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Academic Bulletin English - 2007-08 - 497 ENG 497

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ENG 497 Seminar in English Literature

George Bernard Shaw

This seminar will focus on the kinds of comedy and satire that Shaw developed (and sometimes created) over the 56 years of his career as a playwright. It will also focus on the different but complementary ways Shaw devised to reach his public: performance and publication. Seminar members will research initial productions as well as revivals and how they were received by the public; seminar members will also research the reception of printed versions of plays with specially written prefaces. (Shaw was the first dramatist to assume readers could understand his plays as well or better than performance audiences.) Texts for the seminar will include works like Arms and the Man, Man and Superman, The Doctor's Dilemma, Heartbreak House, Back to Methuselah, Saint Joan, and In King Charles' Golden Days. Looking back over Shaw's career, his contemporary Thomas Mann affirmed: “Convinced that the aesthetic element creative joy is the most effective instrument of enlightened teaching, he tirelessly wielded the shining sword of his word and wit against the most appalling power threatening the triumph of the experiment stupidity.”
Credits: 1

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