How Does Bernard Shaw Satirise

When Bernard Shaw was writing 'Arms and the Man' in 1893-1894, Romantic ideals concerning love and war were still widely accepted and considered normal; an attitude that did not change, even with Bernard Shaw's efforts to the contrary, until the dreadful losses of the First World War. Shaw, a socialist, was greatly influenced by Henrik Ibsen who "took social themes, treated them realistically and condemned the crushing effects of society." Shaw continued in this vein, using his humour and wit to criticise "injustice, hypocrisy and self-interest." In 'Arms and the Man' Shaw attacks these ideals of love in a number of ways. He grossly exaggerates (exaggeration being the most important part ...

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ideas to re-emerge at the end.
During the Romantic period exaggeration of things such as love was common, and was, in fact, the basis of the Romantic culture. In ‘Arms and the Man’ there an even greater extent of exaggeration than was common. The characters, the situations and to some extent the plot are all exaggerated in some way. Of the main characters, Sergius, Raina, and Bluntschli, only Bluntschli is not of a highly romantic bearing, and even he might be considered slightly exaggerated in the opposite way.
Sergius is described by Shaw as “a tall, romantically handsome man, with the physical hardihood, the high spirit and the susceptible imagination of an untamed mountaineer chieftain. . . The result is precisely what the advent of nineteenth century thought first produced in England: to wit, Byronism.” Byronsim is derived from the word byronic, which is used to describe someone who is “energetic, melodramatic and romantically ...

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of time.” However, they both still seem to believe that it is true love. Raina believes that her relationship with him is the “one really beautiful and noble part of” her life, while Sergius says that he “loves another woman (Raina), as high above you (Louka) as heaven is above earth.” Shaw exaggerates the actions of the two characters, as well as the fact that they are obviously not in love. He does this best by introducing the affairs between Raina and Bluntschli, and Sergius and Louka.
Raina is obviously attracted to Bluntschli, from the very moment when she gives him her portrait to remember her by, to the moment when she informs her family that she was ...

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How Does Bernard Shaw Satirise. (2008, March 14). Retrieved March 17, 2018, from
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"How Does Bernard Shaw Satirise." March 14, 2008. Accessed March 17, 2018.
"How Does Bernard Shaw Satirise." March 14, 2008. Accessed March 17, 2018.
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Added: 3/14/2008 10:13:05 PM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Free Paper
Words: 1974
Pages: 8

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