Lady Windermere's Fan Essay

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In the following essay, Nasser argues that George Bernard Shaw modelled his Mrs. Warren on Wilde's Lady Windermere.

After Lady Windermere's Fan was first performed on 20 February 1892, Oscar Wilde found himself a famous playwright. At the time, George Bernard Shaw was struggling to establish himself on the British stage after having failed as a novelist. Mrs. Warren's Profession, his third play, was written in late 1893 and early 1894. Shaw's play is a Shavian reworking of Wilde's, an attempt to squarely face the issues that Wilde sidestepped. In a nutshell, it is Lady Windermere's Fan intellectualized.

The situations of the two plays are remarkably similar, both built around confrontation between a bad mother and an innocent daughter. In both plays, the mother lives on the Continent and the daughter in England, and in both the daughter knows little about her mother and indeed harbors illusions about her. Both daughters confront...

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This section contains 809 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Lady Windermere's Fan Study Guide
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