Man and Superman: A Comedy and a Philosophy

Overview

In this caustic satire of romantic conventions, Shaw provides a wonderfully original twist on the Don Juan myth. A finely tuned combination of intellectual seriousness and popular comedy, Man and Superman (1905) articulates a recurrent theme in Shaw's writing: the notion that man is the spiritual creator and woman, the biological life force that inevitably triumphs in the eternal battle of the sexes.

Author Bio: George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was one of the most prolific ...

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Man and Superman, a Comedy and a Philosophy

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Overview

In this caustic satire of romantic conventions, Shaw provides a wonderfully original twist on the Don Juan myth. A finely tuned combination of intellectual seriousness and popular comedy, Man and Superman (1905) articulates a recurrent theme in Shaw's writing: the notion that man is the spiritual creator and woman, the biological life force that inevitably triumphs in the eternal battle of the sexes.

Author Bio: George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was one of the most prolific writers of the modern theater. He invented the modern comedy of ideas, expounding on social and political problems with a razor-sharp tongue, yet never sacrificing the comic vitality that ensures regular revivals of his plays. He also wrote several important political works, including The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism.

Dan H. Lawrence, edited Shaw's Collected Letters, his Collected Plays with their Prefaces, and Shaw's Music and (with Daniel Leary) The Complete Prefaces. He is Series Editor for the works of Shaw in Penguin.

Stanley Weintraub is Evan Pugh Professor Emeritus of Arts and Humanities at the Pennsylvania State University. He is the author and editor of 20 books about Shaw including Private Shaw and Public Shaw. He has edited Shaw's diaries and his art criticism, and is the former editor of The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up-Based on the Don Juan theme and, using all the elements from Mozart's Don Giovanni, Shaw reordered them so that Don Juan becomes the quarry instead of the huntsman.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781489592774
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 5/29/2013
  • Pages: 150
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 - 2 November 1950) was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60 plays. He was also an essayist, novelist and short story writer. Nearly all his writings address prevailing social problems, but have a vein of comedy which makes their stark themes more palatable. Issues which engaged Shaw's attention included education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege.

He was most angered by what he perceived as the exploitation of the working class. An ardent socialist, Shaw wrote many brochures and speeches for the Fabian Society. He became an accomplished orator in the furtherance of its causes, which included gaining equal rights for men and women, alleviating abuses of the working class, rescinding private ownership of productive land, and promoting healthy lifestyles. For a short time he was active in local politics, serving on the London County Council.

In 1898, Shaw married Charlotte Payne-Townshend, a fellow Fabian, whom he survived. They settled in Ayot St Lawrence in a house now called Shaw's Corner. Shaw died there, aged 94, from chronic problems exacerbated by injuries he incurred by falling from a ladder.

He is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize in Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938), for his contributions to literature and for his work on the film Pygmalion (adaptation of his play of the same name), respectively. Shaw wanted to refuse his Nobel Prize outright because he had no desire for public honors, but accepted it at his wife's behest: she considered it a tribute to Ireland. He did reject the monetary award, requesting it be used to finance translation of fellow playwright August Strindberg's works from Swedish to English.

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