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Beyond Good and Evil: An essay on the combination of ideas and aesthetics in George Bernard Shaw's Mrs Warren’s Profession
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of History of Literature and History of Ideas.
2008 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The objective of this essay is to approach a larger comprehension of the drama of George Bernard Shaw. The essay studies the combination of ideas and aesthetics in the play Mrs Warren’s Profession; how theatrical and mainly literary aesthetics interplay with political ideas and what the consequence of this combination is. The study illustrates that the dramatic method consists of using ideas as effective theatrical tools to move the reader/viewer by thought and not by sentiment. The study also illustrates that a key to understanding Shaw’s drama can be found in the construction of operas and symphonies; musical theoretic constructions are an integrated dramatic technique in Mrs Warren’s Profession. The study shows that it is a play with a political and social purpose; to raise awareness of the mechanisms of prostitution. The play does not use simplifications in terms of good and evil. It questions conventionality, unveils social hypocrisy and attempts to disillusion the reader/viewer. The antithesis between realism and idealism is an important source of dynamics and constitutes one of the principal aesthetical constructions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. , 25 p.
Keyword [en]
theatrical aesthetics, combination of political ideas and aesthetics, playwright technique, realism, idealism.
National Category
General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8314OAI: diva2:200067
Available from: 2008-11-06 Created: 2008-11-06Bibliographically approved

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