Butterfly Lovers

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Waiting for the inevitable



A young woman named Zhu Ying Tai disguised herself as a man to attend a school in Hangzhou. On her way there, she met a fellow traveller and schoolmate named Liang Shan Bo. They became good friends and swore honorary brothers. For three years, they studied and lived together. Yet, Liang never realized that Zhu was a woman. Before their graduation, Zhu asked Liang to visit her in her hometown and promised to marry her "fictitious" younger sister to him. When Liang arrived, he was ecstatic to discover her true identity. However, their hope of marriage was soon dashed when Zhu's parents betrothed Zhu to their schoolmate Ma Wen Cai. Liang died of a broken heart. On Zhu's wedding day to Ma, she tore off her wedding gown and threw herself against Liang's tomb, which opened up and enveloped Zhu. Then, from the tomb, a pair of butterflies emerged.

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Production Credits[edit]

  • Producer: Cao Yan
  • Director: Chen Jun Liang
  • Screenwriter: Ying Jun
  • Music: He Zhan Hao


  • The story took place in an era when only male could attend school.
  • Social Status: Although all males were encouraged to pursue a higher education, only a special class of citizens called "Shizu" (士族) was able to attend a proper school. They were characterized by land ownership and having economic and/or political influence. Zhu Yingtai and Ma Wencai satisfied both criteria. Liang Shanbo did not. Zhu was from the most prominent family in the north, and Ma's father was a military general. While Liang's father was a government official, he lost his Shizu status after his father's death. However, his honorary brother status with Zhu Yingtai enabled him to continue to study in the school.

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