Mongryong Lee, a governor's son, falls in love and marries a beautiful girl named Chunhyang, the daughter of a courtesan. Their marriage is kept a secret from the governor who would immediately disown Lee if he found that his son married beneath him. The governor gets posted to Seoul and Lee is forced to leave his young wife behind, promising to come back for her when he passes the official exam and becomes a government official.
A new governor comes and wants Chunhyang for himself. When she refuses, stating that she already has a husband and will forever remain faithful to her beloved, the governor punishes her by flogging. Meanwhile, back in Seoul, Lee passes the test with the highest score and becomes and officer. Three years have passed and Lee returns to the town on the King's mission. There, he finds out that his wife is to be beaten to death on the governor's birthday as a punishment for disobeying his lust. The governor, very corrupted and greedy, is arrested by Lee. The two lovers are finally united.