A Bluffer’s Guide to: George Bernard Shaw

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1790

 

The dude with the awesome beard, 
right?
The very same.  Facial hair based 
achievements aside, the Irish 
playwright and literary critic wrote 
for 65 years, and became a titan of 
literary, public and political life along 
the way.
So what’s he most famous for?
He was a dedicated Socialist, and 
founding member of the both the 
Fabian Society and the Labour Party. 
Of more general interest, he never 
once slept with his wife in their entire 
45 year marriage, but was still very 
keen on other men’s wives.
And the plays?
Were mostly just extensions of his 
political ideas.  They were about class 
divisions, villainous landlords and the 
failure of government, all presented in 
a darkly comic way that made them a 
hit with London audiences.
Sounds like a real radical.
Exactly    He  opposed  the  First  World 
War, and helped to found the New 
Statesmen and the London School of 
Economics.  On the other hand, he 
believed eugenics should be used to 
create a race of superhumans that 
would one day rule the world.  But his 
plays were very funny, so we normally 
just turn a blind eye to that.
Wow.  Were his plays that good?
He was (until Al Gore) the only person 
to win both a Nobel Prize and an 
Oscar.  He became extremely wealthy, 
and subsequently left a portion of 
his estate to the invention of a new 
phonetic alphabet, known today as 
Shavian.
Catch  your interest?  
Be ‘Shaw’ to see these: 
 Pygmalion
Heartbreak House
Man and Superman
Major Barbara

The dude with the awesome beard, right?

The very same.  Facial hair based achievements aside, the Irish playwright and literary critic wrote for 65 years, and became a titan of literary, public and political life along the way.

So what’s he most famous for?

He was a dedicated Socialist, and founding member of the both the Fabian Society and the Labour Party. Of more general interest, he never once slept with his wife in their entire 45 year marriage, but was still very keen on other men’s wives.

And the plays?

Were mostly just extensions of his political ideas.  They were about class divisions, villainous landlords and the failure of government, all presented in a darkly comic way that made them a hit with London audiences.Sounds like a real radical.Exactly    He  opposed  the  First  World War, and helped to found the New Statesmen and the London School of Economics.  On the other hand, he believed eugenics should be used to create a race of superhumans that would one day rule the world.  But his plays were very funny, so we normally just turn a blind eye to that.

Wow.  Were his plays that good?

He was (until Al Gore) the only person to win both a Nobel Prize and an Oscar.  He became extremely wealthy, and subsequently left a portion of his estate to the invention of a new phonetic alphabet, known today as Shavian.

Catch  your interest?  Be ‘Shaw’ to see these:  Pygmalion, Heartbreak House, Man and Superman, Major Barbara

 

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