasty who wrote The Everlasting Regret. He also held various positions such as a governor and magistrate during his career. not always in favor of the Emperor Xuanzong’s policies. Nevertheless, he is considered one of the four great Tang poets along with Li Bai, Du Fu, and Wang Wei

2. 2. Themes and interpretations

The poem is about how love can make people lose sight of what is important in their lives. It also covers how different people can be seduced by power and wealth and how this can lead to their downfall. The poem has been interpreted in different ways by different scholars. Some believe that it is a moral judgment on the actions of Xuanzong while others believe that it is a work of pure fiction and not based on actual events. It is also possible that Bai Juyi wrote the poem as a way to warn other officials about being too close to the emperor and his concubines.

2. 3 Historical context

The poem was written during a time when Xuanzong was facing many political problems. There was a rebellion led by An Lushan which nearly toppled the Tang dynasty. This caused many officials to lose faith in Xuanzong’s ability to rule and some even began plotting against him. At the same time, Xuanzong was also having an affair with Yang Guifei, one of his concubines, which further alienated him from his officials. In 756, Yang Guifei was killed by rebels during the An Lushan rebellion and this event is believed to have inspired Bai Juyi to write The Everlasting Regret.

3. “The Autumn of the Lustrous Emperor of Tang: Rain on the Wutong Tree”

3.1 Bai Pu

Bai Pu (772-846) was a Chinese poet and government official from the Tang Dynasty who wrote The Autumn of the Lustrous Emperor of Tang: Rain on the Wutong Tree. He held various positions during his career including Prefect of Yongzhou and Minister of Rites. He was also friends with another famous poet from the Tang Dynasty named Li Shangyin.

3. 2 Themes and interpretations

The poem is about how love can make people lose sight of what is important in their lives. It also covers how different people can be seduced by power and wealth. This can lead to their downfall. The poem has been interpreted in different ways by different scholars. Some believe that it is a moral judgment on the actions of Xuanzong while others believe that it is a work of pure fiction and not based on actual events.

3. 3 Historical context

The poem was written during a time when Xuanzong was facing many political problems. There was a rebellion led by An Lushan which nearly toppled the Tang dynasty. This caused many officials to lose faith in Xuanzong’s ability to rule and some even began plotting against him. At the same time, Xuanzong was also having an affair with Yang Guifei, one of his concubines, which further alienated him from his officials. In 756, Yang Guifei was killed by rebels during the An Lushan rebellion and this event is believed to have inspired Bai Pu to write The Autumn of the Lustrous Emperor of Tang: Rain on the Wutong Tree.

4. Conclusion

Both works provide great insight into the character of Xuanzong and his actions. They also offer different interpretations of his actions. “The Everlasting Regret” is a moral judgment on the actions of Xuanzong while “The Autumn of the Lustrous Emperor of Tang: Rain on the Wutong Tree” is a work of pure fiction.

FAQ

The main themes of "The Everlasting Regret" are love, loss, and nostalgia. The poem is about a speaker who regrets not being able to spend more time with a loved one before they died. The main themes of "The Autumn of the Lustrous Emperor of Tang: Rain on the Wutong Tree" are regret, impermanence, and the transience of life. The poem is about an emperor who regrets his lost youth and the fleeting nature of life.

"The Everlasting Regret" is a personal poem about the speaker's own individual experience with regret, while "The Autumn of the Lustrous Emperor" is a more universal poem about the human condition and the inevitability of death and decay.

In "The Everlasting Regret," rain symbolizes both the passage of time and tears shed for lost love. In "The Autumn of the Lustrous Emperor," rain symbolizes both new beginnings and also sad memories that can never be forgotten.

The use of color imagery in "The Everlasting Regret" reveals the speaker's feelings of sadness and longing for what could have been. The colors also represent different stages in his relationship with his loved one – white for innocence, red for passion, black for grief, etc. In "The Autumn of the Lustrous Emperor," Zhuangzi's story about a dragon illustrates one key theme – that everything changes over time and nothing remains static or permanent.

Nature plays a significant role in both poems as it reflects the emotions felt by each poet – regretful longing in "The Everlasting Regret" and acceptance/resignation in "The Autumn of the Lustrous Emperor."

Ultimately, each poet conveys different messages about regret through their work – Shen Fu emphasizes that regrets can linger forever if we allow them to, while Wang Wei suggests that accepting change and impermanence can help us move on from our regrets eventually. The main themes of "The Everlasting Regret" are love, loss, and nostalgia, while the main themes of "The Autumn of the Lustrous Emperor of Tang: Rain on the Wutong Tree" are impermanence and change.

"The Everlasting Regret" is focused on the speaker's personal experience with regret, while "The Autumn of the Lustrous Emperor" takes a more philosophical approach to discussing regret in general.