Major Barbara: Social Conditions of 19th Century

Essay by AdhariUniversity, Bachelor's November 2014

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Adhari Adhari

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Berna Ayça ÜLKER ERKAN

ING 3219 Modern British Drama

20 October 2014

Major Barbara: Conditions of British Society in 19th Century

Major Barbara is one the most influential plays in the world. It was written by an Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw and was first performed in 1905. In its first performance Major Barbara has achieved many positive critical acclaims, even until today it's still considered as a legend. What makes Shaw's plays very different is the fact that he always has some crucial messages within the play that touches everybody's logic and heart. It usually criticizes the conditions of British society in particular and world in general. Additionally, he also at some point conveys his own ideas through his dramas. As we all might know that Shaw himself is a socialist and was an early member of Fabian organization. In Major Barbara, there are many things that reveal the actual conditions or at least the realities that were going on during 19th century, the time when this play was played.

Throughout this paper I will try to list the social conditions of British society that Bernard Shaw was trying to get us, as audiences, know. For the audiences during that era this play might be a medium to realize that there were situations that they have to be aware of. Since we live in a slightly different era, we can take this drama as a visualization of the 19th century socially, politically or even its philosophical condition. Also, we can still adapt this lessen to our today's live condition, since the social conditions we have now are not completely different.

Many interesting facts about the conditions of British society in 19th Century can be found throughout the play. The most prominent ones...