Analysis Of The Poem ' Zhuang Zhou And The Butterfly '

Decent Essays

The word “Daoism” holds little significance to people in some areas of the world; however in China, as well as several other countries, the word signifies an ancient religion important to the people. Daoism relates to a set of principles that state the “way” one should lead their life so that one does not interfere with the will of nature. During the Tang Era (618-907 A.D.) in China many poets were inspired by the faiths of not only Daoism but also Confucianism as well as Buddhism. One of these famous poets was Li Bo; Bo was known for many poems with a prominent one titled Zhuang Zhou and the Butterfly. The poem depicts three different scenarios that are affiliated with Daoism through their ties in nature paired with the path one must take through life to show the reader that following the “path” is essential in life. In the first four lines of the poem, Zhuang Zhou dreamt that he was a butterfly and when he awoke the butterfly became him then questioned which was real. Li Bo utilizes the dream versus reality element to show that dreams can be vividly real while still being completely fictional. However, applying this to lifelong fulfilled dreams can change one’s reality as well as putting them on the correct path for their life. These lines also show the relationship to Daoism by using the butterfly that represents nature. Meanwhile the dreams versus reality element present in the first four lines also appertains to the concept of yin and yang. Yin-yang defined in the

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