Read Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw Online


In the opening scene of Arms and the Man, which establishes the play's embattled Balkan setting, young Raina learns of her suitor's heroic exploits in combat. She rhapsodizes that it is "a glorious world for women who can see its glory and men who can act its romance!" Soon, however, such romantic falsifications of love and warfare are brilliantly and at times hilariouslyIn the opening scene of Arms and the Man, which establishes the play's embattled Balkan setting, young Raina learns of her suitor's heroic exploits in combat. She rhapsodizes that it is "a glorious world for women who can see its glory and men who can act its romance!" Soon, however, such romantic falsifications of love and warfare are brilliantly and at times hilariously unmasked in a comedy that reveals George Bernard Shaw at his best as an acute social observer and witty provocateur. First produced on the London stage in 1894, Arms and the Man continues to be among the most performed of Shaw’s plays around the world. The play is reprinted in its entirety here from an authoritative British edition, and is complete with Shaw's stimulating preface to Volume II of Plays: Pleasant and Unpleasant....

Title : Arms and the Man
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780486264769
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 80 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Arms and the Man Reviews

  • Fabian
    2019-01-13 11:55

    Oh yes... & NOW the Nobel prize seems pretty adequate.It is awesome to see how Shaw has honed his skill considerably (both "Widower's Houses" and "Mrs. Warren's Profession", written a few years before this one, are slightly more pedantic and the characters are less likeable, albeit, antiromantic/real). "Arms and the Man" is finally where we see the full roundedness of all the immoral characters--though this one finally has a man who is less interested in war than surviving it--who is dashing and brave... unconventional. There is a slight inclination for the romantic--the lovers quarrel and "make love" while the central issue is played out. Also--finally--comedy! Now we can understand why Shaw is Wilde's earnest contemporary.This "mock epic" (it's title is derived from the opening in "The Aenid") takes the reader from romance to realism, and somehow back again. It is complex--in both plot and character. The attack on idealism, which is what Shaw was truly all about, is ever present here. The story is colorful and very entertaining. This is obviously nearing "Pygmalion" territory... A very good play.

  • Kenny
    2019-01-06 09:10

    Another entry in my Shaw reading project. One of the most charming, witty romantic comedies ever written with an irreverent twist.Stuck in a backwater town, Raina Petkoff craves more out of life. Having read every book in the library, including all the romance novels, she’s sure there is more in store for her­ ­~~ she wants adventure, she wants love, she wants to get out of town. So, when a charming Swiss soldier on the hop from the battlefield clambers into her bedroom, what’s a clever, practical-minded girl to do? Offer him sanctuary, feed him chocolate and fall in love. It’s only natural.The problem is, she’s already engaged. To the most eligible man in town. Raina needs to decide if she stays true to her gallant fiancé, or if she elopes with this dashing, mysterious stranger.In true Bernard Shaw style, this is more than your average love triangle. Keeping plenty of room for irony, comedy, parental concern and a saucy sub-plot, Arms and the Man is also a playful, piercing satire on vanity and false heroism.So, does the battlefield hero conquer her heart, or will he with the most chocolate win?

  • BillKerwin
    2018-12-23 14:17

    Arms and the Man is Bernard Shaw’s first great play. It is filled with witty and amusing dialogue, a diverting and well-constructed plot, and charming, well differentiated characters. A perfect light comedy designed to amuse the most jaded audience, it is also a deadly serious play that launches a fierce attack on one of the most destructive beliefs of Shaw’s (and any other) time: that war is heroic and magnificent, and that the gallant soldier is the supreme icon of manhood, something to be esteemed and admired.The play, set during the Serbian-Bulgarian War of 1885, is the story of the encounter between Raina, a Bulgarian maiden engaged to the young officer Sergius, and the veteran Captain Buntschli, a Swiss mercenary in the pay of the Serbians, who escapes capture after a battle by hiding out in Raina’s bedroom. Frightened at first, Raina soon views the captain with contempt, compared to her brave fiancee, for he seems fearful and not at all professional: for example, he carries chocolate in his ammunition bag. (“You can always tell an old soldier by the inside of his holsters and cartridge boxes.” Buntschli says. “The young ones carry pistols and cartridges ; the old ones, grub.”) Soon the Swiss captain rejoins his regiment, Sergius returns from the war, and then—following Captain Buntschli’s unexpected return—Raina begins to realize that perhaps her “chocolate soldier” (as she fondly calls him) may be the best man after all.I’ll end with two passages from the first act. In the first, Raina’s mother Catherine describes Sergius’ heroic charge of the enemy battery. In the second, Captain Buntschli describes the same event from the enemy point of view.CATHARINE:”Sergius is the hero of the hour, the idol of the regiment...You cant guess how splendid it is. A cavalry charge ! think of that ! He defied our Russian commanders, acted without orders, led a charge on his own responsibility headed it himself, was the first man to sweep through their guns. Cant you see it, Raina : our gallant splendid Bulgarians with their swords and eyes flashing, thundering down like an avalanche and scattering the wretched Servians and their dandified Austrian officers like chaff...Oh, if you have a drop of Bulgarian blood in your veins, you will worship him when he comes back.” CAPTAIN BUNTSCHLI: “He did it like an operatic tenor, a regular handsome fellow, with flashing eyes and lovely moustache, shouting his war-cry and charging like Don Quixote at the windmills. We nearly burst with laughter at him; but when the sergeant ran up as white as a sheet, and told us theyd sent us the wrong cartridges, and that we couldn’t fire a shot for the next ten minutes, we laughed at the other side of our mouths. I never felt so sick in my life; though Ive been in one or two very tight places. And I hadnt even a revolver cartridge, nothing but chocolate. We'd no bayonets, nothing. Of course, they just cut us to bits. And there was Don Quixote flourishing like a drum major, thinking he'd done the cleverest thing ever known, whereas he ought to be courtmartialled for it. Of all the fools ever let loose on a field of battle, that man must be the very maddest. He and his regiment simply committed suicide only the pistol missed fire: that’s all.”

  • David Sarkies
    2019-01-10 13:00

    Reinventing the War Hero6 December 2015 If we don't count the National Theatre version of Man and Superman that I watched in the cinema this would be the first Shavian play that I have seen performed (though I would add the word live considering the National Theatre version was videoed and then distributed around the world, which I have to say is really cool because it means that I get to see some awesome productions that I would not normally get to see – though I did end up missing out on the Benedict Cumberbach version of Hamlet simply because it was sold out when I decided to book some tickets). It is a bit of a shame that Shaw isn't performed all that much any more, especially since he was the second most popular playwrights of the early Twentieth Century (with only Shakespeare, not surprisingly, eclipsing him). Mind you, I don't go out of my way to see any modern productions, probably more because I'm a bit of a theatre snob. Arms and the Man was Shaw's first commercial success, namely because his first play was a flop (he was being way too political, and theatre goers tend to prefer a lot more subtly – namely by having it go over their head) and the next two were censored because, well, this was Victorian England and things were censored at a drop of a hat. So it seems that after three failures, Shaw learnt his lesson, and while the play does espouse his socialist views, they did to sit in the background as opposed to being front and centre. Basically Shaw turns the idea of the noble soldier on it's head. In fact the story was quiet forward looking considering it was written in the 1890s and the horrors of World War I (where people signed up in droves to become heroes) where yet to fully manifest themselves. However we still see glimpses of this dichotomy, with the main character being a soldier who believes that staying alive is much more advantageous than it is to kill as many people as possible. In fact he believes that the most important thing that a soldier should carry is food as opposed to a loaded gun, and he has no qualms in running away if it means that he gets to fight again. Bluntschli is in fact the antithesis of what one would consider to be a great soldier, but unlike other soldiers, who had been cut down on the field, he is still alive. Sure, he takes the name 'the Chocolate Cream Soldier', which is actually a derision within the military (it means that they are soft and no good for the battlefield) but the heroine, Rania, still loves him. To her the Chocolate Cream Soldier is much more romantic than Sergius, her philandering fiance, who happened to lead a successful cavalry charge against a machine-gun bunker. Well, it was successful only because the machine-gunners were given the wrong ammunition, but then again they didn't need to know that, and nobody else really cares anyway – they won and that is all that counts. It is interesting to see this dichotomy within the military. Everybody wants to lead the cavalry charge because that is the glorious and honourable position, however nobody actually wants to be first because that means that they are alone amongst the enemy without any backup. In fact it appears that the most effective part of the cavalry charge is the charge itself, which is not surprising considering we are talking about a bunch of horses all pounding towards the enemy. However, as Shaw points out, it's like flinging peas at a window – as the peas fly towards the window they have momentum, however when they strike that window they all splatter. The other thing he points out is that once the horses reach the enemy they have to stop, but the horse wants to continue running through – most of the injuries, Shaw suggests, comes from riders pulling their horses back so that they might engage the enemy. Anyway, I think I'll leave it there because, as I have mentioned, I saw this play performed earlier this year and have already written about it extensively on my blog.

  • Prof. MohamedShareef
    2019-01-20 09:08

    Teaching Bernard ShawPaper presented at Kerala University, TrivandrumMarch 1999Teaching the plays of George Bernard Shaw to the undergraduate students of Kerala state, India is not an easy task. Taking into consideration the poor exposure to English literature that the students have got during the twelve years of their schooling, any piece of literature poses a serious challenge before the teacher.The undergraduate students of Kerala are not very well exposed to English literature. In the high schools classes of Kerala, English classes are not always handled by graduates in literature. According to the whims and fancies of the headmaster, teachers of biology or chemistry are very often sent to teach English to students of the eighth, the ninth and the tenth standards. These ‘guest-teachers’ are quite incapable of explaining a piece of literature with reference to the author and his or her background. They simply resort to reading the lessons and giving the word-meanings in simple vernacular.At the higher-secondary level, the classes are handled by post-graduate hands. But at this level, there is no emphasis in having a detailed study of English literature. The teachers just resort to prepare the students to get a pass minimum in the General English examinations. The students very often ignore English classes and pay more attention to their optional subjects—science, history or commerce according to which stream whey have joined.Most of the Indian universities prescribe the plays of George Bernard Shaw as an ingredient of General English ("Part-I English") for undergraduate courses in science, commerce and humanities. I have been teaching George Bernard Shaw for the last ten years (from1988 to 1998) to the first year B.Sc. students of Sir Syed College, Taliparamba which is affiliated to the University of Cannanore. The students weren’t backward as such; They had completed their higher-secondary courses and they came out in flying colours. They were the best in the campus as the students of Physics and Chemistry were generally considered the most intelligent ones in the whole group. The problem begins in the very first class when the teacher starts giving them a general introduction to English drama. They had certainly heard of William Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw, but nothing more than that. They haven’t read a single play of Bernard Shaw or Shakespeare for that matter. They haven’t even come across the Charles Lamb version of Shakespeare.A serious writer like George Bernard Shaw demands a lot of sincerity from the teacher’s part. The teacher has to explain in detail the age of Bernard Shaw and the historical, cultural and social peculiarities of that age. The teachershould continuously remind himself that these science students are simple novices in the field of literature. The teacher shouldn’t take anything for granted. Even the simplest kind of reference should be explained with lucidity.The preface to the Plays Pleasant is a hard thing for the non-literature student. The teacher should take a lot of pains to guide the student through the maze of philosophical suggestions and innovative ideas contained in the preface. Expressions of George Bernard Shaw like "the obvious conflicts of unmistakable good with unmistakable evil can only supply the crude drama of villain and hero in which some absolute point of view is taken….In such wares I do not deal", sounds Latin to the poor science students of Kerala. At every stage the teacher has to take into account the standard and level of the students from various perspectives. He has to remind himself again and again the undergraduate status of the students and the little exposure they have got to this kind of prose during their twelve years of schooling.After finishing the preface you enter the real text— the play Arms and the Man. Things are much easier now, at least comparatively. You feel like a train emerging

  • Veronique
    2019-01-16 10:03

    Having loved Pygmalion, I wanted to try something else from Shaw.Arms and the Man seems at first just a charming comedy full of humour, but under the guise of entertaining us this is really a witty satire deconstructing the romantic concepts of military heroism and love.The play, which was produced in 1894 and published in 1898, takes place at the end of a short Bulgarian-Serbian war. A lady shelters a war-weary Swiss mercenary who surprises her with his admission to fearing death and to preferring chocolate to cartridges, in sharp contrast to her reckless fiancé, who she idealises both as a soldier and lover.The usual farcical entanglements and misunderstandings take place to great humour while heroic ideals are contrasted with realistic depiction of war, and Victorian Love is shown for its ridicule.Shaw creates a colourful cast, with philandering fiancés, insolent maids, feisty heroines, but it is the "chocolate-cream soldier" who steals the show. Captain Bluntschli is really a brilliant character, endearing in his practical view of life.A whimsical play, both entertaining and thought-provoking. I'll definitely be reading more of Shaw!

  • ~Sara~
    2019-01-10 11:49

    I have yet to read anything by Shaw that I didn't like and this play was no exception. There were several parts of this play that had me laughing out loud. One of my favourites is when Raina is trying to show Bluntschli that she is not an ignorant country girl, but a civilized person:Raina: You shewed great ignorance in thinking that it was necessary to climb up the balcony...There is a flight of stairs inside to get up and down by.The Man (Bluntschli): Stairs! How grand! You live in great luxury indeed, dear young lady.Her claims to civility only emphasize her own ignorance, especially in light of the nature of the man she is explaining them to. This is what I love most about Shaw; his characters remain likeable even when they are arrogant, ridiculous, or in many other ways flawed.

  • Lina AL Ojaili
    2019-01-15 12:13

    للمسرحية فكرتين رئيسيتين : الحرب و الزواج

  • Sierra Abrams
    2019-01-14 12:58

    In the opening scene of Arms and the Man, which establishes the play’s embattled Balkan setting, young Raina learns of her suitor’s heroic exploits in combat. She rhapsodizes that it is “a glorious world for women who can see its glory and men who can act its romance!” Soon, however, such romantic falsifications of love and warfare are brilliantly and at times hilariously unmasked in a comedy that reveals George Bernard Shaw at his best as an acute social observer and witty provocateur.– From the back of the Dover Thrift Edition_________________________________________________I honestly had no desire to read this book. I was going to read it for school, but I most definitely wasn’t excited about it. I’d read the back about three times but could never remember what it was about and didn’t really care to. But I am so, SO glad I read this book. It was witty, adventurous, and “romantic”. Shaw’s intention was to make fun of romance, in a way, but I still thought the romance was adorable. Because I’m cheesy like that.Favorite character: Sergius, despite his idiocy. He was hilarious, because of his idiocy. He’s a gentleman in high society and a rogue at heart. Raina comes in as a close second and so does the Swiss.Favorite aspect: The Swiss’s affect on the story. “Chocolate cream soldier”!One word to sum it up: Two-timing. Trust me, this is a good thing! You’d have to read it to understand what I mean.And do I want you to read it?Answer: YES!

  • نقد روز
    2019-01-03 09:00

    نمایشنامه سرباز شکلاتی با دیدگاهی خیال پردازانه و عاطفی نسبت به جنگ، به ويژه در شخصیت رینا و سرگیوس آغاز می شود. آن‌ها با تجربیاتی که به دست می آورند و درس‌هایی که از بلونکلی می آموزند، متوجه می شوند که جنگ چیز باشکوهی نیست.واقعیت جنگرینا و سرگیوس تفکراتشان نسبت به جنگ را از کتاب‌ها به دست آورده اند. آن‌ها از سلحشوران و بانوها، مبارزات بر سر شرافت و کسب افتخار صحبت می کنند. سرگیوس می‌گوید که جنگ همچون یک مسابقه است. از دیدگاه جنگ مدرن، افکار او درمورد هدایت و کنترل یک سواره نظام اشتباه بود، چون اسب ها نمی‌توانند در برابر توپ ها و سلاح های جدید مقاومت کنند و دیگر کارایی ندارند. سرگیوس از جوخه اش انصراف می‌دهد و بیرون می‌آید، ناامید و دلسرد شده است از اینکه دیگر سربازان او را جدی نمی گیرند. او نمی‌خواهد وارد بازی این جنگ مدرن شود و شاکی است که همه این‌ها هدفی تجاری در پشت دارد.کاترین پتکوف درگیر تفکری قدیمی تر درمورد جنگ و میهن پرستی است. وقتی که صلح اعلام می‌شود او ناراحت است و به هم می ریزد، از همسرش می‌پرسد: «آیا امکان داشت صربستان را ضمیمه کشور کنند و شاهزاده الکساندر پادشاه بالکان شود». سرگرد پتکوف توضیح می‌دهد که آن‌ها می بایست ابتدا بر اتریش (متحدان صربستان) مسلط شوند. کاترین نمی‌داند که واقعیت جنگ چیست و چه هزینه ها و تاثیراتی دارد. افکار و دیدگاه او همچون رینا بسیار سطحی هستند. این دو وقتی اخبار پیروزی ها در شهر اسلیونیتسا را و قهرمانی های سرگیو را می شنوند، بسیار هیجان‌زده می شوند. کاترین سرگیوس را می ستاید و در تلاش است همسرش را متقاعد به دادن ترفیع درجه او کند. سرگرد پتکوف می‌گوید که سرگیوس نمی تواند ترفیع درجه پیدا کند چون همه می‌دانند عجول است و هنوز این شایستگی را ندارد.بلونکی سعی دارد رینا را با این واقعیت روبه رو کند که اگر بلغاری ها او را در اتاقش بیابند، جلوی چشمانش سلاخی خواهد شد و همه جا را خون خواهد گرفت. از مادر رینا خواهش می‌کند که چیزی برای خوردن و جایی برای خوابیدن برایش آماده کند. اعتراف می‌کند که ترسیده است چون از سه روز پیش نخوابیده است. در این قسمت رینا بسیار شجاعانه و قهرمانانه برای نجات او تلاش می کند..ادامه نقد در سایت نقد روز:

  • Melissa Rudder
    2019-01-16 08:56

    The best compliment that I can give George Bernard Shaw's Arms and the Man is that, when I assigned it at the beginning of May, most of my Honors British Literature class read it. I suppose you can only really understand the weight of that compliment if you have attempted to teach high school seniors a few weeks before graduation. (They generally don't have the attention span to finish writing "Don't ever change" in their friends' yearbooks.) But Shaw's play somehow got and kept their attention. Arms and the Man takes a unique perspective on the age old questions of love and warfare and, in doing so, entertains and captivates its reader.Shaw had me as early as his preface to Volume II of Plays: Pleasant and Unpleasant. His assertion that romance is "the great heresy to be swept off from art and life... the food of modern pessimism and the bane of modern self-respect" is an unexpected way to introduce his comedies, or "pleasant" plays. It's true: Arms and the Man strives to wipe the Romance out of love and warfare--not in the jaded, soggy way of Ernest Hemingway's Farewell to Arms, but, indeed, in a "pleasant" way, so that the play eventually asks the reader the same question that one man poses to his defeated rival: "But now that youve found that life isnt a farce, but something quite sensible and serious, what further obstacle is there to your happiness?"Perhaps it is this element of jovial realism that makes the ending of Shaw's play so much more palatable for me than the ending of most other comedies. From the central resolution to the play's last beat, I was left with the satisfying conviction that nothing could improve upon the ending--it was emotionally and intellectually a lovely finish.Shaw's play is both entertaining and edifying, stripping its audience members of their rosy-eyed views on war, love, and class, and yet not sadistically eager, like so many Modern texts, to strip them entirely of their optimism."There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it." (from "Preface")"The trith is that dramatic invention is the first effort of man to become intellectually conscious." (from "Preface")

  • Joy H.
    2019-01-04 10:00

    Added 6/16/13.I watched "Arms and the Man" via a Netflix DVD (1987). It stars Helena Bonham Carter. did not read the original a play (a comedy) by George Bernard Shaw:Arms and the Man (1894). story takes place during the 1885 Serbo-Bulgarian War."Bonham's character hides a soldier in her "chambers" and the story goes on from there. It's a bit wordy and melodramatic but I suppose that was the style back in the 1890's.To me it seemed very silly. But I stuck with it because it's considered a classic and I had always heard the name but never knew what it was about.I usually love romantic comedies but this one seemed corny to me. Perhaps it was the acting. The casting could have been better, IMO.6/17/13:I've been thinking about why we might nowadays consider the theme of Arms and the Man silly. We no longer have the strong class distinctions which were prevalent in the late 1800's when the play was written. The play was actually making fun of those silly class distinctions. Shaw was way ahead of his time in seeing how silly they were. So he wrote a play which pointed out the culture's senseless restrictions, especially when love wasn't considered a necessary requirement for marriage.The book description at says: "Like his other works, Arms and the Man questions conventional values and uses war and love as his satirical targets." ARE LINKS TO SUMMARIES OF THIS PLAY: "title comes from the opening words of Virgil's Aeneid in Latin: "Arma virumque cano" (I sing of arms and the man)."

  • Huda Aweys
    2018-12-28 10:13

    على خطى توليستوي في (الحرب و السلام) ، بيسير برنارد شو هنا في مسرحيته (الإنسان و السلاح) ، على طريق تعرية أخلاق الحرب و البطولة الزائفة و الإصطناع، في مقابل الإنتصار للرومانسية الواقعية ! المسرحية بتدور أحداثها في بلغاريا سنة 1885 وقت نشوب الحرب الصربية-البلغارية***** بلونتشلي : ... تذكري أنني ضابط . برأيك ما هما الشيئان اللذان يحدثان لجندي دون أن يهتم بهما ؟ ، الشئ الأول هو أن يسمع الناس يقولون الأكاذيب ، و الثاني أن تنقذ حياته بأي طريقة ممكنة و من قبل أي واحد من الناس ..رايينا : .. بهذا يصبح مخلوقا غير مؤهل للثقة و العرفان بالجميل .

  • ☯Emily
    2018-12-23 12:16

    Do you question the value of war? How do you view heroes? Do you believe a man in uniform is smarter, braver, and more manly than the one who isn't in uniform? Read how Shaw portrays wars, heroes, and the man in uniform. I found this satirical comedy by Shaw to be hilarious. Others might not. I can't wait to see it performed!

  • Phillip
    2018-12-22 10:00

    This is one of my favorite plays. I had the good fortune to see a pretty well done production at university, so I already knew the plot and language of the play. This is a superb comedy, right up there with The Importance of Being Earnest, among the best plays of the late Victorian period. This period seems to be (at least to me) the era when dry British humor really came to dominate English comedy and mark it as a distinct and recognizable genre, and Shaw's play definitely maes use of that kind of humor.

  • Christine
    2019-01-15 10:55

    Silly and predictable. Of course English teachers everywhere try to read too much into it. Eh. I liked Bluntschli. But not Raina. She was silly. And Catherine was the best because I read her voice in a very goofy British accent despite the fact that they're all Bulgarian (except, of course, Bluntschli.)

  • Rob Roy
    2018-12-31 15:13

    What a great play. While it makes fun of the military, the chocolate-cream soldier is one I would follow into battle. If you enjoy snooty people getting their due, and love winning out, enjoy. The satire is as pointed today as it was in the 1890s.

  • Eng. Mohmadali
    2019-01-12 12:51

    روعة ..روعة ...مسرحية ذو قيمة فنية عالية جدا...اسلوب راقى للحوار ...مفاهيم صادقة للشجاعة والحرية واحترام الذات

  • Kichi
    2018-12-21 11:11

    19th century cheekiness and charm all throughout. Very enjoyable.

  • Asmaa Hassibah
    2019-01-07 15:17

    It's a great novel by the great writer Bernard Shaw. It shows how the society seems and live at that time. And how the upper classes care only about their appearance and how they look at the lower classes. It opens your eyes about the fake image that the upper classes live in.

  • Realini
    2019-01-01 11:08

    Arms and the Man by George Bernard ShawOn a scale from 1 to 10, this is a six for this readerI used to be so enthusiastic about George Bernard Shaw and now I am so disappointed that my assessment of his plays is surely biased.About twenty years ago, I was so thrilled by his appearance, manner and most of all humor that I thought him one of the best play writers.In the meantime I tend to agree with Maugham who said that both Shaw and Ibsen had benefited greatly from a lucky timing.Their themes became popular and this is why the plays became so famous and their authors so appreciated and acclaimed.But the most severe blow to the image of Shaw was dealt by the revelation that he was supportive of communism beyond common sense.In fact, I am reading History of The Modern World by Paul Johnson, who keeps referring to Shaw and his lies regarding the Soviets.Shaw was defending in the vilest manner the executions of Russia with explanations like - They need to clean the air and get rid of the dangerous counter revolutionaries …or words to that effectIf an n ordinary man falls in the trap of believing propaganda which anyway is brain washing him and then inseminating atrocities, to see a highly intelligent man believing and spreading this kind of crap is terrible.Therefore I changed my mind completely in what regards Bernard Shaw and I regard him as an evil man, with some talent.It is more than subjective and probably wrong of me to judge the dramatist by looking at the mere mortal.- But there it isAs a matter of fact, these are just personal notes and the opinion is not that of a professional critic, who should be read.Instead of reading the opinion of amateurs who held grudges, one is way better off reading professional critics.In other words, I am not even sure if I could have enjoyed the play under different circumstances, without the dislike that I have for the author.But I can’t help thinking of another stupid statement that Shaw made:- On the way into Russia, I threw away the food, just before entering the country- They have food I know thatAnd then in a restaurant for special people, who are more equal than the rest, the silly man points out:- Look, there is nothing we could possibly want that it is not available hereDisgraceful, repellent and abominable!With his fame and influence over people, the big writer has convinced so many that mass murders are…decent peopleTo add insult to injury, in this play Bulgarians are depicted as washing once a week, at least some of their more important people…for sure the masses never wash is the suggestion.My conclusion is that this forgettable and not really worth the trouble.

  • Uthup George
    2019-01-04 17:11

    The plays have a special effect on the readers. We imagine them as plays while we read understanding the dialogues the feelings the expressions. it is as if we are acting all the acts and our heart goes along with the play.And i should assure everyone this play of GB Shaw is a remarkable one, with adventure, beautiful turn of events and above all the sweetness of an English romance. I am not good in rating a play, but i can't give anything less than the best to this.Thank you, GB Shaw and to my brother who shoved this book to me on this Good-friday day

  • Letitia
    2019-01-07 12:55

    Delightfully British in that it's wittily xenophobic, but this is not Shaw's best work, nor his best characters. With stellar performers depth can be added but the roles read haltingly, to ostiff to develop any real sense of the human condition. Shaw deals with the question of nobility and heroism and the honor of common sense admirably, but after seeing his other work, it does not quite measure up.

  • Alyse
    2019-01-16 16:49

    The first time I have read this light-hearted look at the return of soliders from war by one of my favoriate authors - Shaw.The language is typically wonderful. The female characters are well fleshed out and multi-dementional - as we have all become to expect from Shaw.Current soliders to not have the benefit of returning home to such romantic farce and ease of adaption.

  • Haythem Bastawy
    2019-01-05 14:14

    An excellent play by Shaw! The fecundity of war and the hypocrisy and pretentiousness of society have been ridiculed by such a simple and clever plot. The Swiss chocolate cream soldier, captain Blanchly, is a most intriguing character, in my opinion one of the most memorable in modern theatre.

  • Seham
    2018-12-26 09:00

    "I hadnt even a revolver cartridge: only chocolate" ................ ................ " you are right to take this huge imposture of a world coolly"I think I am in love with Bernard shaw works!

  • Sierra
    2018-12-26 12:51

    Coming right off the heels of reading Shaw's "Major Barbara", I found his "Arms and the Man" to be slightly dissatisfying. The characters, although charismatic and amusing, were difficult to relate with and I found myself wondering why they behaved in such a manner. I tried to read this play with the same mind as reading Oscar Wilde, allowing a wide berth for sarcasm and satire, but I found this difficult to do, realizing at the close of Act III (the plays final scene) that I didn't care for any of the characters nor was I pleased that the conflict ended well for them.A play of manners, popular in the late Victorian period, "Arms and the Man" follows the small family unit of the Petkoffs, the wealthiest one of the most respected families in Bulgaria. The play opens in Raina's bedroom and we are introduced to our heroine standing in expensive furs on her balcony. The entrance of her mother, Catherine, affords us knowledge of Raina's engagement to a Bulgarian Captain, Sergius Saranoff, and Raina is allowed to extoll her romantic ideals of the heroism of war. We learn from a recalcitrant maid-servant, Louka, that the fleeing Serbians (escaping the pursuit of the Bulgarian army)are making their way through the town and gunfire is to be expected in the streets. Raina, drawing her shutters and climbing into bed, is left by her mother and maid only to be joined moments later, amidst a chaos of gunfire, by a fugitive Swiss Captain who threatens her with his pistol and seizes her fur coat, chiding her that she cannot call for help for she will be shamed in her state of undress. Then with little conversation and the return of her cloak, Raina decides to hide the invader behind a curtain. A Bulgarian soldier enters the room and Raina lies that no one has come in. After they are alone again, Raina feeds the stranger some candy-- an act which inspires her to nickname him "the chocolate cream soldier". She then employs her mother to help the man escape the next morning with her father's borrowed coat.In the next act we are joined by Raina's finacee and her father, both disgruntled at having to acquiesce to a peace treaty between Serbia and Bulgaria. Raina's and Catherine's rouse all falls apart when the Swiss soldier, Bluntschi, arrives to return the borrowed coat. We discover Saranoff is having a love affair with the servant Louka, and Louka is cheating on her servant fiancee Nicola with the engaged general. We read along with interest as Bluntschi is transformed from civil former-enemy to a gentlemanly voice of reason amongst the chaotic and impulsive members of the Petkoff house.By the end, Raina has broken off with Saranoff who has engaged himself to Louka whom Nicola has given up in hopes of living his own life and using good references to open up a shop. And Bluntschi, recently orphaned by his hotel-magnet father, proves himself worthy of Raina's hand by quoting his material holdings across Switzerland in the form of almost 1000 hotels he has inherited. The play ends with promises of marriage and no broken hearts. It was downright Shakespearean in its partnering and hastefully happy ending.I closed the thin script and felt somewhat abandoned by the action of the piece. It all seemed to have gone on quite quickly, the conflict never seeming to have reached a crescendo and the conclusion rather flippant. I have no right to complain, as the play was self-described by Shaw as being one of his "Pleasant" plays, but I still felt slightly robbed of a fulfilling read. With "Major Barbara", I laughed and worried, and was struck by Shaw's harsh and intriguing politics and views on war and money, but in "Arms and the Man" my main interest was in how the play relates military etiquette in terms of a war that wouldn't happen for another twenty years from its first performance-- basically, I was reading the scenes as if Shaw somehow knew that Europe was going to be shredded by inhumane war within two decades, but that is mistaking artistic astuteness for psychic foresight. All in all, the play was good and I suppose I need to either re-read it or ferret out a performance so that I may better appreciate why it is such an important part of the dramatic canon.

  • Megan
    2019-01-09 12:49

    This can still be a fun, charming little story, but with a much deeper meaning. Shaw's intentions were to mock the English with a subtle unveiling of truths behind war and class warfare. This seems a bit far-fetched, sure, but if you keep in mind who the playwright was and what he stood for while reading it, I'm sure you'll find it more than a "light" read. Shaw was nearly masking his true agenda and was booed in English theaters once it was realized. Which, personally for me -- my rebellious teen side still flaunts itself -- only makes the play that much more enticing.

  • Suzie Toumeh
    2019-01-18 08:49

    When I found this in my uncle's library, I didn't know who George Bernard Shaw was, but by the time I reached the end, I was very sure that he's going to be one of my favorite playwrights. This play took me on a short adventure with beautiful twists and turn of events, sometimes a little predictable but still it was fun and even hilarious. I really enjoyed reading it. The 3rd and final act was my favorite.Edit: I watched the play and I highly recommend it.

  • Adam Floridia
    2019-01-09 09:16

    I really enjoyed this play and found it to be quite humorous. I want to call it a satire, but really it is the complete opposite. Shaw portrays characters so realistically without exaggerating their flaws, yet his characterization and clever dialogue expose the fact that, as Sergius puts it, "Life's a farce." On a sidenote, I don't recommend this eidtion of the play--quite a few spelling errors/typos.