Man and Superman (Penguin Classics)
George Bernard Shaw
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Shaw began writing MAN AND SUPERMAN in 1901 and determined to write a play that would encapsulate the new century's intellectual inheritance. Shaw drew not only on Byron's verse satire, but also on Shakespeare, the Victorian comedy fashionable in his early life, and from authors from Conan Doyle to Kipling. In this powerful drama of ideas, Shaw explores the role of the artist, the function of women in society, and his theory of Creative Evolution. As Stanley Weintraub says in his new introduction, this is "the first great twentieth-century English play" and remains a classic exposé of the eternal struggle between the sexes.
mention the looser sort of plays which trade on the tradition that illicit love affairs are at once vicious and delightful, we have no modern English plays in which the natural attraction of the sexes for one another is made the mainspring of the action. That is why we insist on beauty in our performers, differing herein from the countries our friend William Archer holds up as examples of seriousness to our childish theatres. There the Juliets and Isoldes, the Romeos and Tristans, might be our
to Mr. Ramsden. HECTOR. [eagerly — forgetting himself ] Let’s come, Vi. VIOLET. [coldly, warning him with her eyes] I beg your pardon, Mr. Malone, I did not quite catch— HECTOR. [recollecting himself ] I ask to be allowed the pleasure of showing you my little American steam car, Miss Robinson. VIOLET. I shall be very pleased. [They go off together down the avenue]. TANNER. About this trip, Straker. STRAKER. [preoccupied with the car] Yes? TANNER. Miss Whitefield is supposed to be coming with me.
me, bores me beyond description, beyond belief. THE OLD WOMAN. Not one of the wicked! You said you were a murderer. DON JUAN. Only a duel. I ran my sword through an old man who was trying to run his through me. THE OLD WOMAN. If you were a gentleman, that was not a murder. DON JUAN. The old man called it murder, because he was, he said, defending his daughter’s honor. By this he meant that because I foolishly fell in love with her and told her so, she screamed; and he tried to assassinate me
her name? DON JUAN. Ana. THE STATUE. To be sure: Ana. A goodlooking girl, if I recollect aright. Have you warned Whatshisname—her husband? DON JUAN. My friend Ottavio? No: I have not seen him since Ana arrived. Ana comes indignantly to light. ANA. What does this mean? Ottavio here and your friend! And you, father, have forgotten my name. You are indeed turned to stone. THE STATUE. My dear: I am so much more admired in marble than I ever was in my own person that I have retained the shape the
Back there! I often go back there. Have you never read the book of Job? Have you any canonical authority for assuming that there is any barrier between our circle and the other one? ANA. But surely there is a great gulf fixed. THE DEVIL. Dear lady: a parable must not be taken literally. The gulf is the difference between the angelic and the diabolic temperament. What more impassable gulf could you have? Think of what you have seen on earth. There is no physical gulf between the philosopher’s