George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara

By Harold Bloom | Go to book overview

Skeptical Faith

Margery M. Morgan

Major Barbara has been generally acclaimed as one of Shaw's finest plays. The impact it made on Brecht is indicated by the extent to which it inspired St Joan of the Stockyards. Francis Fergusson's account of it [in The Idea of a Theater] as a "farce of rationalizing," however denigratory in tone, is true to the quicksilver brilliance and buoyancy of the play, as careful analysis cannot be. To attempt such analysis would be misguided if it were not necessary to show that the intellectual intricacy of the dramatic structure is precise, not confused, and that Shaw now handles his ironies with a clarity and control lacking in the comparably ironic Candida.

The mainspring of the play seems to have been provided by Shaw's response to Blake, reinforced by a reading of Nietzsche where he is closest to Blake. The dialectical terms of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell provide the intellectual perspectives of the drama:

Without contraries is no progression. Attraction and repulsion, reason and energy, love and hate, are necessary to human existence.

From these contraries spring what the religions call good and evil. Good is the passive that obeys reason; evil is the active springing from energy.

Good is heaven. Evil is hell.

____________________
From The Shavian Playground. ©1972 by Margery M. Morgan. Methuen, 1972.

-49-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Modern Critical Interpretations *
  • George Bernard Shaw's Major Barbara *
  • Contents *
  • Editor's Note vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Sainthood for Millionaires 13
  • Shaw's Comedy and Major Barbara 33
  • Skeptical Faith 49
  • The Marriage of Contraries 75
  • Shaw's Moral Vision 103
  • Shaw's Own Problem Play 133
  • Shaw's Comedy of Disillusionment 153
  • Chronology 165
  • Contributors 167
  • Bibliography 169
  • Acknowledgments 175
  • Index 177
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 183

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.