As Moliere once said satire is "biting exposure of human folly which criticizes human conduct, and aims to correct it", and in his play Arms and the Man, Shaw presents his great ability of writing satire by showing the reader a world full of misunderstandings, romance, materialism and the absurdity of life, while decrying the paradoxes in human character.
The play begins with a glorious picture of “the Balkans, wonderfully white and beautiful in the starlit snow”.Is seem that Shaw was very familiar with Bulgaria, considering the fact he gave such a brilliant description of its nature. And along that sight is presented Raina, described as a “young lady, intensely conscious of her own youth and beauty”. To her, "the world really is a glorious world for women who can see its glory and men who can act in its romance!" , she who has an exalted image of the true nature of love and believing she has found everything in Sergius, continues to live in this ideal world of hers, where love and heroes are all that matters.
Main themes and subjects in the play are love and war and the author describes their true essence, how they are understood by people. Of course, love is always taken in as a romantic notion and Raina is considered to be one of the most romantic characters in the play.
As for her mother, Catherine,” imperiously energetic, with magnifice...
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...is creative brand of romanticism. And he does so with what a difference.”
Like most of Shaw’sworks, Arms and the Man was a commentaryon “the state of things” as he saw it. Michael Murray, a director of A Noise Within’s production of Arms calls Shaw’s “wild and witty comicpackage” He goes on to observe, “Shaw always made fun of the pieties and hypocrisies of his time. In Arms and the Man he went after the idea that war and patriotism are always glorious and heroic, pitting the gritty...”
And without a doubt, Captain Bluntschli is the ultimate puppet-master, the one that managed to change the lives of all. Though the eyes and hand of Shaw he is presented as an agent whose mission is to “destroy” the conventional romantic ideas about love, war and social classes. In order to describe him Sergius couldn’t have said it better: “What a man! What a man!”
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