George Bernard Shaw – Man and Superman
Man and Superman is a 4 act play written in 1903 by George Bernard Shaw as a direct result from a series of criticisms made by a critic working for The Timesthat Shaw had never written a play based upon the legendary character of Don Juan. However Shaw’s interpretation of the Don Juan myth is completely different to other examples written in the past, ashe bases his book not upon Don Juan himself, but his descendant, Jack Tanner, an advanced socialist and intellectual, and the author of the controversial book entitled “The Revolutionist’s Handbookand Pocket Companion”.
The play opens with the sudden death of the Ann’s, the female protagonist, father, from which the question of her guardianship arises, since in her father’s will she is to bejointly looked after by their soliciter, Ramsden and Jack Tanner, who both have objections to the job. However Ann takes charge of the situation and persuades them both with her feminine charms. Wealso find out Octavius (nicknamed Tavy) is besotted with Ann, to no avail, whereas Jack and Ann had a brief childhood romance. In the first Act it occurs that his sister Violet is pregnant, a horridscandal for the time, especially without a husband. Act Two sees the introduction of Henry Straker, Jack’s chauffeur and friend, he tells Jack of Ann’s feelings for him, which as a result he flees.The third act, which is by far the longest, is seen as the most important act as it brings the first appearance of Don Juan into the play through the dream sequence which Jack and the brigand leaderMendoza share. This Act, named “Don Juan in hell” sees the meeting of Doña Ana and Don Juan in hell, only to be later joined by her father, Don Gonzalo, from heaven depicted still as a statue, andfinally the devil. The scene entails Don Gonzalo expressing his unbearable boredom up in Heaven and his decision to remain in hell instead, with Don Juan taking his vacant space to go on to heaven, with...
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