Biography Of George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950). Irish writer, playwright, and politician.
George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin in 1856. He attended a different school in Dublin but developed a deep dislike of the formalized educational system and the widespread use of corporal punishment that was widespread in the day.
After working as an office Clerk in Dublin for several years, around 1876 Shaw moved to London to live with his mother, who lived there. In London Shaw began to read extensively and write his first novel. He also became more committed to socialism’s ideals. He was a member of the Fabian Society and soon became one of the most prominent writers and campaigners, inspiring and assisting activists like Annie Besant. Alongside co-workers Fabians like Sidney Besant and Beatrice Webb, he helped to establish the London School of Economics (LSE) following the receipt of private bequests.
In 1898, he married Charlotte Payne Townshend, a fellow Irish Fabian. The wedding wasn’t finalized and the couple remained unmarried. In 1906, they relocated to Ayot Saint Lawrence, Hertfordshire, and stayed there throughout their lives.
In the late 1890s, Shaw’s plays were staged in London. The money earned from his plays allowed him to dedicate his entire time to writing. Much like his contemporaries, Oscar Wilde his plays were renowned for their sharp comedy and wit. His plays stood in stark contrast to the majority of Victorian dramas that were prone to be sentimental, escapist, and without comedy. Shaw said he was greatly influenced in his work by Henrik Ibsen who helped pioneer more realistic modern drama.
As a fervent Socialist, Shaw infused his plays with his ideas of social justice as well as issues of class. One example is his most popular production Pygmalion (1912-13) (later transformed into a film in the musical My Fair Lady) is a play that addresses the class distinction that was prevalent in British society in the era. But, much to the dismay of Shaw and his audience, his plays were mostly viewed as entertainment, not political criticism.
In addition to playwright, Shaw wrote novels, and short stories, and was a well-known literary critic. He was particularly influential in his critique of the Victorian preference for stage-altered Shakespeare plays.
Biography Of George Bernard Shaw
When the First World War, Shaw was a well-known playwright and his outspoken opposing his opposition to the First World War gained him many criticisms. He believed that the government was attempting to force people into unnecessary wars. He wrote in Heartbreak House (1919) he declared.
“It is believed that each citizen has the power to govern it deserves. This is not the only idea that every government has the voters it deserves and the politicians of the front bench can inspire or discredit an inexperienced electorate at the touch of a button. This is how our democracy operates through a vicious cycle of mutual worthiness and inadequacy.”
While a social democrat, However, he began to be dejected by Western democratic systems. He became more tolerant of non-democratic Communism. He traveled to Stalinist Russia in praise of the country for its opportunities for workers. He said that the Great Depression was worse than anything else in Soviet Russia.
The most popularly acclaimed play is Saint Joan (1923) which focused on the story of Joan of Arc. The play was a part of his Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925. (Nobel Prize)
Shaw was also a proponent of the doctrine of Eugenics as well as a defender of vegetarianism and a supporter of Irish Home Rule. Shaw was not an official participant in any religion. In his description of his religious beliefs, he said:
“(my) beliefs in religion and scientific opinions can’t be at this time more clearly defined than the beliefs of a person who believes in the creative revolution.”
G.B.Shaw Time Magazine
He was close to G.K. Chesterton and was a Church of England converted who converted to Roman Catholicism.
Shaw is best known for his humor. Shaw is among the most popular authors, and his works are often referenced. His wit was the reason for the development of the adjective “Shavian” to refer to Shaw’s similar humor.
“My method of laughing is, to be honest. It’s the best joke ever.”
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