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The masterpieces of classical Chinese opera are rich in aesthetic and cultural values. This course introduces the characteristics of the genre and focuses on the art, thought, social aspect and historical context of the classical plays of China. Students will conduct a close reading of Dou Er’s Tragedy, The Story of the Western Wing, The Peony Pavilion and The Peach Blossom Fan, as well as watch the clips of traditional Chinese Opera, including Kunqu Opera and vernacular dramas. Through the analysis of the texts and the appreciation of performance, this course guides students to (1) identify the literary, artistic and cultural values of classical Chinese opera, (2) understand the culture, politics, thought and spirit of Late-Imperial China, and (3) develop a comparative perspective on classical Chinese opera and modern art.