George Bernard Shaw

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by eckert111
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Language Arts
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George Bernard Shaw

Playwright George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin, Ireland, on July 26, 1856. The third and youngest child, Shaw's early education took the form of tutoring sessions provided by his clerical uncle.Early on, Shaw explored the worlds of the arts (music, art, literature) under his mother's guidance and through regular visits to the National Gallery of Ireland. In 1872, Shaw's mother left her husband and took Shaw's two sisters to London, and four years later Shaw followed (his younger sister had died in the meantime), deciding to become a writer. Shaw struggled financially, and his mother essentially supported him while he spent time in the British Museum reading room, working on his first novels.Unfortunately, despite the time he spent writing them, his novels were dismal failures, widely rejected by publishers. Shaw soon turned his attention to politics and the activities of the British intelligentsia, joining the Fabian Society in 1884. The Fabian Society was a socialist group whose goal was nothing short of the transformation of England through a more vibrant political and intellectual base, and Shaw became heavily involved.The year after he joined the Fabian Society, Shaw landed some writing work in the form of book reviews and art, music and theater criticism, and in 1895 he was brought aboard the Saturday Review as its theater critic. It was at this point that Shaw began writing plays of his own.The plays were filled with what would become Shaw's signature wit, accompanied by healthy doses of social criticism, which stemmed from his Fabian Society leanings. These plays would not go on to be his best remembered, or those for which he had high regard, but they laid the groundwork for the oversized career to come.Androcles and the Lion and Saint Joan all firmly established Shaw both as a front-line (and popular) dramatist of his day and as a writer deeply interested in the issues of his time and of history.The year 1912 brought what might be Shaw's most famous play: Pygmalion, which was transferred to the big screen in 1938. Shaw won an Academy Award for the screenplay. Since he had won the 1925 Nobel Prize in Literature, his Oscar win made him the only person to receive both awards. Pygmalion went on to further fame when it was adapted into a musical and became a hit, first on the Broadway stage (1956) with Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews, and later on the screen (1964) with Harrison and Audrey Hepburn.Literally a writer till the end, Shaw died in 1950 at age 94 while working on yet another play.


July 26, 1856: Born1876-82:Writes five novels 1892: Shaw’s first publicly performed play October 16, 1913: First performance of Pygmalion1926: Awarded Nobel Prize for LiteratureJuly of 1950: Writes his last play "Why She Would Not" November 2, 1950: Died

George Bernard Shaw had several accomplishments. Being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature was probably the biggest one. The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words of the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction". The Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to George Bernard Shaw "for his work which is marked by both idealism and humanity, its stimulating satire often being infused with a singular poetic beauty".One of the reasons Pygmalion is so popular is because Shaw succeeded with with this play, despite breaking many established conventions of dramatic art.

Lasting Impact

Even today, people still read, perform, and enjoy his play, "Pygmalion".

Citations For Students (Volume 1)Spampinato, GalensMagill's Survery of World LiteratureKellman, Steven G.Bernard ShawThe Search For Love 1856-1898Holroyd, MichaelModern Critical ViewsGeorge Bernard ShawBloom, Harold


George Bernard Shaw's opinion on existance




Drama is a representational art, a visible and audible narrative presenting virtual, fictional characters within a virtual, fictional universe.A play script is an open text from which an infinity of specific realizations may be derived, while books are words on a page that the reader must imagne to life in their heads.When you see or read a play, you are told what the character looks like, what the setting looks like, you can see the specific events specifically happening. However, in books you must imagine it all for yourself; the characters, the setting, the feelings, etc.


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