SparkNotes: Arms and the ManThe Serbian forces include many soldiers hired from other nations. The scene description, in italics, sets a pattern for the rest of the play. Although there is no official narrator and the scene descriptions are in essence only for the eyes of the company putting on the play, they contain a significant amount of detail not perceptible to a viewing audience. Only a reader knows these details. This includes, for example, notes on the mental states of some of the characters. There are chocolate cream candies visible on a dresser. Catherine is excited and delivers news that the Bulgarian-Russian army has won a great battle at Slivnitza, against the Serbians and their allies.
Arms and the Man Study Guide
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Set in the aftermath of the Serbo-Bulgarian War of , Arms and the Man challenges romantic ideas about war and love. Captain Bluntschli , a fleeing soldier, climbs through a Bulgarian lady's bedroom window, triggering a series of events that push the characters towards realism and pragmatism. The lady Raina and her fiance Sergius naively view war and life as little more than a stage on which to make grand romantic gestures. By the end of the play, Raina is engaged to the infinitely practical Bluntschli and Sergius to Raina's servant, the beautiful and grounded Louka. George Bernard Shaw wrote the play primarily as a vehicle to promote realism and disabuse audiences of their romantic notions of heroism, warfare and marriage. George Bernard Shaw's first popular play, Arms and the Man opened on April of to an enthusiastic reception. Yet Shaw brooded about audience and critical interpretation of the play, which he felt was at odds with his authorial intentions.
Arms and the Man
Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides. George Bernard Shaw is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize in Literature and an Academy Award for his work on the writing and production of Pygmalion. Which guides should we add? Request one! Sign In Sign Up. Plot Summary. Act 1 Act 2 Act 3.
Arms and the Man was one of Shaw's first commercial successes. He was called onto stage after the curtain, where he received enthusiastic applause. Amidst the cheers, one audience member booed. Shaw replied, in characteristic fashion, "My dear fellow, I quite agree with you, but what are we two against so many? Arms and the Man is a humorous play that shows the futility of war and deals comedically with the hypocrisies of human nature. The play takes place during the Serbo-Bulgarian War. Its heroine, Raina Petkoff, is a young Bulgarian woman engaged to Sergius Saranoff, one of the heroes of that war, whom she idolizes.