Washington Square Press' Enriched Classics present the great works of world literature enhanced for the contemporary reader. This edition of Pygmalion includes the analysis of Eric Bentley from his book Bernard Shaw. Essential biographical and historical background is provided, together with notes, critical excerpts, and suggestions for further reading. A unique visual essay of period illustrations and photographs helps bring the play to life.
Androcles and the Lion is Shaw's retelling of the tale of Androcles, a slave who is saved by the requited mercy of a lion. In the play, Shaw makes Androcles out to be one of many Christians being led to the Colosseum for torture. Characters in the play exemplify several themes and takes on both modern and supposed early Christianity, including cultural clash between Jesus' teachings and traditional Roman values.
“My way of joking is to tell the truth: It is the funniest joke in the world.”—G. B. Shaw
With an Introduction by Eric Bentley
and an Afterword by Norman Lloyd
Can Lydia, with her reputation for vast learning and exquisite culture, be wooed by the ruffian Cashel? Can Cashel successfully hide his illegal professional? And so follows, with Shaw's inimitable wit and sparkle, a tale of miscommunication, drawing-room comedy and love.
In Shaw's clever adaptation, Professor Henry Higgins, a linguistic expert, takes on a bet that he can transform an awkward cockney flower seller into a refined young lady simply by polishing her manners and changing the way she speaks. In the process of convincing society that his creation is a mysterious royal figure, the Professor also falls in love with his elegant handiwork.
The irresistible theme of the emerging butterfly, together with Shaw's brilliant dialogue and splendid skills as a playwright, have made Pygmalion one of the most popular comedies in the English language. A staple of college drama courses, it is still widely performed.
First produced on the London stage in 1894, Arms and the Man continues to be among the most performed of Shaw’s plays around the world. The play is reprinted in its entirety here from an authoritative British edition, and is complete with Shaw's stimulating preface to Volume II of Plays: Pleasant and Unpleasant.
An episode from Act Three of Man and Superman, "Don Juan in Hell" is often presented independently of the rest of the play. Rooted in the Don Juan legend — particularly as it appears in Mozart's opera Don Giovanni — this dream sequence forms a play within a play. It consists of a dramatic reading in which three characters from Man and Superman appear in archetypal guises: Don Juan, the libertine turned moralist; Doña Ana, the eternal female; and the Commander, a hypocrite transformed into a statue. The Devil himself joins their spirited debate on the nature of heaven and hell, of good and evil, and of human purpose, for a captivating blend of Shavian wit and Nietzschean philosophy.
Shaw's second tactic to launch a successful staging was to make his audiences think that Pygmalion, which referenced Ovid's Metamorphosis, was a classical play. In the Metamorphosis, Pygmalion becomes celibate after becoming fed up with women, whereafter he pursues the ideal female which he carves out of ivory. After making a quick sacrifice to the gods, Pygmalion's woman comes to life.
“I sold flowers. I didn't sell myself. Now you've made a lady of me I'm not fit to sell anything else.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion
In George Bernard Shaw's classic drama, Pygmalion, Professor Henry Higgins transforms a low-class flower-seller into a lady, all through changing the way she speaks. This funny, romantic and thought-provoking play is a classic work that should be read by all fans of Eliza Doolittle.
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In one of his best-loved plays, Pygmalion, which later became the basis for the musical My Fair Lady, Shaw compels the audience to see the utter absurdity and hypocrisy of class distinction when Professor Henry Higgins wagers that he can transform a common flower girl into a lady—and then pass her off as a duchess—simply by changing her speech and manners.
In Major Barbara Shaw spins out the drama of an eccentric millionaire, a romantic poet, and a misguided savior of souls, Major Barbara herself, in a topsy-turvy masterpiece of sophisticated banter and urbane humor. His brilliant dialogue, combined with his use of paradox and socialist theory, never fails to tickle, entertain—and challenge.
From the Paperback edition.
* Beautifully illustrated with images relating to Shaw’s life and works
* Concise introductions to the novels, plays and other texts
* 44 plays, with individual contents tables
* Includes rare dramas, available in no other collection
* 4 novels, with individual contents tables
* Images of how the books were first printed, giving your eReader a taste of the original texts
* Excellent formatting of the texts
* Includes almost the complete non-fiction, including Shaw’s seminal work on Ibsen
* Special criticism study on Shaw by G. K. Chesterton, evaluating Shaw’s contribution to literature
* Scholarly ordering of texts into chronological order and literary genres
Please note: due to US copyright restrictions, 28 later plays, the novel IMMATURITY and Shaw’s short story collection cannot appear in this edition. When new texts become available in your public domain, they will be added to the eBook as a free update.
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THE IRRATIONAL KNOT
LOVE AMONG THE ARTISTS
CASHEL BYRON’S PROFESSION
AN UNSOCIAL SOCIALIST
MRS. WARREN’S PROFESSION
ARMS AND THE MAN
THE MAN OF DESTINY
YOU NEVER CAN TELL
THE DEVIL’S DISCIPLE
CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA
CAPTAIN BRASSBOUND’S CONVERSION
THE ADMIRABLE BASHVILLE, OR CONSTANCY UNREWARDED
MAN AND SUPERMAN
JOHN BULL’S OTHER ISLAND
HOW HE LIED TO HER HUSBAND
PASSION, POISON, AND PETRIFACTION
THE DOCTOR’S DILEMMA
THE INTERLUDE AT THE PLAYHOUSE
THE SHEWING-UP OF BLANCO POSNET
FASCINATING FOUNDLING: DISGRACE TO THE AUTHOR
THE GLIMPSE OF REALITY
SUGGESTED ACT III ENDING FOR BARKER’S ‘THE MADRAS HOUSE’
THE DARK LADY OF THE SONNETS
FANNY’S FIRST PLAY
ANDROCLES AND THE LION
OVERRULED: A DEMONSTRATION
THE MUSIC CURE
O’FLAHERTY, V. C.
THE INCA OF PERUSALEM
AUGUSTUS DOES HIS BIT
SKIT FOR THE TIPTAFT REVUE
ANNAJANSKA, THE BOLSHEVIK EMPRESS
BACK TO METHUSELAH: A METABIOLOGICAL PENTATEUCH
THE WAR INDEMNITIES
THE PERFECT WAGNERITE
QUINTESSENCE OF IBSENISM
THE IMPOSSIBILITIES OF ANARCHISM
THE REVOLUTIONIST’S HANDBOOK AND POCKET COMPANION
MAXIMS FOR REVOLUTIONISTS
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW by G. K. Chesterton
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The eponymous heroine, an officer in the Salvation Army, is the daughter of Andrew Undershaft, a wealthy armaments manufacturer. When the Army accepts donations from Undershaft and a whiskey distiller, whose money Barbara regards as tainted, she resigns in disgust, but eventually sees the truth of her father's reasoning that social iniquity derives from poverty; it is only through accumulating wealth and power that people can help each other.
A Man for All Seasons dramatises the conflict between King Henry VIII and Sir Thomas More. It depicts the confrontation between church and state, theology and politics, absolute power and individual freedom. Throughout the play Sir Thomas More's eloquence and endurance, his purity, saintliness and tenacity in the face of ever-growing threats to his beliefs and family, earn him status as one of modern drama's greatest tragic heroes.
The play was first staged in 1960 at the Globe Theatre in London and was voted New York's Best Foreign Play in 1962. In 1966 it was made into an Academy Award-winning film by Fred Zinneman starring Paul Scofield."A Man for All Seasons is a stark play, sparse in its narrative, sinewy in its writing, which confirms Mr Bolt as a genuine and solid playwright, a force in our awakening theatre." (Daily Mail)
Shaw’s attack on divorce laws becomes even clearer and stronger in the final act that he wrote for the play but discarded in favour of the version he published. The discarded version is published for the first time in this Broadview edition of the play.
Noël Coward's Present Laughter premiered in the early years of the Second World War just as such privileged lives were threatened with fundamental social change. This edition of the play is published to coincide with the National Theatre's production running from September 2007. The text features an introduction that considers the directorial decisions and interpretation in the National's production.