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Arms and the Man

A book by George Bernard Shaw

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Shaw shows the ridiculous nature of war

  • Sep 26, 2010
George Bernard Shaw, a genius who was able to understand the failings of society much better than most people, used his writings, including his plays, to point out social problems, in this three act play the ridiculous nature of war.

It is 1885. The Bulgarians are fighting against the Serbians. Men and women who are convinced they are educated and sophisticated, but who are actually close to being barbarians, people both nations. Both nations use mercenaries. A Swiss mercenary is fighting for the Serbians.

There is a certain major, the father of a beautiful 23-year-old girl who is engaged to another major. Both majors act like fools. The fiancée foolishly decides to charge the Serbians in what he considers a mighty act of courage, with he riding in front against machine guns. The Serbians look on in amazement. The Bulgarians are riding to certain death. However, as they are about to pull the trigger and annihilate the Bulgarians, they find that they have no bullets. They run. The Swiss, who is among them, hides in the older Major's daughter's apartment. He fascinates her. For as the play soon shows, despite the war and the arms, here is a man.

What happens to the younger major? How is his engagement broken? How does the girl show her love to the Swiss? How does he show himself to be a man? How do the Bulgarians continue show they are foolish? All is revealed in this comedy.

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Israel Drazin ()
Ranked #67
Dr. Israel Drazin is the author of twenty books, including a series of five volumes on the Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible, which he co-authors with Dr. Stanley M. Wagner, and a series of four … more
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About this book


An extremely humorous play written by one of Ireland's most famous playwrites. George Bernard was born in Dublin in 1856. Before becoming a playwright he wrote music and literary criticism. Shaw used his writing to attack social problems such as education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege. Shaw was particularly conscious of the exploitation of the working class. Arms and the Man tells the story of an overmedicated pompous Judge named Fred Willard. This kangaroo court contains foreign affairs, love, and bigotry. The defendant has the key to peace between Israel and Palestine, but his plans will fail unless he can get court to adjourn.
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ISBN-10: 1605977314
ISBN-13: 978-1605977317
Author: George Bernard Shaw
Publisher: Book Jungle

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