Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bernard Shaw's "Arms and the Man"

I mostly read tragedy or comic tragedy, so it is delightful to read a play that is genuinely funny, in which everybody ends up married off where they should be, but that is able to get across the big themes, too.

I haven't fully designed my fall syllabus for my lit class, but if I teach a play that examines war and gender roles, "Arms and the Man" will likely replace "Lysistrata."

I was struck, when reading it, by that common theme of Western literary history: the folly of a romantic worldview in the face of reality. It's in Don Quixote, it's in Madame Bovary, it's in a host of other canonical classics, and it's in Shaw.


  1. Will you select some other Greek lit to replace it?

  2. Probably not--it's a general lit course, and as far as I can tell Greek lit is not a requirement for the course. I think I can probably fulfill the objectives of the course without another Greek drama. But we'll see--I won't begin devising the syllabus in earnest until next week.