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Arms and the Man

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  6,529 Ratings  ·  287 Reviews
Arms and the Man is a comedy written by George Bernard Shaw, and was first produced in 1894 and published in 1898, and has become one of the most popular plays of George Bernard Shaw. Like his other works, Arms and the Man questions conventional values and uses war and love as his satirical targets.

This edition of Arms and the Man is in the form of a paperback book.
Paperback, 115 pages
Published January 27th 2007 by Fq Classics (first published 1894)
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Oct 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Oh yes... & NOW the Nobel prize seems pretty 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
Bill  Kerwin
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 19th-c-brit, irish, drama

Arms and the Man is Bernard Shaw’s first great play. It is filled with witty and amusing dialogue, a diverting and well-constructed plot, and charming, well differentiated characters. A perfect light comedy designed to amuse the most jaded audience, it is also a deadly serious play that launches a fierce attack on one of the most destructive beliefs of Shaw’s (and any other) time: that war is heroic and magnificent, and that the gallant soldier is the supreme icon of manhood, something to be est
David Sarkies
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Having loved Pygmalion, I wanted to try something else from Shaw.

Arms and the Man seems at first just a charming comedy full of humour, but under the guise of entertaining us this is really a witty satire deconstructing the romantic concepts of military heroism and love.

The play, which was produced in 1894 and published in 1898, takes place at the end of a short Bulgarian-Serbian war. A lady shelters a war-weary Swiss mercenary who surprises her with his admission to fearing death and to preferr
Jan 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Lina AL Ojaili
Oct 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
للمسرحية فكرتين رئيسيتين : الحرب و الزواج
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
نقد روز
نمایشنامه سرباز شکلاتی با دیدگاهی خیال پردازانه و عاطفی نسبت به جنگ، به ويژه در شخصیت رینا و سرگیوس آغاز می شود. آنها با تجربیاتی که به دست می آورند و درسهایی که از بلونکلی می آموزند، متوجه می شوند که جنگ چیز باشکوهی نیست.
واقعیت جنگ

رینا و سرگیوس تفکراتشان نسبت به جنگ را از کتابها به دست آورده اند. آنها از سلحشوران و بانوها، مبارزات بر سر شرافت و کسب افتخار صحبت می کنند. سرگیوس میگوید که جنگ همچون یک مسابقه است. از دیدگاه جنگ مدرن، افکار او درمورد هدایت و کنترل یک سواره نظام اشتباه بود، چون اسب ه
Melissa Rudder
Apr 29, 2010 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
Joy H.
Jun 15, 2013 marked it as watched-film-only
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
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
Jul 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
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!
Jul 28, 2011 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
Feb 04, 2011 rated it liked it
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.)
Rob Roy
May 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, play, satire
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.
Eng. Mohmad  ali
Nov 12, 2015 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
Sep 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
19th century cheekiness and charm all throughout. Very enjoyable.
Asmaa Hassibah
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's a great novel by the great writer Bernard Shaw. It shows how the society seems and live at that time. And how the upper classes care only about their appearance and how they look at the lower classes. It opens your eyes about the fake image that the upper classes live in.
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
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
Uthup George
Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 28, 2011 rated it liked it
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 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"I hadnt even a revolver cartridge: only chocolate"
................ ................
" you are right to take this huge imposture of a world coolly"

I think I am in love with Bernard shaw works!
Aug 12, 2014 rated it liked it
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 rated it really liked it

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
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama, bloody-funny
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.
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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
More about George Bernard Shaw...
“Soldiering, my dear madam, is the coward's art of attacking mercilessly when you are strong, and keeping out of harm's way when you are weak. That is the whole secret of successful fighting. Get your enemy at a disadvantage; and never, on any account, fight him on equal terms.” 2 likes
“You can always tell an old soldier by the inside of his holsters and cartridge boxes. The young ones carry pistols and cartridges; the old ones, grub.” 0 likes
More quotes…