NORFOLK Museums Service
Museums at Night - Norwich Castle, in the Gallery

Love in Vain

The Butterfly Lovers is a heartbreaking love fairy tale about a pair of lovers who live in the eastern Jin Dynasty China. Due to the convention of that era which discourages females from going to school, Zhu, an attractive and intelligent young woman attends classes in disguise as a young man. She falls in love with her classmate Liang who eventually find out Zhu is a woman. However, by that time Zhu has been arranged to marry a rich man by her parents, Liang is despairing when he hears the news and he dies after a depressive illness. On the day of Zhu’s marriage she comes to Liang’s grave, which suddenly opens with a clap of thunder. Zhu throws herself into the grave and then their spirits turn into a pair of butterflies, flying out from the grave to the sky. The end of the story says they will be together forever.

You are alone today. You are sad today.

Did he leave you?

Helpless? Why being so loyal?

Hopeless? Why being so pitiful?

Strengthless? Why being so fragile?

Stay away from the untruth of his oath.

Fly away from the trap of his love.

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