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A Comparative Study of the Love Poems between the Book of Songs and the Bible

Author: GaoWeiHua
Tutor: LiuZuo
School: Liaoning University
Course: English Language and Literature
Keywords: comparative literature rhetorical device lyrical way style in poems
CLC: I106.2
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2011
Downloads: 289
Quote: 0
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Abstract


The Book of Songs, as one of the Five Classics, is the first poetry collection in China, and the originator of Chinese classical literature. It lays the foundation for the aesthetic pursuit, lyrical way and stylistic features of Chinese poetry. The Bible is the soul of Christianity, and since being Latinized, it has long been the mainstream of Western ideology, and becomes the core of Western culture. For people to understand Western civilization, it is a must to read Holy Bible. Poetry in The Bible possesses a very important position. The six parts, namely, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and Lamentations, belong to poetry, and account for one fifth of The Bible. In the other volumes there are also a large number of punctuated poems, which total more than one-fourth of The Bible. Therefore, it has a very high literary value. As The Bible widely spreads in the West, its impact on Western poetry is extremely significant.Love is an important part of human life, and is one of the themes the poets and scholars are most willing to describe through the ages. The Book of Songs and The Bible, each as classics both in China and the West, contain a large number of love poems. Love poems in The Book of Songs are mainly in the collection Feng, while love poems in The Bible are mainly in the chapter Song of Solomon, and therefore in the theme The Book of Songs and The Bible possess comparability. Under this theme, to show their love for their lovers, love poets in The Book of Songs and The Bible, describe their sincere love by using under their own cultural system, their own rhetorical devices, lyrical ways and poetic styles, which have a tremendous impact on the future poetry, resulting in the huge difference in the culture, particularly in the creation of love poems of China and the West.This thesis consists of an introduction, the main body and a conclusion. Its main contents are as follows:The first part is an introduction, which mainly includes the purpose, practical significance of the selected topic and the current situation of this research field at home and abroad. Besides, the part also comes up with the new insights of the thesis.The second part is the main body, which is made up of four chapters:Chapter One is made up of two sections. Section One briefly describes the evolution of comparative literature in China and the West, which is macro historical context of the thesis. Section Two discusses the definition and research methods of comparative literature, and proposes that comparative literature is literary study in which researchers stand in the location of intersubjectivity, and seek comparability by using horizontal, vertical and crossed way in a bid to study the mutual relationship and mutual influence between two or more than two national literatures; in research methods, this section analyses the two popular approaches of Influence Study and Parallel Study in the international and the famous Three Large Parts theory in the domestic. All these provide a theoretical and methodological support for the later research.Chapter Two makes a comparison of love poems between The Book of Songs and The Bible from the perspective of the rhetorics. Section One discusses the most distinctive rhetoric, Bi-xing, in the love poems of The Book of Songs. On the basis of summarizing previous understanding of Bi-xing, this section makes a definition of it from three perspectives, namely, social politics, the relationship between subject and object, and thinking characteristics. And from the three perspectives, this section expounds Bi-xing’s specific application in love poems of The Book of Songs. Section Two discusses the most distinctive figure of speech—Analogy—in the love poems of The Bible. This section summarizes the definition of Analogy in the West and China, and to explore the specific application of Analogy in the love poems of The Bible. Section Three, based on the above two sections which have rationalized the contents of Bi-xing and Analogy, finds out and expounds between the two figures of speech the comparable points, which boast two aspects: one is comparison between Bi-xing centering on the Sense of Material and Analogy centering on Imitation, and the other is comparison between Bi-xing characteristic of Shen Si and Analogy characteristic of Imagination.Chapter Three makes a comparison of love poems between The Book of Songs and The Bible from the perspective of lyrical ways. Section One discusses in The Book of Songs the love poems’lyrical way—Euphemisticalness, and the two philosophical reasons that cause this style, namely, the traditional Chinese Sense of Material and the Rite-music Culture. Section Two discusses in The Bible the love poems’lyrical way—Frankness, and the two philosophical reasons that cause this style, namely, the Theory of Imitation and Catharsis. Section Three, based on the two above sections which have rationalized the contents of Euphemisticalness and Frankness, finds out and expounds between the two lyrical ways the comparable points, which boast two aspects: one is comparison between Euphemisticalness based on the Sense of Material and Frankness based on the Imitation, and the other is comparison between Euphemisticalness characteristic of the Rite-music Culture and Frankness characteristic of Catharsis.Chapter Four makes a comparison of love poems between The Book of Songs and The Bible from the perspective of style in poems. Section One and Section Two separately analyze the styles of love poems in both The Book of Songs and Bible from two aspects of verse types and metrical features. Section Three, based on the above two sections which have rationalized the contents of verse types and metrical features, finds out and expounds between the two styles the comparable points, which boast two aspects: one is comparison in terms of verse type and the other in terms of metrical features.The third part is the conclusion. After the systematic comparisons of love poems between The Book of Songs and The Bible from three perspectives in the main body, this section summarizes them. While The Book of Songs and The Bible, as these two origin masterpieces of Western and Chinese culture, have completely different national characteristics in the expression of love, and hence have the different rhetoric devices, lyrical ways and styles in poems, there are also many things in common. The feature of possessing both differences and similarities, suggests that the Chinese and Western culture has the possibility to communicate with each other and the attribute that they can not replace each other. This innovation of this paper lies in the attempt, in view of the relevant theories of comparative literature, that the study applies them to the systematic comparison of love poems between The Book of Songs and The Bible, which enhances communication between the international cultures.

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