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Arms and the Man (eBook)

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One of George Bernard Shaw’s most performed and studied plays, “Arms and the Man” is a classic example of Shaw’s comedic wit. First produced in 1894, the play is set during the Serbo-Bulgarian war and tells the story of Raina Petkoff, a young Bulgarian woman, who is engaged to Sergius, a soldier away at war whom she idolizes. While both her father and fiancé are away fighting, Raina, at home with her mother, has a very innocent and romantic idea of war and soldiers. Her views are challenged when she helps Captain Bluntschli, a Swiss mercenary fighting for the Serbian army, to hide from the Russian and Bulgarian troops. After the war ends and both her father and fiancé return home, Raina comes to see that Sergius is not the hero that she had fantasized him to be and she loses some of her naivete. Captain Bluntschli returns to visit Raina, she and Sergius decide not to marry, and Raina and Bluntschli fall in love instead. While humorous and witty, “Arms and the Man” remains a timely and biting social commentary on the foolishness of romanticizing war as wonderful fun. This edition includes a biographical afterword.

One of George Bernard Shaw’s most performed and studied plays, “Arms and the Man” is a classic example of Shaw’s comedic wit. First produced in 1894, the play is set during the Serbo-Bulgarian war and tells the story of Raina Petkoff, a young Bulgarian woman, who is engaged to Sergius, a soldier away at war whom she idolizes. While both her father and fiancé are away fighting, Raina, at home with her mother, has a very innocent and romantic idea of war and soldiers. Her views are challenged when she helps Captain Bluntschli, a Swiss mercenary fighting for the Serbian army, to hide from the Russian and Bulgarian troops. After the war ends and both her father and fiancé return home, Raina comes to see that Sergius is not the hero that she had fantasized him to be and she loses some of her naivete. Captain Bluntschli returns to visit Raina, she and Sergius decide not to marry, and Raina and Bluntschli fall in love instead. While humorous and witty, “Arms and the Man” remains a timely and biting social commentary on the foolishness of romanticizing war as wonderful fun. This edition includes a biographical afterword.


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by George Bernard Shaw

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