Compared with the literature popular in the earlier times, the literature of the first stages of the Joseon Dynasty is distinctive. As we all know, King Sejong invented Hunminjeongeum in 1443, and made it possible to write in Korean characters. Writing with Korean characters gave people a chance to express their ideas in writing in a way that was hard to do before. With the popularization of Korean characters, several odes written by the founding heroes were recorded, such as Long Fei Yu tian ge written by Zheng Linzhi, which is the first literature works in Korean history and eulogized the founding of Joseon Dynasty, and Yong yin Qian jiang zhi qu, written by King Sejong. However, this form of literature disappeared gradually, as shidiao and geci hit the mainstream.
Shidiao satisfies those who believe in Confucianism, as their longing for simple and plain emotion expression can be realized through this literary form. Representative works in this period are Dan Xin Ge written by Zheng Mengzhou, and Hui Gu Ge written by Jizai. The style of Shidiao writing changed a lot, as it became a way to describe the time of the writer’s lives and stresses on extending individuality. Some examples of this are the poem of zhong Yi Ge of the six dead officers’(Cheng sanwen, Piao Pengnian, He weidi, Lipu, Yu Yingfu and Kim Wenji), and Qian Jin Ge written by Kim Congrui.
Literature of the later stage of Joseon Dynasty:
The literature of the earlier stage of Joseon Dynasty only spread among nobles, but later on, more and more common people joined in, and the literature landscape exploded. Inn Shandao brought Shidiao to its peak. His works Fisherman and Four seasons and New songs sung in the mountain reflected his own writing feature and the values of Shidiao literature.
The biggest accomplishment in literature creation during this time is the emergence of ancient novels. In the Sejo period, Kim Xishi wrote Legend about a gold turtle. Then, in the Guanghai period, Xu Jun published Biography of Hong Jitong, which is the first novel written with Korean characters in Korean history and holds an important position in the literary world. Influenced by Chinese literature, many other kinds of novels appeared, like representative martial arts fiction works such as Ren Chen Lu, Biography of Liu Zhonglie, Biography of Lin Qingye, and Biography of Guo Zaiyou. Also, Chun Xiang is such a successful masterpiece in the field of romance love that Cheng Chunxiang, its author, became a household name in Korea.
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