西施傳說  Legend of Xishi 

所屬名錄: 第一批國家級名錄

編號: I-10

申報地區或單位: 浙江省諸暨市

Inscribed list: National List, First Batch

Inventory no.: I-10

Nominating unit(s): Zhejiang Province, Zhuji County

西施是中國古代四大美人之一,別名西子,為春秋末年浙江諸暨一帶的人。傳說西施本為一名在浙江諸暨一條村落的浣紗女。當時為了復國的越王勾踐,決定以獻上美女之計迷惑吳王夫差,再趁機達到報復吳王。其中西施被勾踐選中成為其中一位美女獻給夫差。夫差見到西施甚為喜歡,甚至不顧他的臣子伍子胥的進言,堅持接納西施,並為她打造宮殿。夫差十分寵愛西施,更因沉迷美色,漸漸荒廢朝政。一如勾踐的計劃,勾踐趁著這段時間養精蓄銳,在適當時機乘虛而入,最終完成復仇計劃。

 

西施在勾踐完成復仇大計後去向如何,在民間有不同版本傳說。有說勾踐夫人忌憚西施的美貌,偷偷命人將西施投落江水,沉於水下。另一說是勾踐完成復仇大計後,西施隨勾踐的臣子范蠡泛湖而去,隱居他處,遠離是非之地。

 

不管西施最終下場如何,西施這人物為後代帶來各式各樣的傳說,為文人帶來創作靈感。像是「東施效顰」、「沉魚落雁」等成語傳說,又有宋代詩人蘇軾的《飲湖上初晴後雨》中「欲把西湖比西子,淡妝濃抹總相宜」等佳句。西施在後世也成為家傳戶曉的民間傳奇人物,諸暨市更建有西施殿以紀念這位傳奇美人。

 

在2006年,西施傳說被納入為中國第一批國家級非物質文化遺産。

Xishi was one the Four Beauties of ancient China. She was believed to have lived in a village located in today’s Zhuji county(諸暨市) during the end of the Spring and Autumn period. She was also known by the name Xizi (西子). At that time, the King Goujian(勾踐) of Yue was imprisoned by King Fucai(夫差) of Wu. In order to take revenge on Fucai, it was suggested to Goujian that some beautiful women should be trained and then offered to Fucai in order to distract Fucai’s attention from politics. Xishi was one of beautiful women sent to Fucai as a tribute. Fucai was enthralled by the beauty of Xishi, to the point where he even ignored his great general Wu Zixu(伍子胥)’s advice 閑and later killed him. Fucai also ordered people to build a palace for his women. Gradually, Fucai forgot about the state affairs as he was only bewitched by the beauty of Xishi. Everything went according to Goujian’s plan, and Goujian and his people were powerful enough to fight back. He eventually successfully defeated the Wu army.

 

There are many different versions of the legend of Xishi after the war. Some said the wife of Goujian was jealous of Xishi’s beauty so she ordered someone to throw Xishi into a lake. Some said Xishi followed Fan Li (范蠡), a minister of Goujian’s, and retreated from the political life.

 

However Xishi ended her life, her story and legacy has endured. For example, some Chinese idioms are related to her, such as as ‘東施效顰’(Dongshi xiaopin, meaning that an ugly woman trying to imitate the behavior of a beauty will only make herself foolish) and ‘沉魚落雁’(Chenyu luoyan, meaning that one’s beauty is so great to even make fish sink and wild geese fall because of their shame in comparison to one so beautiful). The story of Xishi has also inspired some poets to write beautiful poems. For instance, Su shi compared Xishi’s beauty to the West Lake in Hangzhou in his famous poem ‘Drinks at West Lake through Sunshine and Rain’ (飲湖上初晴後雨). Xishi is well known by almost all Chinese. Today, there is a Xishi Temple built in Zhuji county to commemorate this legendary beauty.

 

In 2006, the legend of Xishi was included on the first batch of the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of China.

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