George Bernard Shaw: Arms and the Man

(1864 words)
  • Ken Newton (University of Dundee)

Arms and the Man was first produced in London in 1894 and published in Shaw's collection, Plays Pleasant, in1898. The play takes place in Bulgaria in1885 during a war between Bulgarians and Serbs. The main female character, Raina Petkoff, is in her bedroom and is elated that the Bulgarians have defeated the Serbs through a heroic cavalry charge led by her fiancé, Sergius. A Swiss professional soldier, Captain Bluntschli, who has been fighting on the Serb side and is fleeing from the victorious Bulgarians, enters her bedroom. After his pursuers have gone he and Raina discuss the recent battle. To Raina's consternation he calls Sergius an idiot who would undoubtedly have led the Bulgarians to disaster if the Serbs had …

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Citation:
Newton, Ken. "Arms and the Man". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 November 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6504, accessed 28 July 2014.]