Plays by George Bernard Shaw

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Very Good
Mass Paperback, 447 pages
New American Library, 1960
Signet Classics, Ninth Printing

"Plays by George Bernard Shaw" offers a compelling collection of four renowned works by the celebrated playwright. In Man and Superman, Shaw presents a witty and philosophical exploration of love, marriage, and the battle of the sexes, with the iconic character Jack Tanner at the center of the narrative. Arms and the Man delves into the absurdities of war and romantic ideals through the comedic lens of an unlikely love triangle involving a soldier, a chocolate cream soldier, and a young woman. Mrs. Warren's Profession confronts societal norms and hypocrisy as it follows the complex relationship between a mother and daughter, revealing the secrets of Mrs. Warren's controversial profession. Finally, Candida explores themes of love, fidelity, and societal expectations through the story of a pastor, his wife, and a young poet who disrupts their seemingly idyllic marriage. With a foreword by Eric Bentley, this edition provides readers with insightful commentary and context, enhancing their appreciation of Shaw's timeless and thought-provoking plays.

With a Foreword by Eric Bentley

About the Author

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was an Irish playwright, critic, and polemicist known for his wit, intelligence, and sharp social commentary. Shaw's works, including Pygmalion, Man and Superman, and Saint Joan, challenged societal norms and conventions, often advocating for socialism and criticizing class privilege. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925 for his contribution to literature. Shaw's plays continue to be celebrated for their provocative themes and insightful characterizations, cementing his legacy as one of the most influential playwrights of the 20th century.

Eric Bentley (1916-2020) was an American critic, playwright, and translator renowned for his contributions to modern drama scholarship. Bentley's influential works, such as The Playwright as Thinker and The Life of the Drama, offered profound insights into the nature of theater and its relationship with society. He was particularly noted for his studies on the works of Bertolt Brecht, helping to introduce Brecht's theories and plays to English-speaking audiences. Bentley's multifaceted career also included teaching at prestigious institutions like Columbia University and serving as a theater critic for publications like The New Republic. Throughout his life, Bentley remained a vital figure in the world of theater criticism and scholarship.