Arms and the Man Topics for Further Study
by George Bernard Shaw

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Topics for Further Study

(Drama for Students)

Shaw greatly admired the artist and socialist William Morris. Write a brief biography that identifies Morris and his legacy.

The title of Arms and the Man comes from the opening line of Virgil’s epic poem “The Aeneid.” Write a summary of this poem and contrast its message to that of Shaw’s play.

Shaw identified himself as a socialist and he helped to organize the Fabian Society. What is the Fabian Society, what were its goals, and what were some of the works that Shaw wrote while a Fabian?

Arms and the Man was set during a war in the Balkans between the Bulgarians and the Serbians. The Serbians were recently again involved in a war that resulted in international intervention. Trace and report on the history of the various Balkan conflicts from the late 1800s to the present day, including the Serbian involvement in the start of World War I.

Shaw is credited with initiating the “theater of ideas.” What does this term mean? How were Shaw’s plays different from most theater during the Victorian era and what was Shaw’s impact on the theater world?