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Love and War from both Arms and the Man and Major Barbara

Abstract

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), the Irish comic playwright, literary critic, and a Fabian socialist thinker occupies a prominent position in the history of modern English thought in general and English drama in specifics. This is mainly due to his unconventional treatment of the conventional topics or ideas in his plays. Shaw wrote sixty-three plays which are all comedies that criticize wittily the social diseases prevalent in his society during his lifetime. Shaw’s plays are dramas of ideas. He deals with many themes in his plays such as morality, wealth/poverty, society and class, power, heroism, violence, war and love.  This research analyzes two themes of love and war in his two well-known plays Arms and the Man (1894) and Major Barbara (1905). In the study, the complex meanings of love and war will be tackled with special focus on the unconventional outlook of the writer about the traditional concepts of love and war.The aim of the study is to confirm the intermingle of love and war in Bernard Shaw’s Arms and the Man as well as Major Barbara. The approach chosen by the researcher of the study will be cultural materialism, as it is broadly known as new historicism. This approach will focus on the social, political, and cultural events that happened during the period of Shaw’s lifetime and how those events are reflected and have been dealt with in the mentioned dramatic works under study. 

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