George Bernard Shaw

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 1465


Adams, Elsie B. “Bernard Shaw's Pre-Raphaelite Drama.” PMLA 81, no. 5 (October 1966): 428-38.

Investigates the influence of the Pre-Raphaelite movement on Shaw's dramas.

Albert, Sidney P. “Bernard Shaw: The Artist as Philosopher.” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 14, no. 4 (June 1956): 419-38.

Underscores the importance of philosophical concerns to Shaw's dramas.

———. “The Lord's Prayer and Major Barbara.Shaw: The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies 1 (1981): 107-28.

Traces Shaw's lifelong fascination with the Lord's Prayer and explores its function in Major Barbara.

———. “The Mood of Barbara Revisited: Shaw, Jevons, and the Syllogism.” Independent Shavian 32, nos. 2-3 (1994): 29-36.

Traces the influence of William Stanley Jevons's The Theory of Political Economy on Shaw's dramatic oeuvre.

Amalric, Jean-Claude. “Shaw's Man and Superman and the Myth of Don Juan: Intertextuality and Irony.” Cahiers Victoriens et Edouardiens, no. 33 (April 1991): 103-14.

Discusses the Don Juan theme in Man and Superman and determines the influence of the opera Don Giovanni and the mythical story of Don Juan on Shaw's play.

Amkpa, Awam. “Drama and the Languages of Postcolonial Desire: Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion.Irish University Review 29, no. 2 (autumn 1999): 294-304.

Interprets Pygmalion and the 1937 cinematic adaptation of the play as Shaw's attempts “to map out the crises of European modernity, its colonizing dominant culture and its captivating hold on the psyche of the subordinated social classes.”

Berst, Charles A. “Romance and Reality in Arms and the Man.Modern Language Quarterly 27, no. 2 (June 1966): 197-211.

Contends that Arms and the Man is “highly subtle, complex, and philosophically challenging, creating at its best a high comedy which is a synthesis of both tragicomic sensibility and penetrating social perception.”

———. “The Devil and Major Barbara.PMLA 83, no. 1 (March 1968): 71-9.

Considers Shaw's political and philosophical thought as expressed in Major Barbara.

Blanch, Robert J. “The Myth of Don Juan in Man and Superman.Revue des Langues Vivantes 33, no. 2 (1967): 158-63.

Traces the origins of the Don Juan myth and describes its function in Man and Superman.

Couchman, Gordon W. “Here Was a Caesar: Shaw's Comedy Today.” PMLA 72, no. 1 (March 1957): 272-85.

Discusses Caesar and Cleopatra as comic opera, fantasy, and historical drama.

Crane, Gladys. “Shaw's Comic Techniques in Man and Superman.Educational Theatre Journal 27, no. 1 (March 1971): 13-21.

Elucidates Shaw's use of comedy in Man and Superman.

Garner, Stanton B., Jr. “Shaw's Comedy of Disillusionment.” Modern Drama 28, no. 4 (December 1985): 638-58.

Examines the role of disillusionment in Shaw's dramatic work.

Higgs, Calvin T., Jr. “Shaw's Use of Vergil's Aeneid in Arms and the Man.Shaw Review 19, no. 1 (January 1976): 2-16.

Considers Shaw's use of Vergil's epic Aeneid in his Arms and the Man.

Hoeveler, Diane Long. “Shaw's Vision of God in Major Barbara.The Independent Shavian 17, nos. 1-2 (1979): 16-18.

Regards Major Barbara as “a pivotal drama in which Shaw translates his philosophical views into the more accessible and universal language of religious symbols.”

Innes, Christopher, ed. The Cambridge Companion to George Bernard Shaw Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998, 343 p.

Collection of critical essays.

Jewkes, W. T. “The Faust Theme in Major Barbara.Shaw Review 21, no. 2 (May 1978): 80-91.

Explores the connection of the Faust myth to Major Barbara.

Jordan, Robert J. “Theme and Character in Major Barbara.Texas Studies in Literature and Language 12, no. 3 (fall 1970): 471-80.

Finds a connection between Major Barbara and Man and Superman.

Marshik, Celia. “Parodying the £5 Virgin: Bernard Shaw and the Playing of Pygmalion.Yale Journal of Criticism 13, no. 2 (fall 2000): 321-41.

Views Pygmalion as a parody of the purity social movement popular in late nineteenth-century Victorian England.

Matheson, T. J. “The Lure of Power and the Triumph of Capital: An Ironic Reading of Major Barbara.English Studies in Canada 12, no. 3 (September 1986): 285-300.

Contends that Major Barbara is “one of Shaw's most ironic works.”

McDowell, Frederick P. W. “Heaven, Hell, and Turn-of-the-Century London: Reflections upon Shaw's Man and Superman.Drama Survey 2, no. 3 (February 1963): 245-68.

Explicates the hell scene in Act III of Man and Superman.

McKee, Irving. “Shaw's Saint Joan and the American Critics.” The Shavian 2, no. 8 (February 1964): 13-16.

Brief survey of the critical reception of Saint Joan by a few prominent American critics.

Mills, Carl Henry. “Man and Superman and the Don Juan Legend.” Comparative Literature 19, no. 2 (spring 1967): 216-25.

Finds similarities between Man and Superman and other Don Juan plays, particularly Tirso de Molina's El Burlador de Sevilla.

Mugglestone, Lynda. “Shaw, Subjective Inequality, and the Social Meanings of Language in Pygmalion.Review of English Studies 44, no. 175 (August 1993): 373-85.

Discusses Pygmalion as socialist parable and social comedy.

Nelson, Raymond S. “Responses to Poverty in Major Barbara.Arizona Quarterly 27, no. 4 (winter 1971): 335-46.

Examines themes of poverty and religion in Major Barbara.

———. “Mrs. Warren's Profession and English Prostitution.” Journal of Modern Literature 2, no. 3 (1972): 357-66.

Finds Mrs. Warren's Profession to be “a fiercely moral indictment of society as responsible for prostitution.”

Noel, Thomas. “Major Barbara and Her Male Generals.” Shaw Review 22, no. 3 (September 1979): 135-41.

Analyzes the title character of Major Barbara, calling her “another of Shaw's engaging females, vital, intelligent, relatively liberated, but in the long run subservient to the superior male vision and will to something better, or at least stronger.”

Nutter, Norma. “Belief and Reality in Major Barbara.Shaw Review 22, no. 2 (May 1979): 89-91.

Asserts that in Major Barbara “Shaw depicts the early twentieth-century upper-class British consciousness threatened by a growing awareness of the gap between its espoused ideals and morals and its actions.”

Potter, Rosanne G. “The Rhetoric of a Shavian Exposition: Act I of Major Barbara.Modern Drama 26, no. 1 (March 1983): 62-74.

Provides an analysis of Shaw's rhetorical techniques in Major Barbara.

Salih, Sabah A. “The New York Times and Arnold Daly's Production of Mrs. Warren's Profession.The Independent Shavian 26, no. 3 (1988): 57-60.

Finds the New York Times review of the 1905 production of Mrs. Warren's Profession “useful because it helps us understand the nature and scope of the American reaction” to the play.

Smith, J. Percy. “Shaw's Own Problem Play: Major Barbara.English Studies in Canada 4, no. 4 (winter 1978): 450-67.

Examines “the reasons underlying the critical difficulties that Major Barbara presents, considering first the principal sources of the play and then the ambivalence in Shaw's attitude to the central moral question that it raises.”

Solomon, Stanley J. “The Ending of Pygmalion: A Structural View.” Educational Theatre Journal 16, no. 1 (March 1964): 59-63.

Contends that “the only valid approach to the problem of Pygmalion's ending is to analyze the structure of the dramatic movement.”

Stafford, Tony J. “From Hens' Eggs to Cinders: Avian Imagery in Shaw's Saint Joan.Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature 40, no. 4 (1986): 213-20.

Regards avian imagery as a unifying characteristic of Saint Joan.

Stamm, Julian L. “Shaw's Man and Superman: His Struggle for Sublimation.” American Imago 22, no. 4 (winter 1965): 250-54.

Maintains that Man and Superman was a result of Shaw's sublimated sexual and romantic desires.

Ure, Peter. “Master and Pupil in Bernard Shaw.” Essays in Criticism 19, no. 2 (April 1969): 118-39.

Illustrates Shaw's use of the master-pupil dynamic through an examination of Caesar and Cleopatra, Major Barbara, Pygmalion, and Heartbreak House.

Valency, Maurice. The Cart and the Trumpet: The Plays of George Bernard Shaw. New York: Oxford University Press, 1973, 467 p.

Full-length critical study of Shaw's plays.

Watson, Barbara Bellow. “Sainthood for Millionaires: Major Barbara.Modern Drama 11, no. 3 (December 1968): 227-44.

Delineates the key thematic concerns of Major Barbara.

Watt, Stephen. “Shaw's Saint Joan and the Modern History Play.” Comparative Drama 19, no. 1 (spring 1985): 58-86.

Contends that “Shaw constructs Saint Joan out of components of both the Victorian and modern drama, especially the latter, and thus demonstrates that while he wrote in the tradition of the Victorian history play he was also transforming Saint Joan into a distinctly ‘modern’ drama.”

Wisenthal, J. L. “The Cosmology of Man and Superman.Modern Drama 14, no. 3 (December 1971): 298-306.

Judges the significance of the hell scene to the symbolic nature of Man and Superman and perceives the play to be “much more of a religious drama than is usually recognized.”

Woodfield, James. “Shaw's Candida: A Comedy.” English Studies in Canada 16, no. 4 (December 1990): 433-52.

Explores the comic elements and long-standing appeal of Candida.

Yarrison, Betsy C. “Marchbanks as ‘Albatros’: An Interpretation of Candida.Shaw Review 20, no. 2 (May 1977): 71-82.

Finds similarities between the poet Charles Baudelaire's metaphor of the albatross in his “L'albatros” and that found in Shaw's characterization of Eugene Marchbanks in Candida.

Additional coverage of Shaw's life and career is contained in the following sources published by the Gale Group: British Writers, Vol. 6; British Writers: The Classics, Vol. 1; British Writers Retrospective Supplement, Vol. 2; Concise Dictionary of British Literary Biography, 1914-1945; Contemporary Authors, Vols. 104, 128; Dictionary of Literary Biography, Vols. 10, 57; DISCovering Authors; DISCovering Authors 3.0; DISCovering Authors: British Edition; DISCovering Authors: Canadian Edition; DISCovering Authors Modules: Dramatists and Most-studied Authors; Drama for Students, Vols. 1, 3, 6, 11; Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century, Ed. 3; Literature and Its Times, Vol. 3; Literature and Its Times Supplement, Ed. 1; Literature Resource Center; Major 20th-Century Writers, Eds. 1, 2; Reference Guide to English Literature, Ed. 2; Twayne's English Authors; Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism, Vols. 3, 9, 21, 45; World Literature and Its Times, Vol. 4; and World Literature Criticism.

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Criticism: Saint Joan (1923)