George Bernard Shaw: The Man, The Myth, The Legend



When George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1856, the Crimean War was raging and Queen Victoria of Great Britain had barely reached middle age. By the time of his death in 1950, the atomic bomb and television were realities. "By living for nearly a century, Shaw was in a unique position to bear witness to the rise of modernity" (Bemrose 57). Shaw used his time in this world to become one of the greatest playwrights, philosophers, and critics who ever lived. His thoughts and words have influenced many people in the past and present.
He was born on July 26, 1856 into a family that was not very wealthy but had great musical talent. His mother, Lucinda Elizabeth Gurly, was a ...

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had on him, Shaw was also influenced in other ways. When he was young, a servant took him to the slums. From that experience he acquired a lifelong hatred of poverty (Collier's 649).
Shaw was a poor student at the Wesleyan Connexional School despite private tutoring (Kunitz 1268). However, most of his education was gained at home through a thorough background in music, art, and extensive reading. He always had the eagerness and determination to write. His writings would be returned often by local newspapers but he kept on sending them in anyways. As a young writer, Shaw once received fifteen shillings for an article which was all he got from journalism in nine years. "The cardinal sin for a Christian is the sin of Faust, despair of God's grace; for Shaw it is despair of finding solutions to the problems of human society" (Abbott 190).
Shaw loved to speak on the behalf of socialism and crowds soon began to love his speeches. The way he dealt with subjects caused people to think more ...

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many things. "The enjoyment he derived from crafting lines for his public addresses, coupled with his earlier enthusiasm for writing criticism, naturally led him in the direction of drama criticism" (Bowler et al. 966). Shaw was more versatile and entertaining than his predecessors and his essays revolutionized the theater. As a dramatic critic, he had no rival (Collier's 651). Max Beerbohm, a critic, once said "The rest of us are pigmies in comparison." Shaw made fun of all the silly fashions in drama with such humor that he created a public that was "receptive to the play of ideas" (Collier's 651).

Shaw's music reviews were very interesting. They were different in the way he might ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 5/27/2005 08:17:24 AM
Category: Biographies
Type: Free Paper
Words: 1521
Pages: 6

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