Thursday, November 24, 2005

George Bernhard Shaw

Do good to those who despitefully use you and persecute you. I, who am a much hated man, have been doing that all my life and I can assure you that there is no better fun. George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright, critic, and Socialist activist, was born in Dublin to Protestant parents on July 26, 1856. Known for his keen wit and kindly dislike of capitalist society, his dramas, focusing on ideas and issues, revolutionized the Victorian stage. Among his many accomplishments in literature were plays such as Pygmalian, a satire on English class attitudes that became his most popular work, and Heartbreak House, a drama that exposed the spiritual bankruptcy of the generation that had allowed the outbreak of World War I. In 1925, Shaw was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, with the Swedish Academy celebrating his writing as ‘work marked by both idealism and beauty, its stimulating satire often infused with a singular poetic beauty.’ He wrote over forty plays, and continued to write into his nineties. He died in 1950.


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