Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Frau Warrens Beruf : Stück in 4 Akten” as Want to Read:
Frau Warrens Beruf : Stück in 4 Akten
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Frau Warrens Beruf : Stück in 4 Akten

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,356 Ratings  ·  137 Reviews
Middle-aged Mrs. Warren is a madam, proprietress of a string of successful brothels. Her daughter, Vivie, is a modern young woman, but not so modern that she's not shocked to discover the source of her mother's wealth. The clash of these two strong-willed, but culturally constrained Victorian women, is the spark that ignites the ironic wit of one of George Bernard Shaw's g ...more
Hardcover, 100 pages
Published January 1st 1986 by Suhrkamp (first published 1898)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Frau Warrens Beruf , please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Frau Warrens Beruf

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Petra X
May 05, 2015 Petra X rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, poetry-drama
Getting Biblical about this, should the sins of the fathers be visited upon the children unto the tenth generation? Does this apply to mothers too? Or shall we be a bit more modern and forgiving about it? The daughter in this play took the hard Biblical line and applied it to her mother too, cutting her off from all contact when she found out that her extremely privileged youth and expensive education as a lawyer had been paid for by her mother's hard work first on her back and secondly running ...more
Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈

Read a play

I know that this play is a classic and there are a lot of people who like it. It just didn't do it for me. I thought it was boring and pretentious, and I literally hated every single character in it. Basically the plot centers around a middle-aged Mrs. Warren and her young adult daughter, Vivie. Mrs. Warren, or Kitty as many gentlemen call her, was absent for much of Vivie's childhood, and Vivie grew up a bit resentful and very independent. She studied hard and went to college, and ha
...more
Cecily
George Bernard Shaw was ahead of his time, and this play was banned when it was written (1893).

It exposes the hypocrisy of a society that condemns those who are not chaste, but does little to assuage the poverty that leaves some women few alternatives to survive (similar territory to JB Priestly's "The Inspector Calls", set less than 20 years later). Equally controversially, it makes a strident case for women's emancipation in general, whilst retaining Shaw's peppering of acerbic wit (Wilde wit
...more
J.G. Keely
Of the Shaw I read in my short stint as a dramaturg, this was my favorite. It bears all his hallmarks: feisty women choosing between an artist and a businessman, a basic farcical British romance plot, a hypocritical priest, lots of quipping about philosophy, and attempts to make the characters vivid and surprising.

At the latter task, he succeeds more in this book than in any of the others, truly turning the form of the light comedy on its head and committing to Ibsenesque realism. He still captu
...more
Eric Kibler
Nov 06, 2015 Eric Kibler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This play of Shaw's was controversial when it was first performed.

A young woman, who has been well brought up and expensively educated by her well-to-do mother, finds out that her mother was a prostitute, then a madam. Mrs. Warren defends herself by telling her daughter that, given her limited opportunities, prostitution was the best option available to her. Society, by offering only starvation or the slavery of marriage to poor young women, conspired to make it so.

This play is thought-provoking
...more
Versha
Yet again a powerful play by Shaw wherein he makes an attempt to contradict the society’s norms and people’s hypocrisy towards it .

In ‘Mrs. Warren’s Profession’ Shaw shows how a mother’s profession turns a daughter’s life upside down.

Vivie (the daughter) is a highly educated woman, who wants to lead her life independently according to her own terms. She strongly believes in- simple living and high thinking, where as her mother Mrs Warren wants Vivie to flaunt her beauty and get herself a husba
...more
Bruce
Apr 10, 2014 Bruce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Any play by George Bernard Shaw deserves a careful reading of his extended introduction, his introductions always clarifying his intent and motivation in writing the particular play he is presenting. This present introduction is no exception, and without a knowledge of his perceptions and goals the reader will find the play much less satisfying.

Mrs. Warren is a brothel keeper, the part-owner of a string of brothels across Europe from which she derives the income that has enabled her daughter Viv
...more
Deepa
Typical Shaw! Amazing in its incisive insight into the bourgeoisie's hypocritical pretensions to moral goodness. Vivie Warren is a university educated young woman. She is unaware of the fact that her mother Mrs. Warren's profession was prostitution and that she is now the owner of several successfully running brothel houses. When she realizes the "shocking" truth, she boldly disowns her mother and her wealth. She wants to lead the life of an honest hardworking woman. What she fails to see is tha ...more
Yngvild
May 10, 2010 Yngvild rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
Rereading Mrs Warren’s Profession after several years, the surprise was how little we would need to change it to play it in modern dress. A daughter, having consumed an expensive education, discovers that her natural mother is a vulgarian working on the fringes of society, and decides to ostracise her from then on. In variation, it is the same theme as Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, which did the same thing thirty years earlier with a son and his ex-criminal benefactor. We could repeat the ...more
Manny
Mar 12, 2013 Manny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Miguel
Jul 17, 2012 Miguel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mrs. Warren's Profession is an engaging play that questions the conventional morality of the Victorian period with a question that still persists today, namely the moral status of participation in the practice of prostitution whether it is as a prostitute or brothel owner.

The play is particularly fantastic due to the vividness of the characters and their personalities and, of course, the subject matter it explores. Vivie is immediately lovable and interesting to both the reader and the character
...more
Eric
Mar 30, 2016 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
Excellent play, but typo full of transcriptions

Typos first: after many contractions missing their apostrophes, it's almost amusing to see the noun "cant" spelled with one. (Among other kinds... Is someone overusing spellcheck and not double-checking the result? Tsk.)
As to the play, which I think I've read before back in 1990 or so: the preface should be included in readers on free speech and on theater history if it isn't already, while the play is unusual and effective.
Fabian
Oct 01, 2012 Fabian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We get a more vivid picture of Shaw's style of social commentary--again, there are no true protagonists and all characters are to blame (since they all belong in a certain spot in this aformentioned society). The men circle Mrs. Warren's daughter like sharks--they are crazy post-Victorians who treat the "elephant in the room" (in this case, prostitution) as a mere triviality. It is not as witty as say, O. Wilde, but it exposes great truths in hyper-articulate strings of dialogue. I really enjoy ...more
Francesca
Aug 30, 2015 Francesca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised by how ahead of its time this play was. This is a play about a woman living in the Victorian age who every expects her to be a typical Victorian Woman by wanting to be married and live off of her husband's money. However, this is not how the Vivie, the protagonist, wants to live. She is a fresh from college, and sees life in a logical way not a romantic art way. She wants to live independently off of her own money she has worked hard for, only no one understands this. She is also ...more
Samantha
I read this play for the Modern British Drama class im taking at the univeesity I attend. I found this one to be pretty interesting and I'm looking forward to reading more if Shaw's work.
Tomo20
Mar 24, 2016 Tomo20 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shocking in its day, I found the play witty, socially progressive (for its time and perhaps now) and entertaining.
Mihaelas
Apr 21, 2016 Mihaelas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 stars
Amy Moritz
Apr 23, 2016 Amy Moritz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love me some George Bernard Shaw and the way he writes strong female characters. I don't know if I have ever read this play before and it poses some very interesting questions. Mrs. Warren finds herself in a social and financial situation where illegal/immoral activity (running a chain of brothels in Europe) provides better security than honest work. Upon learning the circumstances, her daughter understands but Vivie turns on her when she discovers Mrs. Warren is STILL running the brothel busine ...more
Nicholas
Jun 19, 2016 Nicholas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyed this one.
Sherry
Aug 08, 2010 Sherry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When George Bernard's play Mrs. Warren's Profession was first performed in London, there was great protest. Nice people should not see plays about the sexual slavery of young women. Even though the practice was rampant in London at the time. Shaw writes an eloquent play exploring the emotional effects of this horrible practice from all sides. I re-read again in 2005. I directed it in 2006.
Audrey
One of the things that stuck out to me in this was the way that Shaw was willing to examine the complexities of difficult social issues. This play discusses the fact that there is often a reason for why people fall into lives of prostitution, crime, or depravity—and often we, as a greedy, consumerist society, are to blame. Vivie understood why her mother went into prostitution. She accepts that her mother doesn’t even know who Vivie’s father is. She even admitted that she probably would have don ...more
Paul Dinger
Jul 14, 2009 Paul Dinger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is a funny play about a madam of a house of prostitution that somehow manages not to use that word. I found this play to be highly entertaining, a view of a wierd family dynamic and how it comes apart. Shaw is rarely staged in the U. S. and this is a shame. I want to discover more by him.
Adam Floridia
Entertaining social commentary (albeit now dated) in the form a play about the causes of prostitution. Shaw's experiments with language and paradoxically (I say this because of the subject matter) feminist views merit significant thought.
Robert
Dec 28, 2014 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a huge Shaw fan, but I like this play because it posits the idea that everyone has blood on their hands. No matter how independent you think you are of corruption or vice, you are basically within at least six degrees of it in your daily endeavors. Vivie Warren is an independent "modern" educated woman who finds out that her mother ran a string of brothels that financially supported her upbringing and education. I'm not judging, but I think it's a truthful notion. Whenever I condemn a la ...more
Wendy E.
Apr 28, 2011 Wendy E. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-lit-ib
I'm glad to have finally read this one. Very interesting stuff. I'd like to pair this with Ibsen's Doll's House and teach them.
Kaethe
Jul 09, 2014 Kaethe rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Shaw when he's an earnest social reformer. Funny how little has changed in 100 years.
Kritarth Jha
Mar 04, 2014 Kritarth Jha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Should Prostitution be legalised? What about the concept of an open marriage? Is marriage just socially acceptable prostitution?Is the innocent looking good guy a sex machine?.
Such Questions and more flood your head as you finish up this novel. Meet Mrs. Warren, a prostitute turned brothel owner , on her way to meet her only daughter, now a well educated, self sufficient young lady. Watch two very strong female characters,each who can hold their own, have their relationship strained in a world b
...more
Lesliemae
Jul 24, 2013 Lesliemae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Positions of privilege and power in three characters:

"Knowledge is power, she said, and I never sell power." Rev. Samuel Gardener

"Why shouldn't I invest my money that way? I take my interest on the capital like other people. I hope you don't think I've dirtied my own hands with the work? You wouldn't refuse the acquaintance of my mothers cousin the duke of Belgravia because some of the rents he earns are got in queer ways. You wouldn't cut the Archbishop of Canterbury out because the ecclesiasti
...more
Polly Watson
MRS. WARREN'S PROFESSION by George Bernard Shaw is a new one for me. The online class I'm taking this fall hasn't been the most productive idea that I've ever had (we're down to two of us left in the class and the other person isn't posting to the discussion board until the last minute for each lesson), but yet the class is, at least, giving me the opportunity to read a few pieces of British Literature that I've never read. Shaw's play is one example of that. The play as a whole does not have mu ...more
Angelo Giardini
Nas peças de Bernard Shaw que ja li(Pigmalião, César e Cleópatra, O Discípulo do Diabo e O Homem e as Armas), há sempre um (ou vários) momento em que os personagens resolvem jogar a hipocrisia fora e falar abertamente do que está acontecendo. É como um grande exercício de sinceridade e honestidade: a verdade nua e crua jogada na cara.

Mas, de todas, esta peça bate todos os recordes de rasgar o véu da hipocrisia nas relações sociais. Toda a trama do texto se desenvolve em torno da vinda à luz da v
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Master Builder
  • The Plough and the Stars
  • Private Lives
  • Plaza Suite
  • The Way of the World
  • Plutus
  • The Birthday Party & The Room
  • Six Characters in Search of an Author and Other Plays
  • Travesties
  • The Country Wife
  • The Rivals
  • Beyond the Horizon
  • A Soldier's Play
  • The Women
  • Awake and Sing!
  • Uncommon Women and Others
  • Baal
5217
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
More about George Bernard Shaw...

Share This Book



“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them.” 850 likes
“All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently, the first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.” 152 likes
More quotes…