Introduction & Overview of Man and Superman

This Study Guide consists of approximately 47 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Man and Superman.
This section contains 192 words
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Man and Superman Summary & Study Guide Description

Man and Superman Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading and a Free Quiz on Man and Superman by George Bernard Shaw.

Subtitled "A Comedy and a Philosophy," George Bernard Shaw's Man and Superman is a comedy of ideas: its characters discuss ideas such as capitalism, social reform, male and female roles in courtship, and other existential topics in long speeches that resemble arias in an opera. The play's verbosity makes it unwieldy to produce full scale, so the Epistle in the beginning and the Revolutionist's Handbook at the end are usually not performed, and the scene in Hell, although containing the bulk of the play's philosophical musings, is often dropped.

What is left is basically a light-hearted parlor play demonstrating Shaw's idea of the Life Force, the force that drives women to pursue a mate in order to attempt to produce a Superman. This theory, along with a theory of eugenic breeding to accompany it, preoccupied Shaw for the rest of his life. The theories expounded in the play are full of contradictions, typical of Shaw's writing, and critics have devoted countless books and articles to sorting them out. Early critics called the play tedious and dramatically unsound, but today it is considered a landmark in the genre of the "idea play."

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This section contains 192 words
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Drama for Students
Man and Superman from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.