Three Plays for Puritans, Paperback

Three Plays for Puritans Paperback

Edited by Dan H. Laurence

4.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Shaw believed that theatre audiences of the 1890s deserved more than the hollow spectacle and sham he saw displayed on the London stage.

But he also recognized that people wanted to be entertained while educated, and to see purpose mixed with pleasure.

In these three plays of ideas, Shaw employed traditional dramatic forms - Victorian melodrama, the history play and the adventure story - to turn received wisdom upside down.

Set during the American War of Independence, "The Devil's Disciple" exposes fake Puritanism and piety, while "Caesar and Cleopatra", a cheeky riposte to Shakespeare, redefines heroism in the character of the ageing Roman leader. And in Captain Brassbound's "Conversion", an expedition in Morocco is saved from disaster by a lady explorer's skilful manipulation of the truth.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Plays, playscripts
  • ISBN: 9780140437928



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I enjoyed these plays. Although none of them struck me quite as deeply as Candida did. I'd like to go back and read Caesar and Cleopatra again after now having read Plutarch's Lives. I remember some of the duplicated scenes and would like to see how Shaw elaborated on what Plutarch wrote. Shaw's research must have included Plutarchs work.

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