George Shaw Bernard Criticism: Candida (1897) - Essay

Charles A. Berst (essay date fall 1974)

(Drama Criticism)

SOURCE: Berst, Charles A. “The Craft of Candida.College Literature 1, no. 3 (fall 1974): 157-73.

[In the following essay, Berst addresses several common criticisms of Shaw's work through an analysis of his Candida, contending that the play “refutes many of the facile critical generalizations so often repeated about Shavian drama.”]

A year before Shaw wrote Candida the prominent critic William Archer reviewed his first play, Widowers' Houses, in the London World. Archer was most condescending: “It is a pity that Mr Shaw should labour under a delusion as to the true bent of his talent, and … should perhaps be tempted to...

(The entire section is 8121 words.)

Walter Lazenby (essay date March 1977)

(Drama Criticism)

SOURCE: Lazenby, Walter. “Love and ‘Vitality’ in Candida.Modern Drama 20, no. 1 (March 1977): 1-19.

[In the following essay, Lazenby examines aspects of the dramatic irony, imagery, and plot of Candida and traces the “vitalization” of the three major characters in the play.]

Most critics of Shaw's Candida have approached the play “as if it were a geometry problem whose basic axioms can be located in The Quintessence and other Shaviana.”1 They have assumed that Shaw was here merely illustrating his three types (Philistine, Idealist, Realist) and that the play demands a simplistic stock response: automatic scorn...

(The entire section is 8918 words.)