Arms and the Man
Arms and the Man is one of Shaw’s earliest plays. It was first produced in London in 1894. Then It was published in the volume “,Plays Pleasant” in 1898.
It is true that this play is a comedy, but it is also about war and about soldiers’ real values. Actually it is a parody of military heroism, showing the contrast between realistic and romantic morality. The setting of the play is in a small town near a mountain pass in the Balkans. The story focuses not only on the romance between the young people of the play, but also the ideals that men carry with them during war times. Actually if we read the passage titled “The soldier” we notice how the Swiss officer Bl’untschli, who fights for money rather than ideals, destroys the conception of war Raina always held. In the same way, when the first world war was declared, the men who go to fight carried with them the same romantic ideas of the “glories” of war that Raina and her mother Catherine carry with them at the start of the play. The author of this play wants to show principally the reality of fear and of war, that is not based on ideals; in conclusion we can say that Shaw’s aim was the improvement of society of the time that was under the control of Victorian values and institutions.