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Chuang Tzu and Mencius were two of the most important figures in Chinese philosophy and literature Chuang Tzu was of the Taoist tradition his works are eloquent and full of wonderful imagery Mencius was a Confucian philosopher as such his writings are more practical and less colourful then Chuang Tzus The purpose of this paper is to compare and contrast in terms of imagery and language the works of Chuang Tzu and Mencius To do this two parables from Chuang Tzu and two passages from Mencius will be discussed and compared However first a brief introduction to both men will given as so to understand the authors Following this the texts can be dealt with in terms of imagery and language Chuang Tzus familiarity with and confident handling of the technical language of ancient Chinese semantics make it probable that he had the ancient Chinese equivalent of analytic philosophical training It is thus no accident that even philosophers sceptical of the general philosophical quality of Chinese thought hold him in the highest regard Chuang Tzu lived somewhere in the time between 369-286 BC and is one of the defining figures in Taoism Chuang Tzu wrote many parables which have been collected into a book of his name He probably authored only parts of the first seven chapters of the present text the so-called Inner Chapters The others were written either by followers of thinkers or related but different theoretical orientations They often expand on themes of the inner chapters Chuang Tzus linguistic skill holds him a part from other classical Chinese philosophers Taoist or Confucian While westerners may often find Chuang Tzus contemporaries hard to read due to the choppy style of their writing the same cannot be said of Chuang Tzu His work is beautifully written regardless of the readers background and seems to have translated to English much more successfully then his counterparts works have done Chuang Tzus familiarity and
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