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Arms and the Man (Dodo Press)

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,956 Ratings  ·  233 Reviews
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was a worldrenowned Irish author. Born in Dublin, he moved to London when he turned twenty. Having rejected formal schooling, he educated himself by independent study in the reading room of the British Museum; he also began his career there by writing novels for which he could not find a publisher. His first success was as a music and litera ...more
Paperback, 84 pages
Published October 19th 2007 by Dodo Press (first published 1894)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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David Sarkies
Dec 06, 2015 David Sarkies rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who love a good comedy
Recommended to David by: I'd become hooked on Shavian Plays
Shelves: comedy
Reinventing the War Hero
6 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 B
Prof. Mohamed  Shareef
Teaching Bernard Shaw

Paper presented at Kerala University, Trivandrum
March 1999

Teaching 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 s
Lina AL Ojaili
للمسرحية فكرتين رئيسيتين : الحرب و الزواج
Jan 30, 2010 ~Sara~ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 luxur
Sierra Abrams
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 th
Joy H.
Jan 29, 2014 Joy H. marked it as watched-film-only  ·  review of another edition
Added 6/16/13.

I watched "Arms and the Man" via a Netflix DVD (1987). It stars Helena Bonham Carter.

I did not read the original a play (a comedy) by George Bernard Shaw:
Arms and the Man (1894).
The 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 suppos
Oct 15, 2012 Fabian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh yes... now the Nobel prize seems 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...
Melissa Rudder
Jul 02, 2013 Melissa Rudder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teach-it
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. ...more
Huda Aweys
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 م
Eng Mohmad
May 10, 2016 Eng Mohmad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
روعة ..روعة ...مسرحية ذو قيمة فنية عالية جدا...اسلوب راقى للحوار ...مفاهيم صادقة للشجاعة والحرية واحترام الذات
Jul 28, 2011 Phillip rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
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 ...more
Jul 31, 2011 ☯Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
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!
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.)
Feb 26, 2015 Realini rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw
On a scale from 1 to 10, this is a six for this reader

I 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 be
محمود النوري

" ذكرى من رايينا إلى جندي شوكلاتة الكريمة "

لن أستطيع أن أصف حالة السعادة أثناء قراءتي لتلك المسرحية التي تدور أحداثها عام 1885 في الريف البلغاري أثناء الحرب بين الأمبراطورية الروسية والصربية.

تبدأ القصة بجندي هارب يقوم بالتخفي في أحد بيوت أعدائه، ومن ثم تقوم مهادنة سلام لوقف الحرب فيظهر من جديد وتبدأ الاحداث ليرسم لنا العملاق الأيرلندي عملا فنيا ولا أروع بثمان شخصيات فقط.
Uthup George
Mar 29, 2013 Uthup George rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Feb 08, 2009 Alyse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, 2009, 2009-plays
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
Jan 28, 2014 Haythem Bastawy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Rob Roy
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.
Sep 04, 2015 Kichi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
19th century cheekiness and charm all throughout. Very enjoyable.
Aug 20, 2014 Sierra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jul 12, 2012 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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 t
Suzie Toumeh
Oct 13, 2015 Suzie Toumeh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays, romance, classics, humor
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
Aug 14, 2008 Adam Floridia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Deborah Pickstone
Re-read. None to beat GBS for humour. I read his Complete Works at school age 16 and I met nothing I disliked and a great deal that entertained me thoroughly. One of the cleverest minds I have ever encountered and extremely funny, even (especially?) when serious. I recommend GBS to anyone - there will be something in his work to appeal to every taste.
Mark Woodland
Aug 05, 2011 Mark Woodland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an extremely funny play, and a satire on the attitudes of people towards war in general. Still quite relevant, and has a collection of wonderful characters.
May 19, 2012 Bhavna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome read! Bernard Shaw calls it an 'antiromantic comedy' and the book lives up even after generations have read it!
Jun 12, 2008 Stella rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love to read this book again and again. I love the hero in this book very much.
Sohini Sarker
Apr 28, 2016 Sohini Sarker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"He has beaten you in love. He may beat you in war."
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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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