One of Bernard Shaw’s most glittering comedies, Arms and the Man is a burlesque of Victorian attitudes to heroism, war and empire. In the contrast between Bluntschli, the mercenary soldier, and the brave leader, Sergius, the true nature of valour is revealed. Shaw mocks deluded idealism in Candida, when a young poet becomes infatuated with the wife of a Socialist preacher. The Man of Destiny is a witty war of words between Napoleon and a ‘strange lady’, while in the exuberant farce You Never Can Tell a divided family is reunited by chance. Although Shaw intended Plays Pleasant to be gentler comedies than those in their companion volume, Plays Unpleasant, their prophetic satire is sharp and provocative.
George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) is one of the world’s greatest literary figures. Born in Dublin, Ireland, he left school at fourteen and in 1876 went to London, where he began his literary career with a series of unsuccessful novels. In… More about George Bernard Shaw
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Published by Penguin Classics Aug 26, 2003| 336 Pages| ISBN 9780140437942
Plays PleasantIntroduction Chronology Preface Arms and the Man: An Anti-romantic Comedy Candida: A Mystery The Man of Destiny: A Fictitious Paragraph of History You Never Can Tell: A Comedy Composition and Cast Lists Principal Works of Bernard Shaw