George Bernard Shaw Writing Styles in Arms and the Man

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Ruritanian Romance

Although already established as a model for romances prior to the publication of Anthony Hope's popular 1894 novel The Prisoner of Zenda, Ruritanian romance takes its name from the imaginary country of Ruritania found in Hope's book. This type of story generally includes intrigue, adventure, sword fights, and star-crossed lovers, ingredients that are all found in Arms and the Man. However, Shaw ultimately attacks this genre by exaggerating the absurdities of the plot and by transforming the typically cookie-cutter characters into people facing reality. He thus inverts the conventions of melodrama and inserts critical commentary into the cleverly funny lines of his play. There is the threat of a sword fight that never comes to fruition, since Bluntschli is too sensible to accept Saranoff's challenge—which illustrates Shaw's belief that dueling is stupid. Romance also plays a big role in Arms and the Man, but, again, Shaw turns...

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This section contains 484 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Arms and the Man Study Guide
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Arms and the Man from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.