Given that the situation is in the context of the Han and T’ang periods in China, I expect for the musician to be in jeweled crowns with little jingling bells dangling from the edges. The musician might wear something like a court dress, which was the clothing worn during performance in sacrificial ceremonies. This clothing would have characteristics such as square sleeves, sloping necklines, red clothes, red shoes and a cicada-like hat. She would wear make-up as women in these periods wear make-up and even use little-make up boxes that carried their mirror, rouge, and lipstick.
The musician is aesthetically pleasing, her eyebrows well plucked and designed, complimenting her face together with her make-up. Also, in the T’ang period, the female empress Wu Zhao was very much influential so I expect for the musician to be highly confident as women were empowered in that period. From the text, I think that Chou Yu is a strong man of authority. He is strict. He stands up straight and makes minimal movement but is very keen on the music the musician plays. According to research, Zhou Yu, or Chou Yu, was an important general during the Later Han period of the warlords Sun Ce and Sun Quan.
He occupied the post of Leader of the court and later became governor of Jiangxa. He was aimed for development in China. He wanted an independent empire in southern China. As a woman, I think that Chou Yu’s strong personality and authoritative stature makes him a very desirable person. Being with someone who has so much power somehow makes you feel that you too, have that much power. The musician touching every wrong note now and then to get Chou Yu’s attention describes not only the characters themselves, but also, it describes well the dramatic situation between the two characters.
The musician, although human and prone to error, committed errors by playing wrong notes every now and then. She was trying to gain Chao Yu’s attention. Maybe she was curious about Chao Yu or Chao Yu’s reaction to an error. Or more so, she wanted Chao Yu’s attention because she found her desirable. Knowing that Chao Yu is a man of authority, therefore being strict and keen on details, she thought of something that would very much gain Chao Yu’s attention, an error. During the T’ang period, concepts of women’s social rights and social status were perceived with a liberal-mind, although this was reserved only for urban women of elite status.
In this period, also, men enjoyed the presence of assertive and active women. This only shows that her actions intending to get Chao Yu’s attention would most probably be appreciated by Chao Yu, if interpreted the way she wanted it to be interpreted. In this period, the government tried to pass a law forcing women to wear hats and veils to promote decency but failed. Women were much empowered in this time, wearing caps and sometimes, even no hats at all. They wore men’s riding clothes and boots and tight-sleeved bodices.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 3 October 2016
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