What sort of satire and humor are present in George Bernard Shaw's play Mrs. Warren's Profession?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Shaw presents the satire of his play through his dramatis personae. Each character represents a part of society and/or a worldview that Shaw satirizes by pointing out its follies, using irony as his primary type of humor. Reverend Gardner represents the hypocrisy and powerlessness of organized religion. When Frank invites Gardner into Mrs. Warren's yard to meet Vivie, he objects, saying, "not until I know whose garden I am entering." The ironic symbolism is that he has had an intimate relationship with Mrs. Warren outside of marriage; he is not nearly as circumspect as he portrays himself. He also is obviously powerless against his son's disrespect and rebellion. 

Frank represents the young males of Shaw's time who were worthless pleasure seekers. When Gardner tries to discourage Frank's interest in Vivie as a potential wife, he says, "Brains are not everything." Frank replies, "No, of course not: there's the money." The ongoing joke of Frank wanting to marry for money satirizes both the...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 673 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team