In "Man and Superman," George Bernard Shaw really outdid himself. Not only did he turn up with a Don Juan play in our modern day and age, which is full of cynicism, and doesn't give in to 'medieval' codes of behaviour, but he even manages to turn around the table. In "Man and Superman," the hunter becomes the hunted, forced to flee from his pursued/pursuer. George Bernard Shaw includes in this play an ingenious conversation between the original 15th century characters, which not only explains about Don Juan's philosophy, but shines a new light upon our own lives, here and today. No wonder Shaw was called the "English Nietzsche". Though Nietzsche was an aristocrat and Shaw a socialist, both cherished the dream of the superman and looked forward to the day when he would be realized. Both also were characterized by their mordant wit and intellectual cynicism in which "Man and Superman" abounds. Shaw manages to compress a number of disparate themes into a relatively taut dramatic format, even throwing in a scene in which Don Juan, the Devil and a gang of anarchist brigands make an appearance. The central event of the plot involves the wealthy Tanner, a member of the "Idle Rich Class" making himself subservient to the Life Force and seeking the perfect woman to marry, who would guarantee him a very special offspring, his ideal, the superman himself.Über den Autor:
George Bernard Shaw (1856 -1950) was an Irish playwright. 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. Nearly all his writings deal sternly with prevailing social problems, but have a vein of comedy to make their stark themes more palatable. Shaw examined education, marriage, religion, government, health care and class privilege. He was most angered by what he perceived as the exploitation of the working class, and most of his writings censure that abuse. 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. 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. He is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize for Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938), for his contributions to literature and for his work on the film Pygmalion (adaption 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 Swedish books to English.
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