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George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw
(July 26, 1856 - November 2nd, 1950)
George Bernard Shaw was born on July 26 1856 in Dublin Ireland the son of a civil servant. Although he was best known for drama, he was also proficient in the areas of journalism, music and literary criticism. He began his literary career as a novelist. Shaw’s works concerned themselves mostly with prevailing social problems, specifically with what he saw as the exploitation of the working middle class. Shaw attended various schools throughout his youth but always harboured an animosity towards schools and teachers. He is quoted as saying that "Schools and schoolmasters, as we have them today, are not popular as places of education and teachers, but rather prisons and turnkeys in which children are kept to prevent them disturbing and chaperoning their parents".
In his personal life, Shaw was an avid Socialist and a member of the Fabian society. In 1898 he married fellow Fabian member and Irish heiress Charlotte Payne-Townsend. He was the first person to be awarded the Nobel prize for Literature as well as an Oscar (for his work on Pygmalion, which was an adaptation of his play of the same name). He wrote 60 plays, most of which deal with social themes such as marriage, religion, class government and health care. Two of his greatest influences were Henrik Ibsen and Henry Fielding. Ibsen's plays and Fielding's expulsion from playwriting inspired him to write his own plays on the social injustices of the world around him, including the late nineteenth century censorship of plays, continued from Prime Minister Walpole's rein in the mid 1740s. The Lord Chamberlain's Examiner of Plays especially irked him:
"A gentleman who robs, insults, and suppresses me as irresistibly as if he were the Tsar of Russia and I the meanest of his subjects... But I must submit [my play] in order to obtain from him an insolent and insufferable document, which I cannot read without boiling of the blood, certifying that in his opinion --
opinion!-- my play 'does not in its general tendency contain anything immoral or otherwise improper for the stage,' and that the Lord Chamberlain therefore 'allows' its performance (confound his impudence!)." (Mainly xv)
George Bernard Shaw died at the age of 94 due to injuries incurred from falling while pruning a tree.
Listen to an
Interview with George Bernard Shaw
If you would like to know what Shaw thought about something, the
NYTimes has an archive of Shaw
: his quotes, his opinions, pictures, etc.
The Black Girl in Search of God
The Miraculous Revenge
Cashel Byron's Profession
The Unsocial Socialist
The Irrational Knot
Love Among the Artists
(In chronological order)
Mrs. Warren's Profession
To read the script with the Author's Apology, click
Arms and the Man
The Man of Destiny
You Can Never Tell
Three Plays for Puritans
The Devil's Disciple
Caesar and Cleopatra
Captain Brassbound's Conversion
The Admirable Bashville
Man and Superman
John Bull's Other Island
How He Lied to Her Husband
The Doctor's Dilemma
The Glimpse of Reality
The Fascinating Foundling
Annajanska, The Bolshevik Empress
The Dark Lady of the Sonnets
Fanny's First Play
Androcles and the Lion
The Great Catherine
The Inca of Perusalem
Augustus Does His Bit
Back to Methuselah
In the Beginning
The Gospel of the Brothers Barnabus
The Thing Happens
Tragedy of an Elderly Gentleman
As Far as Thought Can Reach
The Apple Cart
Too True to be Good
On the Rocks
The Six of Calias
The Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles
The Shewing Up of Blanco Posnet
In Good King Charles Golden Days
Shakes Versus Shav
The Quintessence of Ibenism
The Perfect Wagnerite, Commentary on the Ring
Maxims for Revolutionists
Preface to Major Barabara
How to Write a Popular Play
Treatise on Parents and Children
Common Sense about the War
The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism
Dictators-Let Us Have More of Them
"Shaw's Music: The Complete Musical Criticism of Bernard Shaw in Three Volumes"
"Shaw on Shakespeare: An Anthology of Bernard Shaw's Writings"
To see a selection of Shaw's Essays courtesy of Brown University, click
Return to Drama in the Twentieth Century
Shaw, Bernard (1914).
//Misalliance, the Dark Lady of the Sonnets, and Fanny's First Play. With a Treatise on Parents and Children//
. London: Constable and Co.. pp. 210
Shaw, George B. "Mainly About Myself." Preface.
Seven Plays by Bernard Shaw
. New York: Dodd, Mead &, 1951. Vii-Xxvi.
Mallory Slade, Karen Bilotti
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