琵琶記

陳留蔡伯喈家境清貧,與趙五娘新婚才兩月,即遭父逼上京應試。丞相牛僧孺見愛女蕙蘭長成,欲招狀元蔡伯喈為婿。伯喈拒婚,丞相暫留他居府中,另派心腹假稱蔡氏已家破人亡,望令他移愛蕙蘭。時陳留大旱,五娘日夜紡紗亦難以維持家計,最終被逼賣髮以殮葬翁姑。其後五娘喬裝道姑上京尋夫,沿途抱琵琶乞食賣唱,一日途經彌陀寺,即將翁姑遺像掛樹枝上,求叨佛門布施。伯喈亦每日前往佛寺為雙親祈福。五娘偶見狀元背影疑為伯喈,卻遭侍衛阻攔致未能相認。其後宋帝宣伯喈上殿賜婚,他寧削髮逃禪亦堅決再婚。五娘輾轉得見伯喈,卻誤會他薄情負心而憤然離去。伯喈追至解釋前事,二人重歸於好。最後所有誤會消除,伯喈與五娘經歷重重波折,最終團圓結局。



The Story of the Lute

Cai Bojie was born into a poor family in Chenliu. Scarcely two months into his marriage to Zhao Wuniang, Cai's father orders him to take the imperial examination at the capital. Seeing that his beloved daughterHuilan has grown up, Prime Minister Niu Sengru intends to betroth her to Cai, who has won first place in the imperial examination. Although Cai declines the offer, the minister retains him while using a trusted subordinate to lie to Cai that his family has met with calamity, with all members dispersed, in the hope that he might fall in love with Huilan.

 

A severe drought sets in on Chenliu, and though she spins day and night, Zhao fails to make ends meet and eventually has to sell her shock of hair to give her parents-in-law a decent burial. After that, she disguises herself as a Taoist nun and travels to the capital in search of her husband, singing and playing the pipa to earn a living. One day, passing Motuo Temple, Zhao hangs the portraits of her parents-in-law from a branch to beg for alms. Cai also goes to the same temple every day to pray for his parents; his searching wife catches a glimpse of him from behind by chance. Suspecting the person she sees to be her husband, Zhao pursues but is stopped by his guards.

 

When the emperor summons Cai to the imperial palace to offer him marriage into the royalty, Cai would rather become a monk than comply. Zhao finally manages to meet her husband, but she leaves in indignation because she thinks he has betrayed her trust. He overtakes her to explain, and the two make up. With misunderstandings sorted out, against all odds, the couple is reunited.