How does Shaw represent the Shavian Woman in his play Candida?

Shaw represents the Shavian Woman in his play Candida through the title character. Candida Morell is an intelligent, hard-working, and strong-minded woman who exercises almost complete control of every situation.

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A Shavian Woman can be described as a feminist ideal common in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Also known as a New Woman, a Shavian Woman is a highly intelligent female, someone strong and resolute who knows her own mind.

All of these characteristics can be seen in ...

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A Shavian Woman can be described as a feminist ideal common in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Also known as a New Woman, a Shavian Woman is a highly intelligent female, someone strong and resolute who knows her own mind.

All of these characteristics can be seen in Candida Morell, the most important character in Shaw's Candida. Mrs. Morell effortlessly plays a number of traditional female roles—wife to her vicar husband, mother to Marchbanks, and helpmeet to both—without in any way compromising her integrity as a New Woman, a woman with opinions of her own and a strong sense of independence.

To a large extent, this is because she reserves the right to make important choices in her life without men making them for her, whoever they are. An example of this comes when Candida chooses between her husband and Marchbanks. Here, she exercises her choice wisely, safe in the knowledge that she knows exactly what she's doing. As her husband is fundamentally a weak man, he therefore needs the support of a strong woman such as herself.

As a Shavian Woman, Candida knows her own mind as well as the vast reserves of strength she possesses and so is in a position to give Mr. Morell what he so desperately needs while at the same time doing right by herself.

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