李後主

南唐中主李璟六子李煜,平日無心國事,只愛舞文弄墨,度曲填詞。後李煜登位成後主,憶及喪妻與同室操戈之憾事,又常憂強鄰宋國的威脅,終日沉鬱。國老陳喬望後主能立后圖強,後主被陳喬甥女的誠意感動,立其為小周后。大臣徐鉉報稱後主之弟鄭王降宋,宋使亦逼後主早日歸降。其後,宋主施行離間計,令後主誤以為大將林仁肇叛變,盡削其兵權。林氏以死明志,南唐頓失名將忠臣,軍心不穩。後主生辰之日,宮中上下歡慶,時宋軍逼近京城金陵,小周后力勸後主親征,負隅頑抗。南唐軍民苦守金陵數月,終不敵城破。後主與小周后欲自焚殉國,宋將曹彬及時阻止,後主不忍臣民再受戰火摧殘,寧親呈降表入宋。最後,帝后與隨行官員在教坊的送別笙歌中黯然上路,去國歸降。



The Last Emperor of Southern Tang

King Li Yu, the sixth son of King Li Jing of the Southern Tang Dynasty, is a master of poetry and literature but neglects state affairs. Having ascended the throne,Li is constantly stricken by the memory of his late wife, their domestic strife, and, above all, the threat from the emerging mighty Song to the north. Veteran statesman Chen Qiao urges Li to remarry and to devote more time to the revitalization of the kingdom. Touched by the sincerity of Chen’s niece, Li marriesher and crowns her Queen Xiaozhou.

 

After the defection of Li’s brother, Prince Zheng, the Song envoy demands the total surrender of Southern Tang. Later, the Song emperor deceives Li into losing trust in his own general, Lin Renzhao, and stripping him of all military duties. To vindicate himself, GeneralLin commits suicide. His death deeply disheartens the Southern Tang army. The Song troops attack the capital, Jingling, when all in the palace are celebratingLi’s birthday. Queen Xiaozhou persuades Li to personally assume the army leadership for the last stand. Despite the soldiers’ heroic resistance, Jinling finally falls. King Li and his queen try to die for their country by setting fire to themselves, only to be stopped by the enemy. Li subsequently decides to surrender to Song to spare his subjects from further suffering. King Li and Queen Xiaozhou leave to begin a life of exile and captivity.