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Phrase & Stories
The Butterfly Lovers

The Butterfly Lovers (also known as The Love Story of Liang Shangbo and Zhu Yingtai) is a popular Chinese tale set in the ancient China.

Set in the picturesque town of Hangzhou, the only daughter (YingTai) of a rich provincial lord disguises as a boy in order to go into higher education where she meets a scholar, ShangBo. He is talented and hard-working, but poor, but neveretheless soon she falls in love with him. However, not long after, she is ordered to return home because her parents decide to marry her into a rich family. It is then that she confesses to ShangBo of her love for him.

In spite of her declaration, YingTai is forced home to wait for the day of her marriage with the rich man, whilst ShangBo goes to the capital city to sit his exams.

Later, ShangBo receives a post as a provincial officer and goes to YingTai"s family to propose marriage, but is harshly turned down because of his poor family background. ShangBo dies in the misery for his love for YingTai, and YingTai is still made to follow the engagement her parents made for her. On the day when she is sent to the wedding ceremony, her carriage passes by ShangBo"s tomb. She goes down from her carriage to pay her tribute to ShangBo, a request she made to her parents. As she knelt in from of his tomb, the tomb opens and she steps in...

YingTai disappears, and onlookers only see two butterflies flying out of the tomb. It was said that they were ShangBo and YingTai, freed from the bounds of tradition.

 
   
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