Read مرید شیطان by George Bernard Shaw Free Online
Book Title: مرید شیطان|
The author of the book: George Bernard Shaw
Edition: انتشارات خوارزمی
Date of issue: 1979
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 6.93 MB
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Reader ratings: 6.2
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By 1896, Shaw had already written seven plays: ”unpleasant” Ibsenite problem plays and “pleasant” comedies with witty Wildean dialogue (and a little sermonizing thrown in). He had won a measure of artistic respect, but what he didn’t have, as yet, was a commercial triumph.
Then Shaw began to contemplate the possibilities of melodrama (which, as a practicing drama critic, he had ample opportunity to do.) ''A really good..melodrama,” he observed, of a play he had recently seen at the Adelphi, “is of first-rate literary importance, because it only needs elaboration to become a masterpiece.''
So that’s what Shaw did. He concocted a first-rate melodrama about the American Revolution, involving a devilish ne’er-do-well named “Dick” who, in a case of mistaken identity, is arrested by His Majesty’s forces as a rebel and sentenced to be hanged. He gives us everything we need for melodrama: a heroic sacrifice (Dick refusal to reveal his identity and save himself), an appropriate foil (Anderson, the upright pastor for whom he is mistaken), a pretty love interest (the pastor’s conflicted wife), an exciting trial, a ride to the rescue, and an improbable—and very satisfying—escape. It even has a moral: a person, faced with an important decision, may discover who he is, as opposed to what he claims to be.
What makes The Devil’s Disciple such a satisfying play is that, in addition to its first-rate melodramatic effects, it possesses dialogue as witty as in his comedies, sharp obserations of man in society as acute as in his problem plays, and Shaw’s first thoroughly memorable character: the debonair General John (“Gentlemanly Johnnie”) Burgoyne, commander of the British forces at Saratoga—surrounded by fools, sabotaged by the home office, yet never losing his savoir faire or changing his opinion of history (“History, sir, will tell lies, as usual.”)
The result? Shaw achieved his first commercial success. 10% of the $50,000 gross of the American production: $5000, $140,000 in today’s money. Not bad for a somebody making do on a drama critic’s wages.
Here’s an excerpt from my favorite scene, the trial:
BURGOYNE (with extreme suavity)...You will understand, sir, I hope, since you seem to be a gentleman and a man of some spirit..., that if we should have the misfortune to hang you, we shall do so as a mere matter of political necessity and military duty, without any personal ill-feeling.
RICHARD. Oh, quite so. That makes all the difference in the world, of course..
SWINDON. You are aware, I presume, Mr. Anderson, of your obligations as a subject of His Majesty King George the Third.
RICHARD. I am aware, sir, that His Majesty King George the Third is about to hang me because I object to Lord North's robbing me.
SWINDON. That is a treasonable speech, sir.
RICHARD (briefly). Yes. I meant it to be.
BURGOYNE (strongly deprecating this line of defence, but still polite). Don't you think, Mr. Anderson, that this is rather—if you will excuse the word—a vulgar line to take? Why should you cry out robbery because of a stamp duty and a tea duty and so forth? After all, it is the essence of your position as a gentleman that you pay with a good grace.
RICHARD. It is not the money, General. But to be swindled by a pig-headed lunatic like King George.
SWINDON (scandalised). Chut, sir—silence!
SERGEANT (in stentorian tones, greatly shocked). Silence!
BURGOYNE (unruffled). Ah, that is another point of view. My position does not allow of my going into that, except in private... But (shrugging his shoulders) of course, Mr. Anderson, if you are determined to be hanged...there's nothing more to be said. An unusual taste! however (with a final shrug)—!...
SWINDON...Have you anything more to say?
RICHARD. I think you might have the decency to treat me as a prisoner of war, and shoot me like a man instead of hanging me like a dog.
BURGOYNE (sympathetically). Now there, Mr. Anderson, you talk like a civilian, if you will excuse my saying so. Have you any idea of the average marksmanship of the army of His Majesty King George the Third? If we make you up a firing party, what will happen? Half of them will miss you: the rest will make a mess of the business and leave you to the provo-marshal's pistol. Whereas we can hang you in a perfectly workmanlike and agreeable way. (Kindly) Let me persuade you to be hanged, Mr. Anderson?...
RICHARD...Thank you, General: that view of the case did not occur to me before. To oblige you, I withdraw my objection to the rope. Hang me, by all means.
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Read information about the authorGeorge Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright, socialist, and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama. Over the course of his life he wrote more than 60 plays. Nearly all his plays address prevailing social problems, but each also includes a vein of comedy that makes their stark themes more palatable. In these works Shaw examined education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege.
An ardent socialist, Shaw was angered by what he perceived to be the exploitation of the working class. He wrote many brochures and speeches for the Fabian Society. He became an accomplished orator in the furtherance of its causes, which included gaining equal rights for men and women, alleviating abuses of the working class, rescinding private ownership of productive land, and promoting healthy lifestyles. For a short time he was active in local politics, serving on the London County Council.
In 1898, Shaw married Charlotte Payne-Townshend, a fellow Fabian, whom he survived. They settled in Ayot St. Lawrence in a house now called Shaw's Corner.
He is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize for Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938). The former for his contributions to literature and the latter for his work on the film "Pygmalion" (adaptation of his play of the same name). Shaw wanted to refuse his Nobel Prize outright, as he had no desire for public honours, but he accepted it at his wife's behest. She considered it a tribute to Ireland. He did reject the monetary award, requesting it be used to finance translation of Swedish books to English.
Shaw died at Shaw's Corner, aged 94, from chronic health problems exacerbated by injuries incurred by falling.
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