Synopses & Reviews
"I had no taste for what is called popular art, no respect for popular morality, no belief in popular religion, no admiration for popular heroics"
With Plays Unpleasant, therefore, Shaw broke all the rules governing how a playwright should entertain his audience. In Widower's Houses, Harry Trench is engaged to brisk Blanche Sartorius. When he realizes that her father is a slum landlord, Harry questions whether he and Blanche have a future together. Charismatic Leonard Charteris is the philanderer who proposes marriage to Grace, while still involved with the beautiful Julia Craven. But Julia is not inclined to surrender him so easily. In Mrs Warren's Profession, Vivie discovers that her mother's immoral earnings have paid for her genteel upbringing. Will she be able to accept her mother for herself?
These plays, as David Edgar says, deal with "the conflict between youthful ideals and economics realities, the drawbacks of promiscuity and the perils of matrimony, the duties of women to others and themselves, the necessity for and the costs of revolt. What could be more eternal than that?"
The definitive text under the editorial supervision by Dan H. Laurence
With the plays in this 1898 collection-Widower's Houses, The Philanderer, and Mrs. Warren's Profession-Shaw challenges his audiences' moral complacency in the face of serious social problems and inequities.
With Plays Unpleasant, Shaw issued a radical challenge to his audiences' complacency and exposed social evils through his dramatization of the moral conflicts between youthful idealism and economic reality, promiscuity and marriage, and the duties of women to others and to themselves. His first play, Widowers' Houses, depicts Harry Trench's dilemma on learning that the inheritance of his fiancee comes from her father's income as a slum landlord. In The Philanderer, charismatic Leonard Charteris proposes marriage to Grace, while he is still involved with the beautiful Julia Craven - who is not inclined to give him up so easily. And in Mrs Warren's Profession, Vivie Warren is forced to reconsider her own future when she discovers that her mother's immoral earnings funded her genteel upbringing.
The plays collected in this text deal with the conflict between youthful ideas and economic realities, social expansions and the necessity for revolt.
New "PC" edition with introduction by David Edgar.
Table of Contents
Plays Unpleasant Introduction
Mrs. Warren's Profession
Principal Works of Bernard Shaw