Arthur Ganz (essay date December 1971)
SOURCE: Ganz, Arthur. “The Ascent to Heaven: A Shavian Pattern (Early Plays, 1894-1898).” Modern Drama 14, no. 3 (December 1971): 253-63.
[In the following essay, Ganz discusses the negative vision in Shaw's early plays, contending that there is a recurring pattern of his characters withdrawing from the real world into an intellectual, contemplative existence.]
It is the peculiar character of Shaw's plays that from the first they embody Romantic optimism and Romantic disillusion simultaneously. One is reminded of William Archer's account of seeing Shaw for the first time in the British Museum studying alternately the French translation of Das Kapital and the...
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