Shaw's "Candida" as a Drama of Ideas
- Length: 390 words (1.1 double-spaced pages)
- Rating: Excellent
Shaw himself wrote that Candida `is a counterpoint to Ibsen's Doll's House, showing that in the real typical doll's house it is the man who is the doll'.Ibsen in A Doll's House(1879)had shown how men treated their wives as inferior creatures, or dolls,and at the end of the play his heroin rebels and leaves her her husband .In Candida Shaw powerfully and effectively reverses Ibsen's idea.
Counterpoint or reversal was Shaw's favourite technique in all of his plays.In Candida,he not only reverses the main idea of a Doll's House but also counterpoints the typical situation of an established type of Victorian domestic comedy.Play about romantic adultery,or its type possibility, were very popular in the nineteenth century.These plays usually featured a dull husband, a romantic wife, and an attractive, glamorous lover. In the interest of morality, the lover usually lost and the marriage was reversed, but his attractions remained strong. In reaction against this trend, a new type of play began to emerge in which the prosaic husband turns out to be the better man and the glamorous lover is exposed at the end as being corrupt and undesirable .As Martin Meisel has observed it is the basic situation of this second type of play that Shaw reverses in Candida.
To understand any play by Shaw, we must remember that he was a playwright of ideas. Basically, he was not interested in character development, emotional complexity, or plot, but in ideas. His plays present us with opposing viewpoints which lance and trust at each other as in a fencing match until the strongest of them wins. In any of Saws plays, ideas clash as soldiers would an a battlefield and he presents us with an intellectual war in which both sides put up a good fight. It is no exaggeration to say that Shaw added a new dimension to the stage . His real achievement is that he succeeded in dramatizing intellectual positions. His characters embody various ideas and can best be studied as ideas that live and breathe and move around. In the fullest sense of the word,Shaw's plays are dramas of ideas, and it is ideas that the student should look for when he is studying any of them. What,then,is the main idea that Shaw presents to us in Candida? Stated simply,that the play exposes Victorian marriage in general by examining the apparently ideal marriage of Candida and James Morell.
How to Cite this Page
|Candida by George Bernard Shaw Essay - Candida by George Bernard Shaw This isn't necessarily a negative thing; they're all well suited to each other, and create a sort of synergy that drives the play. But they're each quite different in their own respect. The main ones, Candida, Eugene and James are all written to be strong characters, and the way they were portrayed in the production our class saw lived up to this classification. However, this doesn't apply to everything. Some of the characters were stretched to make the play appeal to a newer generation in a newer day and age, at the expense of the dignity of at least one of the characters.... [tags: Candida George Bernard Shaw Essays]||577 words|
|Comedy of Ideas Illustrated in Shaw's Man and Superman Essay - Man and Superman: A Comedy of Ideas Shaw’s Man and Superman is a comedy of ideas. He has presented a good number of ideas in Man and Superman but his treatment of these ideas is comic rather than serious. Serious ideas have been presented with wit and humour. For this comic treatment of serious ideas the play is regarded as a comedy of ideas. Shaw’s aim was to make certain ideas, which were unpalatable to the early twentieth century society, receive attention among the thinking public. In the wit and sparkle of a comedy he thought people would be interested, and once interest was created, the ideas presented along with the comedic would be less objectable .... [tags: term paper, literary analysis]||2413 words|
|Essay on Lesson in Shaw's Pygmalion - Lesson in Shaw's Pygmalion Writing Pygmalion in a Play format allowed Shaw to present his often-disputable views to an extended audience in a convenient, enjoyable format. By using this means to put over his message the audience is having a good night out at the theatre, as well as being taught a lesson. Society was changing at an alarming rate and Shaw wanted to make sure his audiences were pushed into thinking about issues such as imminent feminism, the class system and the importance in the way we speak.... [tags: Drama Shaw Pygmalion Play Essays Papers]||578 words|
|Eliza's Transformation in Shaw's Pygmalion Essay - Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw is a play that shows a great change in the character Eliza Doolittle. As Eliza lives in poverty, she sells flowers to earn her living. Eliza does not have an education. This shows through the way that she does not have the most proper way of speaking. This happens through when Eliza is speaking to the other characters when she meets then when she is still at a low level of poverty in her life. To understand the reasons Eliza is able to change and be changed into an almost Cinderella like character.... [tags: George Bernard Shaw]||2234 words|
| Essay on OPERA AND DRAMA: DIFFERING VIEWS - OPERA AND DRAMA: DIFFERING VIEWS Opera and drama are two closely linked disciplines in the world of performing arts; although many view these as individual aspects which should be combined to create a greater result, others seemingly view opera as drama although it would be seen as illogical to view drama as opera. The mere fact opera has a narrative, although told through music and libretto, combines the two. Michael Tippett’s opera, The Midsummer Marriage, contains influences from other established form’s (drawing examples for Wagner and Verdi) as well as containing Tippett’s own futuristic ideas.... [tags: Drama]|
:: 4 Works Cited
|George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion Essay examples - George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion G.B Shaw believed that people should not be limited by their birth, environment or speech. With reference to Act 1 & Act five of Pygmalion, show how Eliza finds her status affected by all of these factors. At the time George Bernard Shaw wrote Pygmalion in 1912, many people were troubled with accents that prevented them from reaching high & in act 1, Eliza's character is an example of this. In act 1, we see how Eliza was very limited by her environment, her job, & her speech by the way that she was treated differently for who she was.... [tags: George Shaw Pygmalion Essays]||1904 words|
|Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw Essay - Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw George Bernard Shaw's father, George Carr Shaw, was an alcoholic which meant not much money was spent on Shaw's education, therefore he was mainly self-taught, since he was self-taught he never had ideas forced upon him, this caused him to turn into a strong minded individual who expressed his opinions. He was a socialist and a critic who believed strongly in equality. Shaw wrote many plays, which expressed his opinions, one of the most famous being Pygmalion.... [tags: Pygmalion George Bernard Shaw Essays]||1237 words|
|Drama Coursework: Absurdism Freeze Frames We used freeze frames in drama - Drama Coursework: Absurdism Freeze Frames We used freeze frames in drama to create many absurd scenarios Drama Coursework: Absurdism =========================== Freeze Frames ------------- We used freeze frames in drama to create many absurd scenarios. We co-ordinated our bodies with other people to create a scene and we held our positions for about 10 seconds. We usually did this whilst we were warming up our bodies; it also helped to see if as a group we could listen to other people and develop their ideas.... [tags: Drama]||3620 words|
|Drama Improvisation: Crime in Elizabethan Times Essays - Drama improvisation coursework: Crime We first discussed everything that came up to our mind about our topic of crime. We used brainstorming to help us, like this: We then had a closer look at plays about crime in Elizabethan times. Macbeth is a classic example of crime involving murdering. It is a story about Macbeth who was the Thane of Cawdor was being influenced by his wife and the witches to kill the King. He then became the King himself and killed many other people who wanted to stop him.... [tags: Drama]||611 words|
|Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion Essay - Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion The passage taken from Act 2 of Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion marks a critical turning point in the plot line and character development of the novel. The characters of Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins, who have met earlier by mere coincidence, have now deliberately begun a relationship, due to various motives. Eliza wants to move up in the hierarchy of society and Henry wants to prove his talent to Colonel Pickering. The extract is significant because it initiates a long learning process for Eliza and because Henry changes the next six months of his life, if not the rest of it.... [tags: Bernard Shaw Pygmalion]||1100 words|
In the final decades of the nineteenth century,the `Women Question'became a central issue. Woman demanded equal rights with man. This today, in a different form, is the Women's Liberation Movement.Shaw was very much in favour of equality of the sexes, but in Candida he suggested that it is the women who are really in control. It is Morell who is need of liberation,not Candida,but he is pathetic because he cannot accept the burden and responsibilities of liberty. Marchbanks, on the other hand, reaches full maturity at the end of the play and realizes that he cannot accept a woman who will treat him as a child. Morell keeps Candida's love, but Eugene gains the far more precious gift of freedom specifically, freedom from women like Candida.
George Bernard Shaw was born on July 26, 1856, in Dublin, Ireland. His mother eventually left his father, who was an unsuccessful merchant, to teach singing lessons in London. At the age of twenty, Shaw left Dublin for London, where he wrote five novels. From an early age, Shaw identified himself as a socialist and joined the Fabian Society, a non-revolutionary Marxist group advocating for reform that would result in socialism without bloodshed. He was an extremely prolific writer who completed over fifty plays before his death of natural causes at the age of 94.
Shaw began writing rather late in life, beginning with articles for a Fabian Society publication called Fabian Letters (1889). He wrote five novels, but he earned a living as a music and theater critic, advocating strongly for the music of Richard Wagner. Shaw originally tried his hand at writing plays to flesh out his criticisms of the existing British stage. Compared to the light Victorian comedies, which were the fashion, Shaw's plays were revolutionary in their seriousness and socialist themes.
In 1895, Shaw founded the London School of Economics and Political Science with fellow Fabian Society members Graham Wallas, and Sidney and Beatrice Webb. Several collections of his photographs and correspondences are currently housed at a library at the London School of Economics that bears Shaw's name.
His earliest plays were published in a set titled Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant (1898). The Pleasant volume includes Arms and the Man (1894), Candida (1893), and You Never Can Tell (1895). The Unpleasant volume includes Widower's Houses (1892), The Philanderer (1893), and Mrs. Warren's Profession (1893). The latter play describes the relationship between a prostitute and her exacting daughter, and it was banned in London for its "immorality."
Shaw was a vegetarian and a teetotaler, and he was well known for his large ego. In 1898, Shaw married an Irish heiress who famously insisted on maintaining celibacy even after marriage. In 1901 he published Three Plays for Puritans, a collection that included The Devil's Disciple, a play about the American Revolution.
Of his later plays, Shaw is best remembered for Saint Joan (1923) and John Bull's Other Island (1904). Written four years after Joan of Arc was recognized as a saint, Saint Joan portrays the Frenchwoman as a stubborn individual who was ahead of her time. W. B. Yeats originally commissioned John Bull’s Other Island, a comedy about Ireland, for the opening of the National Theatre in Ireland; however, Yeats ultimately rejected the play for being too controversial.
Later in life, Shaw was recognized for his talents. In 1925 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature. Over a decade later in 1938 he earned an Academy Award for the film adaptation of Pygmalion. Twelve years after his death in 1950, The Shaw Festival was founded to present and celebrate George Bernard Shaw's plays. Today he is considered one of the English language's greatest wits, and adaptations of his plays, like My Fair Lady, are considered classic works.