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Candida is a classic statement on love and a seemingly harmless triangle. George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin in 1856. Before becoming a playwright he wrote music and literary criticism. Shaw used his writing to attack social problems such as education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege. Shaw was particularly conscious of the exploitation Candida is a classic statement on love and a seemingly harmless triangle. George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin in 1856. Before becoming a playwright he wrote music and literary criticism. Shaw used his writing to attack social problems such as education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege. Shaw was particularly conscious of the exploitation of the working class. Candida is a play in three acts first published in 1898. The Rev Morrell, his peerless wife Candida, and their mutual young poet friend Marchbanks are involved in a harmless triangle which Marchbanks feels compelled to reveal.


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Candida is a classic statement on love and a seemingly harmless triangle. George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin in 1856. Before becoming a playwright he wrote music and literary criticism. Shaw used his writing to attack social problems such as education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege. Shaw was particularly conscious of the exploitation Candida is a classic statement on love and a seemingly harmless triangle. George Bernard Shaw was born in Dublin in 1856. Before becoming a playwright he wrote music and literary criticism. Shaw used his writing to attack social problems such as education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege. Shaw was particularly conscious of the exploitation of the working class. Candida is a play in three acts first published in 1898. The Rev Morrell, his peerless wife Candida, and their mutual young poet friend Marchbanks are involved in a harmless triangle which Marchbanks feels compelled to reveal.

30 review for Candida (eBook)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    With Arms and the Man (1894) Shaw created his first great play: later the same year, with Candida Shaw created his first great starring role for an actress. The play itself—a drama of ideas masquerading as a three act love triangle (or vice versa)--is clear in its objectives. The beautiful and charming young matron Candida is torn between her devoted but smug middle-aged husband, the Christian Socialist lecturer and minister James Morell, and the passionate young l’art pour l’art poet Eugene Marc With Arms and the Man (1894) Shaw created his first great play: later the same year, with Candida Shaw created his first great starring role for an actress. The play itself—a drama of ideas masquerading as a three act love triangle (or vice versa)--is clear in its objectives. The beautiful and charming young matron Candida is torn between her devoted but smug middle-aged husband, the Christian Socialist lecturer and minister James Morell, and the passionate young l’art pour l’art poet Eugene Marchbanks, who wishes to save her from her prosaic middle-class and transform her into a muse-with-benefits. Which one—if either—will Candida choose? The audience cares about Candida’s choice because the part of Candida itself is compelling. What precisely makes such a starring female role? Well, using Shakespeare’s Cleopatra as an example—Shakespeare, whom Shaw pretended to despise but learned much from—such a great woman must be prepared for. She must never be the first one on stage, for the other characters must have time to talk about with admiration and envy, as in the following two passages spoken by her husband and his female secretary: ”We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it. Get a wife like my Candida and you’ll always be in arrear of your repayment.” and “Candida here, and Candida there, and Candida everywhere!..It’s enough to drive anyone out of their senses...to hear a woman raved about in that absurd manner merely because she’s got good hair and a tolerable figure.” And then, when the talked-of woman finally arrives, she must not be--at least at first--too explicit in her statements or definite in her attitudes. She must be enigmatic, with something of the goddess about her, as mysterious as the Kore Logos’ archaic smile. Oddly enough, Candida’s greatness wasn’t recognized at first. Perhaps because Oscar Wilde was then at the height of success, the poet Marchbanks was often seen as the better of the three major roles. It wasn’t until 1924, when Katherine Cornell made Candida her own, that the greatness of Shaw’s creation began to be recognized. I’ll conclude with a portion of Candida’s superb third act speech, in which she tells both James and Eugene and Marchbanks how much female effort it has taken to keep her husband “strong,” “clever,” and “happy”: Ask James's mother and his three sisters what it cost to save James the trouble of doing anything but be strong and clever and happy. Ask ME what it costs to be James's mother and three sisters and wife and mother to his children all in one. Ask Prossy and Maria how troublesome the house is even when we have no visitors to help us to slice the onions. Ask the tradesmen who want to worry James and spoil his beautiful sermons who it is that puts them off. When there is money to give, he gives it: when there is money to refuse, I refuse it. I build a castle of comfort and indulgence and love for him, and stand sentinel always to keep little vulgar cares out. I make him master here, though he does not know it, and could not tell you a moment ago how it came to be so...And when he thought I might go away with you, his only anxiety was what should become of ME! And to tempt me to stay he offered me… his strength for MY defence, his industry for my livelihood, his position for my dignity...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Fabian

    Here: three distinct attitudes towards marriage. Alas, this is not as good as the outstanding "Arms and the Man," nor, for that matter, the tepid "Mrs. Warren's Profession." It's regarded as "brilliantly plotted"; with one, or perhaps THE, most masterfully-plotted play. Ever. Also, it was what Shaw considered to be his favorite. But I was not moved by Candida. Perhaps it is the title that is to blame--being so closely related to that favorite of mine, Voltaire's "Candide" my expectations were... Here: three distinct attitudes towards marriage. Alas, this is not as good as the outstanding "Arms and the Man," nor, for that matter, the tepid "Mrs. Warren's Profession." It's regarded as "brilliantly plotted"; with one, or perhaps THE, most masterfully-plotted play. Ever. Also, it was what Shaw considered to be his favorite. But I was not moved by Candida. Perhaps it is the title that is to blame--being so closely related to that favorite of mine, Voltaire's "Candide" my expectations were... different. Still, I might write a paper correlating the two--as dissimilar as they are from each other. The love triangle takes too much precedence; the peripheral characters are not too funny nor interesting. Really, "the mystery" (which is the play's very odd and strange subtitle) is why this is regarded as one of his best.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kenny

    Wonderfully acted, helping to make shaw accessable to modern listeners.

  4. 5 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    Another Love Triangle 19 December 2015 Well, even though it has been included in the collection of Shavian plays known as Play's Pleasant, I was a little surprised to discover that this particular play was written at almost the opposite end of Shaw's career to the first play – Arms & the Man. Anyway, I was making my way to Adelaide by train and I wanted something that I could read while on the train, and hopefully write a review on it in the same breath. Well, a three-act Bernard Shaw play ce Another Love Triangle 19 December 2015 Well, even though it has been included in the collection of Shavian plays known as Play's Pleasant, I was a little surprised to discover that this particular play was written at almost the opposite end of Shaw's career to the first play – Arms & the Man. Anyway, I was making my way to Adelaide by train and I wanted something that I could read while on the train, and hopefully write a review on it in the same breath. Well, a three-act Bernard Shaw play certainly fits the bill, though I would have to say that this is certainly not one of his best plays. In fact, to be honest with you, it's sort of rather ordinary. One can simply describe this play as being a love triangle, pure and simple. However there isn't anything all that exciting or wonderful about this particular love triangle, and in a way you already know how it is going to work out in the end. Okay, Shaw did write a pretty decent romantic comedy, and his protagonist does hold similar views as to him (with the exception that he is a Christian Pastor, though like Shaw he is also a practising socialist), however in the end it is just another tired old story where you have two guys competing over the same girl. Well, that might be being a little bit too harsh because there are some interesting aspects to this story, and in a way we know that our protagonist, Morell, is always going to win out. So, the heroine of the play, Candida, who is married to Morell, returns home after three weeks with this young poet in tow. When Candida is out of the room the young poet then begins to bait Morell in suggesting that not only is she no longer in love with him, but that she is having an affair. This, of course, causes a lot of tension, but it seems for a while that Morell isn't all that great a person, and is little more than a tired old pastor. Yet we quickly discover that this is not the case. Our poet friend is quite mistaken (and actually a bit of a shark on top of that) and is sent off packing into the darkness. The reason that we realise that the Poet is actually a pretty cunning little character is because of something referred to as 'Prossie's Complaint'. The name comes from one of the supporting characters – Proserpina – who happens to be Morell's secretary. The complaint is that she happens to be in love with Morell, along with quite a number of other women, however they can't say or do anything about it because he is already married. This revelation is put to him by none other than his wife Candida, which is why I came to the realisation that Candida was never going to leave Morell for another man simply because she actually possesses somebody who, in her mind, is an awesome catch. This is the second play that I have read of Shaw's where he borrows a figure from Greek Mythology, the other being Pygmalion. However, I struggle to see how Proserpina (or Persepbone) fits in with this place since Persephone was the daughter of Demeter who was kidnapped by Hades, lord of the underworld, to become his wife. After a bit of a tussle she would spend six months of the year with her mother (thus bringing on Summer) and six months with Hades (thus bringing on Winter). To be honest, I struggle to see how Proserpina's love (or apparent love) for Morell is related to this ancient Greek Myth. However, another thought does come to mind – Prossie's complaint simply comes from the mouth of Candida. Sure, Morell has quite a number of women attending his socialist meetings, but Candida's claim is that the reason they do this is because they are in love with him. Sure, this may actually be the truth, but we must also remember that this is coming from the mouth of Candida, in much the same way that Marchbank's (the poet) claim that Candida is in love with him turns out to be false. In a way a number of the conflicts that arise in this play simply arise through people's perceptions. It is not at all surprising that Proserpina, and the women who attend Morell's talks, are in love with him. I remember when I was in youth group there were a couple of leaders who would regularly stand out the front and deliver talks. Okay, there would be a number of people who would deliver talks, but these two guys caught the attention of the young ladies because they were both single. How do I know – well the young ladies (or at least one of them) told me. There is something, well, sexy about a person that has the confidence to stand out in front of a group of people and deliver a talk, though I am going to add that you do need to do it well – there is no point in being a speaker if you are crap at public speaking – you aren't going to impress anybody. The first time I read this play I was wandering whether it was going to end well (Candida remains with Morell) or end badly (Candida goes with Marchbank). Since this play is included in a collection of plays called 'Plays Pleasant' it was probably a dead giveaway that Candida wasn't going to leave Morell (especially since it appears that Morell is actually a pretty nice person). On this second reading, where I picked up on the idea of Prossie's complaint, it became clear that Candida would have been foolish to leave Morell.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Augustin

    Being an admirer of Bernard Shaw's witticisms in his social commentary plays like Pygmalion, Apple Cart, Man and Superman and Saint Joan, I was pleasantly surprised to find this heart-warming, whimsical turn by Mr Sarcastic himself. As the parson and the eighteen-year-old poet crossed swords I felt myself troubled by the tense situations (unlike his more famous plays where one can appreciate the comedy in the fast dialogue) and when Candida spoke I felt myself calm down. How is it that Bernard S Being an admirer of Bernard Shaw's witticisms in his social commentary plays like Pygmalion, Apple Cart, Man and Superman and Saint Joan, I was pleasantly surprised to find this heart-warming, whimsical turn by Mr Sarcastic himself. As the parson and the eighteen-year-old poet crossed swords I felt myself troubled by the tense situations (unlike his more famous plays where one can appreciate the comedy in the fast dialogue) and when Candida spoke I felt myself calm down. How is it that Bernard Shaw manages to switch tacks so quickly in political plays yet emote so well in Candida? Must must read as it offers yet another dimension to Shaw.

  6. 4 out of 5

    J.G. Keely

    Chekhov wrote his realist stories between drinks at parties in his home, taking inspiration from the characters around him to create a world of small, short-sighted people who seem real through a combination of meanness and absurdity. They are dull enough to have the problems of a normal person, but eccentric enough to come off as individuals instead of simply mouthpieces or archetypes. Shaw sometimes works along the same lines, but his approach to absurdity is much grander, and will not yield to Chekhov wrote his realist stories between drinks at parties in his home, taking inspiration from the characters around him to create a world of small, short-sighted people who seem real through a combination of meanness and absurdity. They are dull enough to have the problems of a normal person, but eccentric enough to come off as individuals instead of simply mouthpieces or archetypes. Shaw sometimes works along the same lines, but his approach to absurdity is much grander, and will not yield to pettiness. Shaw writes his characters likes he imagines himself to be: mighty thinkers of great instinctual understanding. At least, this is how he paints himself in his rambling, opinionated, yet unsupported prologues. While we wouldn't be likely to accuse Chekhov of writing his characters 'too small' to be believable, Shaw's are too grand for anything resembling real life; just as he aspired to be. His plays are the product of his lifelong struggle between overwrought philosophy and humorous banter. Sometimes the romantic wins out, sometimes the lecturer. He is usually at his best on the romantic side, since he is never quite well-informed or well-structured enough to support the philosophical. Despite often declaring himself the 'enemy of romanticism', he is very fond of characters, sentiments, and ideas which are very romantic, in that they are 'larger than life'. Of course, he accepts no standard definition for 'Romantic', often indicating it has something to do with 'falseness' as opposed to his own 'heartfelt truths'. Perhaps no one told him that 'heartfelt truth' is precisely the sort of excuse Romantics give for holding tightly to their ideals. In style, Shaw evokes contemporaries Wodehouse and Wilde, who were likewise concerned with wits (both quick and slow) and the inherent humor of class incompatibility. They both take the whole thing much less seriously than Shaw, making little pretense to 'Philosophical Ideals'. Wilde often discusses such ideas (through his characters), but it's all a farce for him--treating the trivial seriously and the serious trivially, to ape Wilde's beloved chiasmus. Shaw's plays often seem a farce, but this tends to be the result of his lack of structure. He imagines his grand ideas will be self-evident, and hence rarely bothers to put a foundation underneath them. Instead, moments are strung together with whimsy and caprice, which almost always undermine any point he was meant to have put across. Candida is a humorous and interesting play, with rather bizarre characters, but the way the conflict plays out is convoluted and absurd, relying on a natural concordance of thought between the three main actors, despite their drastically different views. They all seem to understand just what the other is getting at, even when it might not be clear to the audience. Likewise, they draw out the conflict over myriad conversations regarding art, truth, beauty, and human need. They never quite hide the conflict, nor address it, merely rehashing it this way and that and flitting back and forth between confidence and stricken terror with every 'revelatory' utterance. It's rather clear that Shaw is striking the pose of the realist, but trying to create drama along the lines of Shakespeare. He has admitted as much himself, from time to time, often alongside boasts that he can perfectly reproduce Shakespeare's form and style at will. Again, his lack of humility is our burden to bear. He tries to create powerful, complex characters and set them at odds, but they all seem to speak with one voice, undermining the conflict of their supposedly variant personalities. They are not grand in specific, discrete ways, but are all built along the same intellectual lines, merely differentiated by their outward character. It is the opposite of the 'Three Musketeers characterization', where the main characters seem similar on the outside, in terms of desires and position, but are easily differentiated by personality and approach. Their outward eccentricities may be vivid--most notable in Marchbanks--but Candida is another one of Shaw's strong, capable women, who can rarely be differentiated one from the other. Her husband is meant to be the blustering orator, but he is mostly characterized by other characters talking about how much he blusters, instead of by actual demonstration on his part. Like 'Mrs. Warren's Profession', Shaw tries to produce a surprise ending from all the melodrama, but the story has too few twists and turns. The conflict is introduced early on and remains the same throughout, bereft of new insights or unexpected shifts. Even if he could capture Shakespeare's style and powerful characterization, he would still fall far short for lack of development. The play is funny, curious, and idiomatic, as are the best Shaw plays, with plenty of opportunities for actors to display their talent--despite the fact that they were mostly intended to be read instead of performed, often more resembling novellas than scripts in their construction. But despite amusing us or intriguing us here or there, 'Candida' is not the gripping, clever melodrama it pretends to be, and it is too long-winded and indecisive for the farce it is.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ramona Boldizsar

    - spooilers - I cannot help myself but love this story. At first, it quite annoyed me and I was a little bit scared by its following. I thought, in some or another sequence, that it will end like Ibsen's piece of work. And I got scared because, however, I didn't want Candida to be separated from the lovely Morell.He was, for me, the only agreeable and dear character from this story and I have quite fancied with him - even though I cannot find a serious and real explanation for the matter. I have - spooilers - I cannot help myself but love this story. At first, it quite annoyed me and I was a little bit scared by its following. I thought, in some or another sequence, that it will end like Ibsen's piece of work. And I got scared because, however, I didn't want Candida to be separated from the lovely Morell.He was, for me, the only agreeable and dear character from this story and I have quite fancied with him - even though I cannot find a serious and real explanation for the matter. I have just loved the character, his personality, his being and his words - also, his love towards his wife that made me tremble with satisfaction and smile with content. I have despised Eugene from the bottom of my heart and soul when I thought he would be able to ruin this beautiful relationship, the home of two human beings that loved and respected each other. To tell the truth, this is the first time I encounter such beautiful harmony and such a perfect and lovely atmosphere between two people and maybe, only maybe - it's just me and my fancy towards harmony and homely happiness that makes me think like this and regard the matter as it is. Or maybe, there is a stunning feeling that flows from this relationship between those two characters. Coming back to Eugene, I must say I despised him, but in the end he did not look as fearsome and ugly as he looked until then. His boyish attitude was long gone by then and I suppose that was the thing that did it. I loved Morell because he was a man, whatever that may mean, but Eugene was just a boy, a poet that naturally understood things. But this boyish poet, was not a man and by thinking he was right in everything and being quite right in many matters, he didn't see one essential spot, and that is the fact that, whatever Candida was, whatever he saw in her, whatever he thought of her or she thought of herself or whatever much the suffering may be - she was to love her husband forever, to cherish and respect him and to be with him for all their remaining lives on Earth. It may be that Candida loved Eugene as well, but in quite a different matter than she loved Morell, because she was mature, she was a woman, not a girl and if Eugene would have come to her when she was younger, she would have thrown herself away in his arms. But, being a woman, a wife and a mother, she couldn't engage herself in other relationship but with her own husband - and that fact, i deeply loved and admired.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    A play that exposes Shaw's ideas about women and about how he viewed life in general. Shaw on women: 1. Women belong to themselves, not to their men, which is a cool early feminist idea. 2. Women in marriage are more like mothers than partners, and men in marriage are like infantilized little boys. Which is kind of a creepy idea. And also an anti-feminist idea, because although it recognizes the "woman behind the great man", it describes a presumed duty on the part of the wife to "build" her man an A play that exposes Shaw's ideas about women and about how he viewed life in general. Shaw on women: 1. Women belong to themselves, not to their men, which is a cool early feminist idea. 2. Women in marriage are more like mothers than partners, and men in marriage are like infantilized little boys. Which is kind of a creepy idea. And also an anti-feminist idea, because although it recognizes the "woman behind the great man", it describes a presumed duty on the part of the wife to "build" her man and be behind the scenes while doing so. Shaw on life: 1. The poet must learn to love and then must renounce said love, renounce happiness, for the sake of freedom. In Shaw's childhood, he felt rejected by his mother, and always kept a wall of irony around his heart as a result. Whenever he carried on a flirtation with a woman, there was always a suggestion that he was only jokingly doing so. The character of Marchbanks, the poet, is like young Shaw, who proudly and often proclaimed that he would never marry, even though he flitted from woman to woman in his infatuations. Also, Marchbanks is a third wheel in a marriage, who befriends the husband and carries on a flirtation with the wife, a role that Shaw often played in his bachelorhood. Ironically, a few years after this play was written, Shaw got married to Charlotte Payne-Townshend, who was to fulfill a very motherly and protective role in his life, not to mention acting as his secretary and helping his writing career behind the scenes, and being his "enforcer" in financial matters. So Shaw was to later become Morell, the married man in the play. Once you know something of Shaw's biography, this work stands as one of the most psychologically revealing of its author as any literary work.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ananya Ghosh

    I had to read it for class, obviously, or else I don't think I would have ever picked it up. I'm not into drama, you see. But, this wasn't the best of this genre but neither was it disappointing. It was alright. I liked the shrewd yet caring and kind character of Candida. In fact, I liked Morell's character as well. I didn't like Eugene one bit though. He was so sappy and dreamy and felt more like a self-proclaimed poet rather than a real one. But I would say this isn't the best work of Shaw as I I had to read it for class, obviously, or else I don't think I would have ever picked it up. I'm not into drama, you see. But, this wasn't the best of this genre but neither was it disappointing. It was alright. I liked the shrewd yet caring and kind character of Candida. In fact, I liked Morell's character as well. I didn't like Eugene one bit though. He was so sappy and dreamy and felt more like a self-proclaimed poet rather than a real one. But I would say this isn't the best work of Shaw as I liked 'Man and Superman' more (read this one for class as well), it was more vivid and the setting was vast compared to this. But this suffices the purpose, I guess. Its also not a direct comment upon socialism, just a vague idea about it is presented. It has more to do with Feminism, I felt. But my professors had something else to say. Never mind, it was an alright read and I recommend it only if you want to learn literature. This isn't leisure reading stuff.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    Good, but not great. This play is surprisingly shallow for Shaw. It is a nice story about loving relationships, but only one of the characters is challenged in any way and the whole play feels a little slight. I guess I was just expecting more.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jim Foster

    Reading this while in an advanced state of disillusionment with late capitalism made for a refreshing literary experience

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ren

    I found this absurdly funny. This is the sort of thing that made me want to be an English major.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ericka Clouther

    Very original play. Looks into the inner workings of a marriage through a strange love triangle (a bit of a love square even).

  14. 4 out of 5

    William Dearth

    Excellent! There is much more detail of character expression than I am used to.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jason Pettus

    (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.) The CCLaP 100: In which I read a hundred so-called "classics" for the first time, then write reports on whether they deserve the label Book #19: Candida, by George Bernard Shaw (1898) The story in a nutshell: As one of many "comedies of manners" from the Victorian- and Edwardian-era playwright George Ber (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.) The CCLaP 100: In which I read a hundred so-called "classics" for the first time, then write reports on whether they deserve the label Book #19: Candida, by George Bernard Shaw (1898) The story in a nutshell: As one of many "comedies of manners" from the Victorian- and Edwardian-era playwright George Bernard Shaw, the actual storyline of today's book under review is much slighter than normal; it is not much more than a breezy 50-page play about a middle-class couple living in the suburban edge of London at the turn of the 20th century, a liberal activist minister and his smart-as-a-tack wife (the "Candida" of the play's title), as well as the young moon-eyed artist they know who has fallen in love with Candida himself. The actual plotline, then, is not much more than that of this minister husband and artist wooer arguing humorously for an hour over which of them loves Candida more, and of what type of man she obviously most needs in her life; Candida herself finally puts an end to the argument by patiently explaining that she doesn't exactly need a man at all, and that the two of them are pretty much morons. Seriously, that's about the entirety of Candida just from a plot standpoint; the main reason to still read and enjoy this script, then, is mostly for the sparkling wordplay and attention to language Shaw brings to the story, as well as its razor-sharp look at the issues and details making up day-to-day life for the British middle-class during these years. The argument for it being a classic: You can't even mention "classic literature" without bringing up Shaw, his fans claim; this was an artist, after all, who both wrote and published new material literally from the 1880s to 1940s, painting an indelible portrait of what was at the time the most literary society on the planet, right during the years that novels and plays were at their most popular with mainstream society in general. By the end of his life, Shaw was considered a literary superhero by most, to this day still the only person in history to win both a Nobel Prize and an Oscar; that makes a whole ton of his old work worth going back and revisiting, argue his fans, and not only that but also spread out evenly over the course of his remarkable 60-year career. Take 1898's Candida, for example; although not as polished, say, as a late-career classic like Saint Joan, nor as popular as something like Pygmalion (itself adapted into the insanely popular Broadway musical My Fair Lady), it nonetheless was one of the first really big hits of Shaw's career, as well as a great record of what the times were actually like for an average middle-class citizen during the end of the Victorian Age. As such, then, its fans say, Candida rightly deserves to still be read and enjoyed on a regular basis to this day. The argument against: Of course, as we've all learned over the course of this "CCLaP 100" essay series so far, although Victorian and Edwardian literature still continues to be legible and readable to modern eyes, that's a long way from being entertaining or simply not tedious; and critics will argue that Shaw's work is especially guilty of clunky aging, precisely because he wrote about the issues and pumped out the kinds of light, frothy stories that were so popular with contemporary audiences at the time. In fact, you could almost view Shaw as a brilliant television writer more than anything else, in a time when the television industry didn't actually exist; he did crank out over 60 plays over the course of his career, after all, most of which last no more than an hour or so, most of which deal with the same slight plots and family trivialities of a typical B-level network drama on the air right now. If you take a cold, hard look at Shaw's work, critics say, you'll see that they're mostly valuable anymore as historical documents, as records of the times and of what the average citizen of those times found important, a big part of why he was so popular to begin with; the plays themselves, though, are badly dated relics of the Victorian and Edwardian times from which they came, the exact thing a modern show is satirizing anymore whenever you see one of the characters affect a fake stagey British accent and yell, "I say, Lord Wiggelbottom, what a surprise to see you here, old chap!" Shaw's plays are important, the argument goes, just not worth most people these days taking the time to sit down and actually read. My verdict: I have to admit, today I very quickly fall on the side of Shaw's critics, and in fact we can take the printed book version of Candida itself as strong evidence; I find it very telling that of the 140-page manuscript, only 52 of those pages are needed to print the actual play, a whopping 88 pages instead devoted to notes about the play, Shaw's preface to the play, interviews about the play, letters Shaw wrote about the play, etc etc. Because it's definitely true -- there's barely anything to Shaw's actual plays themselves, certainly not the strong three-act structure loaded with suspense and drama like we expect anymore from our live theatre, with their 60-volume cumulative effect being much more important these days than any of the individual volumes themselves. (Want even more evidence? Check out Shaw's Wikipedia bio, and notice that no one's yet bothered creating separate entries for over half his plays, and this from a website that includes detailed plot recaps for every episode of every television show in human history.) I agree that the cumulative effect is important, I want there to be no mistake -- I agree that Shaw is one of the most important figures in the history of the English-language arts and letters, and I agree that there is just a ton of information to be mined from his work concerning real life in the British Empire during both its Industrial-Age height and its eventual downfall. But man, let me admit this as well -- sheesh, was Candida a freaking chore to actually get through. ("I say, Lord Wiggelbottom, what a surprise to see you here, old chap!") Perhaps some of his later, weightier, more mature work (which I definitely plan on tackling in the future) will turn out to be more worth the effort; for now, though, I reluctantly conclude that what is more entertaining for most audience audience members would be an interesting book about Shaw and his work, not the work itself. Is it a classic? No

  16. 4 out of 5

    J.M.

    December of Drama 2015, day 22 "I might as well take a minute or two To put you onto some game You want a boy like him, a man like me, And that's just not the same." --Bonafied Lovin, by Chromeo Did I just open my review of a George Bernard Shaw play with a Chromeo lyric? Yes, yes I did. What can I say about this early Shaw... it's melodramatic and very much of-its-time, with most of the relevance of its social satire burned away by the intervening years. It's still fairly interesting, however, especi December of Drama 2015, day 22 "I might as well take a minute or two To put you onto some game You want a boy like him, a man like me, And that's just not the same." --Bonafied Lovin, by Chromeo Did I just open my review of a George Bernard Shaw play with a Chromeo lyric? Yes, yes I did. What can I say about this early Shaw... it's melodramatic and very much of-its-time, with most of the relevance of its social satire burned away by the intervening years. It's still fairly interesting, however, especially to see just how much of the text is stage direction / exposition / characterization as opposed to dialogue. It's dated both in content and style.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    From BBC Radio 4 Extra: The life of a vicar's wife is turned upside down by a young poet. Romantic comedy from George Bernard Shaw with Hannah Gordon, Edward Petherbridge and Christopher Guard in a production first broadcast in August 1977 and directed by Ronald Mason.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lobstergirl

    Facile, antiquated, repulsive.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sylvain

    MARCHBANKS: I know. You feel that you could love anybody that offered– PROSERPINE (exasperated): Anybody that offered! No, I do not. What do you take me for? MARCHBANKS (discouraged): No use. You won't make me real answers – only those things that everybody says. MARCHBANKS (hopelessly): Nothing that's worth saying is proper. One of the biggest realizations I’ve had this past year is that there are relationship people and single people. Relationship people continue to be so even when they are single MARCHBANKS: I know. You feel that you could love anybody that offered– PROSERPINE (exasperated): Anybody that offered! No, I do not. What do you take me for? MARCHBANKS (discouraged): No use. You won't make me real answers – only those things that everybody says. MARCHBANKS (hopelessly): Nothing that's worth saying is proper. One of the biggest realizations I’ve had this past year is that there are relationship people and single people. Relationship people continue to be so even when they are single; those periods are usually brief anyway. Single people continue to be so even when they are in relationships; those periods are usually brief anyway. In 1986, Newsweek caused a firestorm by claiming that women over 40 were “more likely to be killed by a terrorist” than to find a husband. "’The Marriage Crunch’ was based on a study by Harvard and Yale researchers that projected college-educated women had a 20 percent chance of getting married if they were still single at 30, a 5 percent chance at age 35, and just a 2.6 percent chance at age 40.” (Source: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=20...) Though the statement that women over 40 are more likely to be killed by a terrorist than to find a husband seems ludicrous, it is only so if one believes that a relationship is something that happens to someone, like getting killed by a terrorist or struck by lightning. However, if one looks at relationships as something that one is, it oddly starts making sense. Someone who was in a relationship when they were 25 is more likely to be in a relationship when they are 30 (or 35 or 40) than someone who wasn’t. Being in a relationship is not like playing the lotto; it is not a simple matter of chance. As if to confirm my beliefs, at the end of 2012, I happened to read George Bernard Shaw’s Candida. In some way – though more poetically, of course – I feel he is saying the same thing. Morell and Candida are relationship people. Marchbanks and Proserpine are single people. The play was first published in 1898, which proves that some things don’t change, except maybe the names we give them. For example, Marchbanks is a hipster. If you don’t believe me, read Shaw’s lengthy but appropriately revealing introduction to the character: "He is a strange, shy youth of eighteen, slight, effeminate, with a delicate childish voice, and a hunted tormented expression and shrinking manner that shew the painful sensitiveness of very swift and acute apprehensiveness in youth, before the character has grown to its full strength. […] He is so uncommon as to be almost unearthly; and to prosaic people [i.e. dudebros] there is something noxious in this unearthliness, just as to poetic people [i.e. other hipsters] there is something angelic in it. His dress is anarchic. He wears an old blue serge jacket, unbuttoned, over a woolen lawn tennis shirt, with a silk handkerchief for a cravat, trousers matching the jacket, and brown canvas shoes. In these garments he has apparently lain in the heather and waded through the waters; and there is no evidence of his having ever brushed them.” I’ll be perfectly honest: I might have overrelated to Marchbanks. If he lived in the internet age, Marchbanks would be at his computer writing “missed connections” on Craigslist, though in his hands they would magically manage to escape being utterly nauseating. (I, of course, have never been guilty of writing internet bullshit ripe for ridicule.) Though he feels intensely, he is crippled when comes the time to act out on his emotions: “You must be [shy]: that is the reason there are so few love affairs in the world,” he secretly tells Proserpine, projecting himself onto her, though he is not wrong in doing so. “We all go about longing for love: it is the first need of our natures, the first prayer of our hearts; but we dare not utter our longing: we are too shy.” Marchbanks realizes that love (I mean a relationship) is not something that merely happens, that it is conjured up in the least magical ways, as he continues: “I go about in search of love; and I find it in unmeasured stores in the bosoms of others. But when I try to ask for it, this horrible shyness strangles me; and I stand dumb, or worse than dumb, saying meaningless things—foolish lies. And I see the affection I am longing for given to dogs and cats and pet birds, because they come and ask for it. (Almost whispering.) It must be asked for: it is like a ghost: it cannot speak unless it is first spoken to. (At his normal pitch, but with deep melancholy.) All the love in the world is longing to speak; only it dare not, because it is shy, shy, shy. That is the world's tragedy.” He has no illusions about relationships. He understands that they are not (arguably because they cannot be) based on feelings alone; it would make them too vulnerable. The strength of such relationships can be found in that love cannot disappear if it were never there. It gives the relationship a stronger footing; there is no rug to be pulled from under it. MARCHBANKS (scrambling up almost fiercely): Wicked people means people who have no love: therefore they have no shame. They have the power to ask love because they don't need it: they have the power to offer it because they have none to give. (He collapses into his seat, and adds, mournfully) But we, who have love, and long to mingle it with the love of others: we cannot utter a word. Though he reverses cause and consequence, Marchbanks still has a sense that his unfulfilled love feeds his art. “That is what all poets do: they talk to themselves out loud; and the world overhears them,” he admits. “But it's horribly lonely not to hear someone else talk sometimes.” Of course, were he to hear someone else talk, he might no longer be a poet. Poetry comes from a lack. If everything were to be fulfilled, nothing would ever need to be written or spoken. We could all look at one another knowingly. The all-knowing omnipotent Candida also realizes the fundamental difference between Marchbanks and her husband Morell. When asked to choose between the two, Candida – with her motherly love – picks the weaker of the two. At this statement, both men are devastated. This proves that, despite his dramatic nature, Marchbanks is still more self-aware than Morell. CANDIDA: You remember what you told me about yourself, Eugene: how nobody has cared for you since your old nurse died: how those clever, fashionable sisters and successful brothers of yours were your mother's and father's pets: how miserable you were at Eton: how your father is trying to starve you into returning to Oxford: how you have had to live without comfort or welcome or refuge, always lonely, and nearly always disliked and misunderstood, poor boy! Candida understands that, despite all appearances to the contrary, Marchbanks is the stronger of the two, for he has learned to be alone, so he can be. By weakly trying to defend himself, he only proves her right: “I had my books. I had Nature. And at last I met you.” The things he has: not human beings; the human being he could only meet, never have. Candida continues to outline the difference between the two men by turning her attention to her husband: “Now I want you to look at this other boy here—my boy—spoiled from his cradle. We go once a fortnight to see his parents. You should come with us, Eugene, and see the pictures of the hero of that household. James as a baby! the most wonderful of all babies. James holding his first school prize, won at the ripe age of eight! James as the captain of his eleven! James in his first frock coat! James under all sorts of glorious circumstances! You know how strong he is (I hope he didn't hurt you)—how clever he is—how happy! (With deepening gravity.) Ask James's mother and his three sisters what it cost to save James the trouble of doing anything but be strong and clever and happy. Ask me what it costs to be James's mother and three sisters and wife and mother to his children all in one.” Morell is the weaker of the two because he has never been alone and therefore has never learned to be alone. He couldn’t. He doesn’t love Candida with the same passion that Marchbanks loves her; but he has something more important working in his favour: he needs her; needs her in a way that Marchbanks will never need her, for the poet can be alone. Morell is not alone because he could not function otherwise. If Candida were to die, he would need to find a new wife as quickly as possible. As Marchbanks capitulates, Morell demonstrates that his own alterity still prevents him from understanding the poet: MARCHBANKS: Out, then, into the night with me! CANDIDA (rising quickly and intercepting him): You are not going like that, Eugene? MARCHBANKS (with the ring of a man's voice—no longer a boy's—in the words): I know the hour when it strikes. I am impatient to do what must be done. MORELL (rising from his knee, alarmed): Candida: don't let him do anything rash. CANDIDA (confident, smiling at Eugene): Oh, there is no fear. He has learnt to live without happiness. MARCHBANKS: I no longer desire happiness: life is nobler than that. Before he leaves, Candida attempts to rationalize with Marchbanks; but, with his poetic mind, he out-rationalizes her and even manages to have the last word: CANDIDA: One last word. (He stops, but without turning to her.) How old are you, Eugene? MARCHBANKS: As old as the world now. This morning I was eighteen. CANDIDA (going to him, and standing behind him with one hand caressingly on his shoulder): Eighteen! Will you, for my sake, make a little poem out of the two sentences I am going to say to you? And will you promise to repeat it to yourself whenever you think of me? MARCHBANKS (without moving): Say the sentences. CANDIDA: When I am thirty, she will be forty-five. When I am sixty, she will be seventy-five. MARCHBANKS (turning to her): In a hundred years, we shall be the same age. But I have a better secret than that in my heart. Let me go now. The night outside grows impatient. CANDIDA: Good-bye. (She takes his face in her hands; and as he divines her intention and bends his knee, she kisses his forehead. Then he flies out into the night. She turns to Morell, holding out her arms to him.) Ah, James! (They embrace. But they do not know the secret in the poet's heart.)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anurag Prasad

    A very happy ending story. Loved the saying of Morell- "Man can climb to the highest summits but he cannot dwell there long." Candida's personality was wonderful. In the last when she asked Marchbanks to complete the poem- "When I am thirty, she will be forty five. When I am sixty she will be seventy five." Marchbanks completed the sentence which made me laugh ( I don't know How much I got the sense of it). "In a hundred year we shall be the same age".

  21. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Dunleavy

    From spoilersliterature.blogspot.ca- I have been aware of Bernard Shaw for quite a long time but, for one reason or another, I have never got around to reading or watching one of his plays. However, that all changed as I read Candida (122 pages). The story centres around a situation that has been around as long as story telling has (that’s just an educated estimation!); two men fighting over one woman. The woman in question is Candida and the two men are Reverend James Morrell (Candida’s current h From spoilersliterature.blogspot.ca- I have been aware of Bernard Shaw for quite a long time but, for one reason or another, I have never got around to reading or watching one of his plays. However, that all changed as I read Candida (122 pages). The story centres around a situation that has been around as long as story telling has (that’s just an educated estimation!); two men fighting over one woman. The woman in question is Candida and the two men are Reverend James Morrell (Candida’s current husband) and Eugene Marchbanks (a young poet). The first thing I found very surprising about Candida is Shaw’s treatment of stage direction. It seems as though Shaw was worried that whoever would direct his play in the future would, in current terms, f*ck it up! You can see this through his unnecessarily long descriptions of characters and settings (for example the beginning of the play has over 3 pages worth of stage direction before the dialogue begins). His stage direction seems more fitting for a novel, or short story, than a play. Shaw gives a very interesting insight into love throughout this book. An example of this is when he has Marchbanks explain why shy people can’t find love, “I see the affection I am longing for given to dogs and cats and pet birds, because they come and ask for it” (Shaw 43). So the moral of this is- if you are shy you are less likely to find love than a dog! The play ends on a very interesting note. Part of the final piece of dialogue (given by Marchbanks) is “I have a secret better than that in my heart”, and the final stage direction is “they do not know the secret in the poet’s heart” (Shaw 81). Up until this point the play has been very straight forward with lots of discussion about love and beliefs yet this final line adds a twist. I can’t say it really adds anything to the play, it is more of a frustration due to the fact that nothing prior provides anything that can be read into as a secret. During an argument between Morrell and Marchbanks, I came across another of my new words; whelp! Morrell says to Marchbanks, “You sniveling cowardly whelp” (Shaw 39). I have never heard somebody use a synonym for a puppy as an offensive term (although I supposed it makes sense coming from a reverend instead of something really offensive). My final point about this play is in regards to an ‘extra’ at the back of this book which is called a ‘Glossary of Cockney Words’ (page 120-22). The glossary is given to help understand Mr. Burgess (Candida’s father), when I saw this I assumed it was provided because Mr. Burgess would use cockney slang (I had noticed it on the contents before starting the play). However it only really outlines words that mostly involve Mr. Burgess dropping a h when it is needed and adding a h when it is not needed. Including this somewhat undermines the intelligence of the reader especially when it tries to say it is for “a dialect used by uneducated Londoners” (Shaw 120); as an educated individual from the North West of England (nowhere near London!) that also always seems to drop the h I can assure you this isn’t a special dialect by any means.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    Mmmmmm. Not sure that I should rate this play, as I suspect my appreciation of G.B.S.'s intentions are confused. Part of the problem is that relevant points of characterisation do not emerge through the spoken word, but through stage directions - not all translatable into action. For instance, it is intimated in Act I via stage directions that neither Morell nor Candida are likely to appreciate the art of the Titian painting dominating the wall in the study, but this fact - which makes clear at Mmmmmm. Not sure that I should rate this play, as I suspect my appreciation of G.B.S.'s intentions are confused. Part of the problem is that relevant points of characterisation do not emerge through the spoken word, but through stage directions - not all translatable into action. For instance, it is intimated in Act I via stage directions that neither Morell nor Candida are likely to appreciate the art of the Titian painting dominating the wall in the study, but this fact - which makes clear at an early stage of the drama their limited horizons - is conveyed only to the reader, not the viewer, of the play. Similarly, key aspects of the setting are only apparent on reading the preamble (e.g. the best view of the only green oasis in this part of London is seen by Morell, and seen by him alone; moreover, it is implied, he has arranged things thus himself - these facts prime us for a much more accurate and fast reading of his later words, without which his egotism and selfishness seem less marked; but again, they are available only to the reader, not the viewer, of the play). So how much weighting should we put on the nuances of character revealed only via the reading experience? One gets a feeling that G.B.S. was struggling with the dramatic form at this (early) stage in his career as a playwright, in that he was unable to confidently exploit its conventions to reveal the subtleties of character he wanted to reveal. But having got that off my chest, I have to say there's a lot to admire in the play - the characteristic Shavian wit, the characteristic challenging of mindless conventions and misconceptions, the characteristic insights into human nature, etc etc. Definitely a play for the reread list.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mays M.

    This play represented the weakness hiden inside both of Morell and Eugene. The wise , moderat Morell had the gift he deserved ,Candida . He is told that he is not worth to be the man of his wife . Morell made the right decision in the right time . First he was afraid to tell Candida the truth of being loved by Eugene , then he decided to be strong to face the truth and allow her to choose between them . He showed his strength and weakness in the same time . Candida was worth to be loved by others , th This play represented the weakness hiden inside both of Morell and Eugene. The wise , moderat Morell had the gift he deserved ,Candida . He is told that he is not worth to be the man of his wife . Morell made the right decision in the right time . First he was afraid to tell Candida the truth of being loved by Eugene , then he decided to be strong to face the truth and allow her to choose between them . He showed his strength and weakness in the same time . Candida was worth to be loved by others , that she had the character of a wonderful woman , wittness , beauty , smart , kindness ,and so. Eugene was the man who lived in a magical world of love . He did not think deeper of how could he get his happiness while make another man misreable . He thought that he is the right man for Candida who could make her happy even though he did not know what did she have inside towards him . In spite of that Morell had no free time to spend with her ; he always busy in business, Candida chose to spend the rest of life with her husband ; the writer show us a way of true love between two couples . I have fascinated the way the story written in . Morell trys to guide people to the way of being happy , losing time to preach them , spending all the power he has to make the God kingdom on earth .

  24. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    The Algebra Has a Devil for a Sidekick This award-winning play looks a lot like loading cans into the truck of a car, except the storyline is as follows: Through an elaborate scheme Arthur plots to get even with the Johnsons and get his money back. Imagine my despair when Mr. Mondegreen informed me that I had just basically read a play that mirrors the plot for Arthur 2: On the Rocks. Have you met Mr. Mondegreen? He's an eventual graduate of Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary. I can easily de The Algebra Has a Devil for a Sidekick This award-winning play looks a lot like loading cans into the truck of a car, except the storyline is as follows: Through an elaborate scheme Arthur plots to get even with the Johnsons and get his money back. Imagine my despair when Mr. Mondegreen informed me that I had just basically read a play that mirrors the plot for Arthur 2: On the Rocks. Have you met Mr. Mondegreen? He's an eventual graduate of Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary. I can easily describe him through his more infamous quotes: "Bring back neglected words like piffle, balderdash, twaddle and codswallop." - Mr. Mondegreen "It's nice to be important but it's more important to be nice. I am neither." - Mr. Mondegreen "As blade cleaved his side, the great warrior king sank to his knees upon frozen, untracked soil. Under his breath he exclaimed the holy words of his order: 'That was extremely painful'." - Mr. Mondegreen "It's true what the Bible says: Beauty really is only skin deep. Even though beset by hygiene issues an indomitable spirit can enabled oneself to achieve." - Mr. Mondegreen "If all the girls who attended the Two Harbors prom were laid end to end, I wouldn't be a bit surprised." - Mr. Mondegreen "'I have a God-given talent. I got it from my dad.' – Jesus" - Mr. Mondegreen

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bt

    I found the play engaging, but I was dissatisfied with it overall. I found all of the characters a bit hard to like, and the ending was pretty predictable; (view spoiler)[it seems highly unlikely that Candida, who is 33, would really run off with an 18-year-old boy. (hide spoiler)] The storyline is rather thin and the play wasn’t funny (it’s supposed to be a comedy?), but Shaw’s snappy dialogue does make it a pretty good read. I do enjoy the message/theme: (view spoiler)[Here, in contrast to A D I found the play engaging, but I was dissatisfied with it overall. I found all of the characters a bit hard to like, and the ending was pretty predictable; (view spoiler)[it seems highly unlikely that Candida, who is 33, would really run off with an 18-year-old boy. (hide spoiler)] The storyline is rather thin and the play wasn’t funny (it’s supposed to be a comedy?), but Shaw’s snappy dialogue does make it a pretty good read. I do enjoy the message/theme: (view spoiler)[Here, in contrast to A Doll’s House, it is the men who are dolls and the women are quietly in control. (hide spoiler)] General information (light spoilers ahead): 4 men, 2 women Main characters: Candida Morrell, James Morrell, Eugene Marchbanks, Mr. Burgess Summary: This is a play about a romantic young poet and a bumbling older preacher who must come to terms with their fears and shortcomings as they vie for the love of the same woman. Scenes: Candida and James when James questions her about Eugene (Act II); James and Eugene after Eugene first professes his love for Candida (Act I) Monologues: Eugene telling James he’s in love with Candida (Act I – start with “Oh, I am not forgetting myself”)

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dean Anderson

    One of the great things about Shaw is that though I almost always disagree with his philosophy, I've always found him entertaining. Until this play. A distinction of GBS as a playwright is the ability to take what would seem to be unlikable characters (a coward, a snob, a sloth, an arms dealer) and allows them to offer up witty and thoughtful amusements for their actions. One can see both sides of an argument and the reader (or playgoer) finds sympathy switching back and forth between the protag One of the great things about Shaw is that though I almost always disagree with his philosophy, I've always found him entertaining. Until this play. A distinction of GBS as a playwright is the ability to take what would seem to be unlikable characters (a coward, a snob, a sloth, an arms dealer) and allows them to offer up witty and thoughtful amusements for their actions. One can see both sides of an argument and the reader (or playgoer) finds sympathy switching back and forth between the protagonists. But in this play, where a husband and theoretical rival fight over the love of the wife, I wished for them both to lose. Though the title character wife was no great prize in the first place. A truly insipid cast of characters. This must be the play that inspired the Churchill story. (Shaw to Churchill, "Come to the opening of my play, and bring a friend, if you have one." Churchill replied, "I'll come to the second performance, if there is one.")

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Field

    Continuing with L.A. Theater works, I listened to this play, shorter and some how less technically elegant than Arms and the Man. Eugene Marchbanks and Reverend James Mavor Morell are very unusual characters indeed, for any time and place: the latter English socialist, and the former an 18-year-old boy brave enough to tell the Reverend he loves Candida, the Reverend's wife, but too shy to tell Candida herself. The piece strikes me as having in common with Arms and the Man the play between honest Continuing with L.A. Theater works, I listened to this play, shorter and some how less technically elegant than Arms and the Man. Eugene Marchbanks and Reverend James Mavor Morell are very unusual characters indeed, for any time and place: the latter English socialist, and the former an 18-year-old boy brave enough to tell the Reverend he loves Candida, the Reverend's wife, but too shy to tell Candida herself. The piece strikes me as having in common with Arms and the Man the play between honesty and pretension. We think we are who we are, just as we are, when in fact we never stop pretending and imitating. How deep, I wonder, does Shaw's skepticism go?

  28. 5 out of 5

    Louza

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. First of all I recommend reading this book along with Henrik Ibsen's (A Dolls House) since both books dealt with the same topic but each writer dealt with it in his own way. What I like about Shaw's play is its ending. I find Candida's decision suits her character in the play and doesn't contradict with her needs as a mother to her husband. She loves her husband and she enjoys playing the role of a mother to him. He's her child, pet or doll and she wanted him to realize this fact about their rela First of all I recommend reading this book along with Henrik Ibsen's (A Dolls House) since both books dealt with the same topic but each writer dealt with it in his own way. What I like about Shaw's play is its ending. I find Candida's decision suits her character in the play and doesn't contradict with her needs as a mother to her husband. She loves her husband and she enjoys playing the role of a mother to him. He's her child, pet or doll and she wanted him to realize this fact about their relationship. However I still believe that if Marchbanks were of her age, then there would have been another possible ending for the play. But again this won't happen because it'll contradict with Shaw's realism and anti-romanticism.

  29. 5 out of 5

    blakeR

    I'll start with the caveat that I'm a novice when it comes to plays, but that said, this was a thoroughly captivating work that I was able to finish in about 2 hours. It was light but dealt with weighty themes (love, relationships, sexism, etc.). The psychological insights were poignant, if not entirely subtle. I read this only with an idea of getting a better grasp on Shaw, but admittedly was not very enticed by the description of the play. After all of that I was very pleasantly surprised by t I'll start with the caveat that I'm a novice when it comes to plays, but that said, this was a thoroughly captivating work that I was able to finish in about 2 hours. It was light but dealt with weighty themes (love, relationships, sexism, etc.). The psychological insights were poignant, if not entirely subtle. I read this only with an idea of getting a better grasp on Shaw, but admittedly was not very enticed by the description of the play. After all of that I was very pleasantly surprised by the experience. For the reading mood I've been in lately, this was the perfect blend of lightness and heft. Cross-posted at Not Bad Movie and Book Reviews.

  30. 5 out of 5

    David

    A standout among George Bernard Shaw's early works, Candida, is centered around the captivating Candida's choice between her husband and a young suitor. Eugene Marchbanks is a poet who apparently or supposedly knows exactly what are Candida's wants and needs yet shies from supplying them when the opportunity is given. James Morell is a Christian Socialist preacher who cannot speak to his wife in language other than heavily rehearsed platitudes. Each suffers from his own plainly evident lack, yet A standout among George Bernard Shaw's early works, Candida, is centered around the captivating Candida's choice between her husband and a young suitor. Eugene Marchbanks is a poet who apparently or supposedly knows exactly what are Candida's wants and needs yet shies from supplying them when the opportunity is given. James Morell is a Christian Socialist preacher who cannot speak to his wife in language other than heavily rehearsed platitudes. Each suffers from his own plainly evident lack, yet Candida makes her choice emphatically. The ending breaks a taut suspense but retains an open-endedness which balances its firm resolution with an element of wonder.

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