Shaw and Feminisms: On Stage and Off by D. A. Hadfield, Jean Reynolds

By D. A. Hadfield, Jean Reynolds

When offstage activities contradict a playwright’s onstage message, literary examine will get messy. In his own relationships, George Bernard Shaw used to be usually ambivalent towards liberated women—surprisingly so, contemplating his popularity as one of many first champions of women’s rights. His deepest attitudes sit down uncomfortably beside his public philosophies that have been so foundational to first-wave feminism.

            the following, Shaw’s long-recognized effect on feminism is reexamined in the course of the lens of twenty-first-century feminist notion in addition to formerly unpublished basic assets. New hyperlinks seem among Shaw’s writings and his gendered notions of physicality, discomfort, functionality, nationalism, authorship, and politics. The book’s archival fabric contains formerly unpublished Shaw correspondence and excerpts from the works of his feminist playwright contemporaries. Shaw and Feminisms explores Shaw’s powerful lady characters, his real-life involvement with ladies, and his carrying on with impression on theater and politics today.

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Extra info for Shaw and Feminisms: On Stage and Off

Example text

Therefore, it is now the passive male body that Shaw will depict as an object. The female athletic body in this play is the active body. The Millionairess is a play about marriage. Therefore, in making the reversal of Epifania to the status of a wealthy male, Shaw allows her the same types of speeches that are traditionally allowed to men. She reflects, “it is convenient to be married. It is respectable. It keeps other men off. It gives me a freedom that I could not enjoy as a single woman” (912).

Myself and My Friends. Keystone Library edition. London: Thornton Butterworth, 1934. McRobbie, Angela. The Aftermath of Feminism: Gender, Culture, and Social Change. London: Sage 2009. Pozner, Jennifer. ” Catching a Wave: Reclaiming Feminism for the 21st Century. Ed. Rory Dickerson and Alison Piepmeier. Boston: Northeastern UP, 2003. 31–56. Reinelt, Janelle. ” Feminist Futures? Ed. Elaine Aston and Geraldine Harris. Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. 17–33. Shaw, Bernard. Getting Married; Press Cuttings.

All Annajanska wishes to do is be free. In her character Shaw demonstrates, as he began to do with Sylvia Craven’s costume some thirty years earlier, that being acrobatically free from her clothes is liberating, as Lina Szczepanowska’s acrobatics inform her passion for independence. The sublime acrobat’s habit for physical liberation cannot tolerate the tyranny of social inferiority and political slavery. The Grand Duchess’s final acrobatic move is metaphoric as she reveals herself to the General as the cross-dressed soldier she was reported to have run away with earlier.

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