George Bernard Shaw
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3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  1,092 ratings  ·  48 reviews
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Published November 30th 2010 by Quality Classics (first published 1898)
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Chekhov wrote his realist stories between drinks at parties in his home, taking inspiration from the characters around him to create a world of small, short-sighted people who seem real through a combination of meanness and absurdity. They are dull enough to have the problems of a normal person, but eccentric enough to come off as individuals instead of simply mouthpieces or archetypes.

Shaw sometimes works along the same lines, but his approach to absurdity is much grander, and will not yield to...more
Being an admirer of Bernard Shaw's witticisms in his social commentary plays like Pygmalion, Apple Cart, Man and Superman and Saint Joan, I was pleasantly surprised to find this heart-warming, whimsical turn by Mr Sarcastic himself. As the parson and the eighteen-year-old poet crossed swords I felt myself troubled by the tense situations (unlike his more famous plays where one can appreciate the comedy in the fast dialogue) and when Candida spoke I felt myself calm down. How is it that Bernard S...more
Ramona Tudor
- spooilers -

I cannot help myself but love this story. At first, it quite annoyed me and I was a little bit scared by its following. I thought, in some or another sequence, that it will end like Ibsen's piece of work. And I got scared because, however, I didn't want Candida to be separated from the lovely Morell.He was, for me, the only agreeable and dear character from this story and I have quite fancied with him - even though I cannot find a serious and real explanation for the matter. I have...more
Momina Masood
I think I'll grow to like this play better as I sift through more of its criticisms and interpretations. There were naturalistic splashes across the character of Marchbanks, and similar tints to Candida, as well, though I don't know how many others noticed them, or if they were there at all. But something made me cry out inside while reading Marchbanks' lines - 'what has the naturalist got against moral convictions, and why?!' But I surrender this thought; it being a tad irrelevant.

"The play is...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

The CCLaP 100: In which I read a hundred so-called "classics" for the first time, then write reports on whether they deserve the label

Book #19: Candida, by George Bernard Shaw (1898)

The story in a nutshell:
As one of many "comedies of manners" from the Victorian- and Edwardian-era playwright George Ber...more
Sep 05, 2014 Bt rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Eh...
I found the play engaging, but I was dissatisfied with it overall. I found all of the characters a bit hard to like, and the ending was pretty predictable; (view spoiler) The storyline is rather thin and the play wasn’t funny (it’s supposed to be a comedy?), but Shaw’s snappy dialogue does make it a pretty good read. I do enjoy the message/theme: (view spoiler)...more
Dean Anderson
One of the great things about Shaw is that though I almost always disagree with his philosophy, I've always found him entertaining. Until this play. A distinction of GBS as a playwright is the ability to take what would seem to be unlikable characters (a coward, a snob, a sloth, an arms dealer) and allows them to offer up witty and thoughtful amusements for their actions. One can see both sides of an argument and the reader (or playgoer) finds sympathy switching back and forth between the protag...more
From BBC Radio 4 Extra:
The life of a vicar's wife is turned upside down by a young poet. Romantic comedy from George Bernard Shaw with Hannah Gordon, Edward Petherbridge and Christopher Guard in a production first broadcast in August 1977 and directed by Ronald Mason.
Good, but not great. This play is surprisingly shallow for Shaw. It is a nice story about loving relationships, but only one of the characters is challenged in any way and the whole play feels a little slight.

I guess I was just expecting more.
William Dearth
Excellent! There is much more detail of character expression than I am used to.
Am so eager to know who would Candida choose if she was to select between her husband & NOT a teenager! What if she was to choose someone like Bluntschli? I mean one who is mature & experienced, romantic, caring & understanding at the same time.
For me Eugene is so immature & naive. He's only 18! How can he be a challenge or a rival to Morell? This, I didn't understand.
SO I think we can never compare it to Ibsen's A Doll's House. That is a masterpiece. A shock. But not this one....more
The Algebra Has a Devil for a Sidekick

This award-winning play looks a lot like loading cans into the truck of a car, except the storyline is as follows: Through an elaborate scheme Arthur plots to get even with the Johnsons and get his money back. Imagine my despair when Mr. Mondegreen informed me that I had just basically read a play that mirrors the plot for Arthur 2: On the Rocks.

Have you met Mr. Mondegreen? He's an eventual graduate of Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary. I can easily de...more
Mmmmmm. Not sure that I should rate this play, as I suspect my appreciation of G.B.S.'s intentions are confused. Part of the problem is that relevant points of characterisation do not emerge through the spoken word, but through stage directions - not all translatable into action. For instance, it is intimated in Act I via stage directions that neither Morell nor Candida are likely to appreciate the art of the Titian painting dominating the wall in the study, but this fact - which makes clear at...more
MARCHBANKS: I know. You feel that you could love anybody that offered–
PROSERPINE (exasperated): Anybody that offered! No, I do not. What do you take me for?
MARCHBANKS (discouraged): No use. You won't make me real answers – only those things that everybody says.

MARCHBANKS (hopelessly): Nothing that's worth saying is proper.

One of the biggest realizations I’ve had this past year is that there are relationship people and single people. Relationship people continue to be so even when they are single...more
Matthew Dunleavy

I have been aware of Bernard Shaw for quite a long time but, for one reason or another, I have never got around to reading or watching one of his plays. However, that all changed as I read Candida (122 pages).

The story centres around a situation that has been around as long as story telling has (that’s just an educated estimation!); two men fighting over one woman. The woman in question is Candida and the two men are Reverend James Morrell (Candida’s current h...more
Here: 3 distinct attitudes toward marriage. Alas, this is not as good as the outstanding "Arms and the Man," nor, for that matter, the tepid "Mrs. Warren's Profession." It is regarded as "brilliantly plotted"; with one, or perhaps THE, most masterfully-plotted play. Also, it was what Shaw considered to be his favorite. But I was not moved by Candida. Perhaps it is the title that is to blame--being so closely related to that favorite of mine, Voltaire's "Candide" my expectations were... different...more
Candida is a play where one observes two characters hold different sentiments for a woman. juvenile love and marriage bond. Where the husband of the woman feels that in marriage a woman has some duties to follow, which the juvenile lover of the woman consider it as slavery. However its up on the woman to decide whom is right for her to indulge her love.
The dialogues are witty. I enjoyed it.
Bernard Shaw was obviously a good writer. Epistemologically, I opposed his view, upon businessman being the most selfish human being who doesn't deserve to be happy, unless they share their wealth to the poor. While, at the same time praising altruism. And in order to be happy in life is to give what you have to those needy. A socialist agenda I see.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'll start with the caveat that I'm a novice when it comes to plays, but that said, this was a thoroughly captivating work that I was able to finish in about 2 hours. It was light but dealt with weighty themes (love, relationships, sexism, etc.). The psychological insights were poignant, if not entirely subtle. I read this only with an idea of getting a better grasp on Shaw, but admittedly was not very enticed by the description of the play. After all of that I was very pleasantly surprised by t...more
Candida is a work of the Nobel Prize-winning playwright George Bernard Shaw. The play is a critique on the Victorian era, when family duty is paramount, as against to the choice made by the protagonist in Ibsen's A Doll's House.
This is the first G.B. Shaw book that I've ever read. As an introduction to his plays I really quite enjoyed it. The simplicity of the setting, the two-dimensionality of the characters, the almost clichéd plot make for one of the easiest plays I've ever read. I have always had a hard time visualising plays, something to do with the format they are written in, but in this case it was easy to imagine the stage setting, to see the characters in my head, even to hear them speak in the case of Mr. Bu...more
Paul Dinger
Candidia is the free spirit wife of a minister totally devoted to the social gospel, but she would gladly be the lover of a local younger poet who is devoted to her. But would she stay? Written for a society that was devoted to marriage, Shaw gives us a marriage that is anything but conventional and yet somehow works. One can really see the influence of Ibsen on this play, especially in the character of Candidia, she is Nora from the Doll's House who somehow marries again, only this time she won...more
Timothy Morrow
This comedic tale was very entertaining. The banter between the two male leads was dramatic and hypnotyzing. I could not stop reading. The story centers on the theme of love within each character. Each character had their own unique love towards another character. It was quite a read. I am happpy for the ending, though as someone who could relate to Eugene, I was a little glum.Regardless if the ending this play was a delight and then some! Timothy~
3 1/2 Stars. I definitely enjoyed this play more than the previous Shaw play I read. Although I still didn't feel a deep affinity for any of the characters, I found them on the whole much more intriguing and as a whole more likeable. The plot unexpectedly excited me so that I eagerly pressed towards the ending. I look forward to diving deeper into the meaning of this play.
The only Bernard Shaw play that I have seen in person, this was a delight to read. During the actual play itself, some of the dialogue and settings passed me by at too rapid a pace to savor and take in. Witty repartees and a tight fast moving plot make this play memorable, even in written, not acted form.
Saw this performed years ago, when I was around the age of the character Marchbanks, and it made a huge impression on my adolescent self. Having finally read it, some 35 years on, I can see why I would have liked it the way I did, but could not recapture the reaction (fortunately, I suppose).
Last year, this book saved me from the sombreness and nausia of a long flight from Colorado to New York. Candida is one of Shaw's hidden gems. It's perpetually hilarious how "things fall apart" in this play! Do check it out!
Maiken Wiese
Candida is an extraordinary literary figure. An incredibly progressive woman; charming, motherly, intelligent, affectionate and not afraid to ask for what she wants. And what she wants is not typical.

Humorous & entertaining. I needed to read a play as part of my summer reading challenge. To my surprise, I read this from start to finish in one sitting. What a pleasant way to kick off summer.
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George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright, socialist, and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama. Over the course of his life he wrote more than 60 plays. Nearly all his plays address prevailing social problems, but...more
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“We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.” 73 likes
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