An Analysis of the Fate of the Character Yang Yuhuan in the Film Legend of the Demon Cat Based on the “Other” Theory

Kai Zhang


Legend of the Demon Cat is a pinnacle of ancient oriental magic film by Chen Kaige, presenting audiences with a magnificent scene of Tang Dynasty and the legendary story of Yang Yuhuan. As a film full of fantasy, suspense and romanticism, it has been analyzed by most scholars from the aspects of narrative features, image aesthetics and historical and cultural elements. However, little has been researched from the perspective of the male other about the fate of Yang Yuhuan, a character based on a legendary concubine in Chinese Tang Dynasty. This paper will analyze the portrayal of Yang Yuhuan in the film guided by feminism, especially “The Other” theory. With the historical background of the decline of the Tang Dynasty, we can seek the reasons for the dramatical fate of Yang Yuhuan, and understand the injustice and oppression faced universally by ancient women in male-dominated society.

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