Download George Bernard Shaw’s Historical Plays by R. N. Roy (auth.) PDF

By R. N. Roy (auth.)

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Extra info for George Bernard Shaw’s Historical Plays

Example text

She is a woman who puts on man's dress and delights in manly pursuits. Without training of any sort she becomes a military commander of almost incredible courage and strategic insight, worthy of comparison with Napoleon.

Ultimately he collects 16,000 talents, establishes Cleopatra queen to rule CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA 25 over Egypt under Roman supremacy, appoints Rufio as the Roman Governor and returns to Rome. Caesar and Cleopatra has many commendable qualities, and in some respects it is one of the most remarkable modern historical plays. Though it flouts the conventional romantic history play by keeping love off the stage, it exploits elaborate spectacle and flamboyant histrionics of the nineteenth century history play.

He idealised Caesar to impress upon his countrymen that a strong man was needed to save Germany from ruin. Mornmsen is a judicious historian but his account of Julius Caesar is rather a panegyric and many of his statements are in contradiction to the classical as well as modern authorities. Shaw has taken some hints from Mommsen, but in his representation of Caesar as a man without worldly ambition and, especially, in his treatment of the relation between Caesar and Cleopatra, which is the main theme of the play, he has got from Mommsen only slight hints, if hints they might be called, and has idealised Caesar by exaggerating and, often, turning facts topsy- 42 Shaw's Historical Plays turvy.

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