Man and Superman : A Comedy and a Philosophy, Paperback

Man and Superman : A Comedy and a Philosophy Paperback

Edited by Dan H. Laurence

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Shaw began writing "Man and Superman" in 1901 and determined to write a play that would encapsulate the new century's intellectual inheritance.

Shaw drew not only on Byron's verse satire, but also on Shakespeare, the Victorian comedy fashionable in his early life, and from authors from Conan Doyle to Kipling.

In this powerful drama of ideas, Shaw explores the role of the artist, the function of women in society, and his theory of Creative Evolution.

As Stanley Weintraub says in his new introduction, this is 'the first great twentieth-century English play' and remains a classic expose of the eternal struggle between the sexes.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Plays, playscripts
  • ISBN: 9780140437881



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Very engaging for a long, dialogue-heavy play. Despite being sexist in his belief that women have nothing to offer outside of procreation, I generally love the ideas that Shaw puts forth, usually in Tanner's or Don Juan's words. He gives you frequent moments where you have to take a few seconds to think about the implications of a specific comment. And it's wonderful how Tanner turns societal convention and morality on its head by underlining the absurdity of his companions' reactions to various scandals. Probably my favorite line is quite an incidental comment but gives you an idea of Shaw's wit: <blockquote>Tanner: . . . A jealous sense of my new individuality arose in me -<br/>Ann: You hated to be treated as a boy any longer. Poor Jack!<br/>Tanner: Yes, because to be treated as a boy was to be taken on the old footing. I had become a new person; and those who knew the old person laughed at me. The only man who behaved sensibly was my tailor: he took my measure anew every time he saw me, whilst all the rest went on with their old measurements and expected them to fit me.</blockquote>

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