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Four Main Roles

   Four main roles:
              Sheng (Male role)
              Dan (Female role)
              Jing (Painted face male role)
              Chou (Clown role)
   Except the second role, the other three roles represent male characters.

   There is an explanation about why the roles take the names above. It is said that they were chosen to mean oppositely. Sheng in Chinese may mean "strange" or "rare", but the chief male role is a character of well known. Dan, which means "morning" or "masculine", is the contrary of the feminine nature of the characters. Jing means "clean". But in fact, the paintings on face make the characters look like unclean but colorful. And Chou in Chinese sometime represents the animal "ox", which, in some senses, is slow and silent in contrast to Chou characters who are usually quick and talkative.

 Source :   Editor: linwu
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