Plays Pleasant - Arms and the Man & Candida & The Man of Destiny & You Never Can Tell
Published by Penguin
One of Bernard Shaw's most glittering comedies, Arms and the Man is also a burlesque of Victorian attitudes to heroism, war and empire
In the contrast between Bluntschli, the mercenary soldier, and the brave leader, Sergius, the true nature of valour is revealed
The is the definitive text, under the editorial supervision of Dan H. Laurence with an Introduction by W. J. McCormack
Bernard Shaw mocks self-deluding idealism in Candida when the foolish young poet Marchbanks becomes infatuated with the wife of a Socialist preacher
The Man of Destiny is a witty war of words between Napoleon and a 'strange lady'
The last play in the Collection is You Never Can Tell, an exuberant farce, which turns on the chance reunion of a divided family
While Plays Pleasant were intended by Shaw to be gentler comedies than those in their companion volume Plays Unpleasant, their prophetic satire is still sharp and provocative today
As W. J. McCormack writes, 'There is amusement but also unease. His wit unsettles us'