Androclo e il leone
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Androclo e il leone

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  317 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Androcles & the Lion is Shaw's retelling of the tale of Androcles, a slave who is saved by the requited mercy of a lion. Shaw portrays Androcles to be one of the many Xians being led to the Colosseum for torture. Characters in the play exemplify several themes & takes on both modern & supposed early Xianity, including cultural clash between Jesus' teachi...more
Hardcover, Biblioteca moderna Mondadori #316, 189 pages
Published 1952 by Mondadori (first published 1912)
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Shaw was a man of conflicts, and though some came from without, the majority were simply Shaw running roughshod over himself. He was quick to adopt new ideas, then vehement in defending them for as long as he kept them--which was rarely very long.

He first fought to abolish censorship, then supported the right of a fascist regime to silence undesirables. He was a lifelong supporter of the people's revolution against economic tyranny, but praised totalitarian rule by both Stalin and Hitler. He con...more
Erik Graff
Feb 13, 2012 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: Ken Bennett
Shelves: drama
I hadn't realized until just a few weeks ago that the tale of Androcles and the lion was current in the Roman Empire, but as a fact, not a fable. A lion actually did spare its intended victim in the Coloseum, apparently showing affection towards him. I found the reference in an academic study of the history of Roman gladitorial contests.
Jason Williams
The bulk of this is not the play, but a dizzying (and I think more enjoyable) literary and historical criticism of the Bible (New Testament mostly). Perhaps half of what he says was with a smirk, but all of it serious to varying degrees.

In some very prominent ways, Shaw can be read alongside Tolstoy's essays on religion and, along with some Romantics, Transcendentalists and Liberationists, they can be very useful perspectives on grassroots and anarcho-Christianity.
Ali Reda
The Emperor is the Defender of the Faith. In throwing you to the lions he will be upholding the interests of religion in Rome. If you were to throw him to the lions, that would no doubt be persecution.

THE CAPTAIN: What is God?
LAVINIA: When we know that, Captain, we shall be gods ourselves.

And from the preface:

The modern practical form of the communism of Jesus is therefore, for the present, equal distribution of the surplus of the national income that is not absorbed by simple communism.

Paul suc...more
David Sarkies
Shaw on the Origins of Christianity
21 September 2009

This play, set in Imperial Rome, is the story of a Christian being thrown to the lions. However, the play is a lot more than just a poor defenceless soul being ripped apart by a ravenous beast, nor is it an attack upon Christianity, but rather a critical look at the church in modern times. The intention of the play seems to be to remind Christians of where they have come from and what they have become.
The play was released in 1913, during a t...more
Tyler Jones
I read this as an ebook - so I seem to have a slightly different edition than my fellow goodreaders, many of whom seem have enjoyed a rather lengthy introduction by GBS in which he dissects the gospels. My cheap little ebook did not include this, but instead tacked on a epilogue in which Shaw chides as all for being just as stupid and cruel as the crowds that filled the Roman forum. I could have done without this tongue lashing - I prefer a play to speak for itself and if the author feels the ne...more
Somehow I missed this brilliant extended essay. Take this gem: " will learn how the same primitive logic which makes the Englishman believe today that by eating a beefsteak he can acquire the strength and courage of the bull, and to hold that belief in the face of the most ignominious defeats by vegetarian wrestlers and racers and bicyclists, led the first men who conceived God as capable of incarnation to believe that they could acquire a spark of his divinity by eating his flesh and drin...more
Nov 04, 2010 Anittah rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: anyone not terribly familiar with the Bible
The short:

The preface to Bernard Shaw’s Androcles and the Lion is a recommended read for anyone not terribly familiar with the Bible. Shaw’s exegesis is funny, dry, and sociohistorically illuminating — and still relevant. Plus, the play’s pretty funny, too; mewonders if Shaw cast Androcles as a prancing fairy.

The long:

Go to
This and Major Barbara are my favorite Shavian works, fresh and funny. He was such a brave thinker, trying to get God and the devil in front of us, trying to call on the higher instincts of humans and show us our denial and hypocrisy, and spirit.
Mike Jensen
This is a smart satire on religious commitment, love in mixed cultures, and early Christianity. As usual, Shaw writes as if he has the final word, when his is only one perspective, but it is a powerful perspective that must be considered.
Dusty The2ofHarts-com
Classic Play Note: Although I read these plays in high school, I now have a copy of the 3 plays noted as "read," in the collection titled "3 Plays by George Bernard Shaw"
There's not much to say. Androcles and the Lion was my first ever read play as kid and coming back to it was super idea. I still love this.
This was my introduction to Shaw; rest assured I have every intention of reading many, many more of his works!
I like to breeze through his plays , to be entertained and not take him too seriously.
It's been years since I read it; I remember liking it well at the time.
Martha Treder
I love George Bernard Shaw and his commentary on human nature.
Laura Wetsel
Don't neglect the preface. I enjoyed it more than the play.
read this in high school ... it was fun
Laura Frisby
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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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“The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality of happiness, and by no means a necessity of life.” 200 likes
“Now though the state of the believers in the atonement may thus be the happier, it is most certainly not more desirable from the point of view of the community. The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality of happiness, and by no means a necessity of life. Whether Socrates got as much happiness out of life as Wesley is an unanswerable question; but a nation of Socrateses would be much safer and happier than a nation of Wesleys; and its individuals would be higher in the evolutionary scale. At all events it is in the Socratic man and not in the Wesleyan that our hope lies now.” 14 likes
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