Chinese Shakespearean criticism from Marxist perspectives is highly original in Chinese Shakespeare studies. Scholars such as Mao Dun, Yang Hui, Zhao Li, Fang Ping, Yang Zhouhan, Bian Zhilin, Meng Xianqiang, Sun Jiaxiu, Zhang Siyang and Wang Yuanhua adopt the basic principles and methods of Marxism to elaborate on Shakespeare’s works and have made great achievements. With ideas changed in different political climates, they have engaged in Shakespeare studies for over eight decades since the 1930s. At the beginning of the revolutionary age, they advocated revolutionary literature, followed Russian Shakespearean criticism from the Marxist perspective, and established the mode of class analysis and highlighted realism. Before and after the Cultural Revolution, they were concerned about class, reality and people. They also showed the “left-wing” inclination, taking literature as a tool to serve politics. Since the 1980s, they have been free from politics and entered the pure academic realm, analysing Shakespearean dramas with Marxist aesthetic theories and transforming from sociological criticism to literary criticism.


China, Marxism, Shakespearean criticism

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



Bian, Zhilin. Towards a New Appraisal of Shakespearean Tragedy. Hefei: Anhui Education Press, 2007.

Fang, Ping. “The Explorer of Human Nature: Shakespeare in the Tragedy Period.” Foreign Literature Review 1 (1994): 103-110.

Fang, Ping. Our Friend Shakespeare. Chengdu: Sichuan People’s Publishing House, 1983.

Guo, Zhenghong. “The Self-Critical Spirit of Marxism and its Contemporary Value.” Studies on Marxism 5 (2015): 36-41, 62.

Li, Weimin. Shakespeare Study in China: On Shakespearean Scholars’ Thoughts and Theoretical Construction. Chongqing: Chongqing Publishing Group, 2012.

Li, Youcheng. “Wang Yuanhua and Shakespeare Research.” Taipei: Thoughts. 24 (2013).

Li, Ziyun. “Struggle and Pain with the Conscience: Impression of Comrade Zhou Yang.” Shanghai: Wenhui Daily, August 31, 1988.

Mao, Dun. The Complete Works of Mao Dun. Vol. 33. Beijing: People’s Literature Publishing House, 2001.

Marx, Karl. The Complete Works of Marx and Engels XIII. Trans. Central Compilation & Translation Bureau. Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 1998.

Meng, Xianqiang. Pansies: Decoding Shakespeare. Beijing: Commercial Press, 2007.

Meng, Xianqiang. Shakespeare Studies in China: A Brief History. Changchun: Northeast Normal University Press, 2014.

Meng, Xianqiang, ed. Chinese Shakespeare Yearbook. Changchun: Northeast Normal University Press, 2014.

Meng, Xianqiang, ed. Selected Chinese Criticism of Shakespeare. Changchun: Northeast Normal University Press, 2014.

Wang, Yuanhua. Diary for the 1990s. Hangzhou: Zhejiang People’s Publishing House, 2001.

Wang, Yuanhua. Interpreting Shakespeare. Shanghai: Shanghai Bookstore Publishing House, 2008.

Wang, Yuanhua. Self-Narration in Qing Garden. Guilin: Guangxi Normal University Press, 2001.

Xia, Zhongyi. Interpretation of Wang Yuanhua. Shanghai: Wenhui Press, 2004.

Yang, Lingui, and Yin Yao, eds. Shakespeare Studies in China: Essays in Memory of Meng Xianqiang. Changchun: Northeast Normal University Press, 2012.

Yang, Zhouhan, ed. The Corpus of Shakespeare Criticism (II). Beijing: China Social Science Publishing House, 1981.

Zhang, Siyang. Shakespeare’s Triple Plays. Changchun: Northeast Normal University Press, 1988.

Zhang, Siyang, Xu Bin, and Zhang Xiaoyang. An Introduction to Shakespeare (II). Beijing: China Theater Press, 1989.

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