Bernard Shaw as devil's advocate

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
James Relerford Helvey (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Keith Cushman

Abstract: George Bernard Shaw, the nineteenth century Irishman, became a notable twentieth century British dramatist. Though he did not shed his nineteenth century theatrical and philosophical origins any more than he disposed of his Irish humor and gift of gab, he did bring them into the service of his own peculiar dramatic interests as devil's advocate of the Life Force in the theatre. Shaw's idiosyncratic public manner, which evolved from his journalistic vocation in England, included his use of many pseudonyms and the adoption of many roles: critic, gadfly, reformer, artist. One of the most important roles he played, however, is that of the devil's advocate. As a devil’s advocate, Shaw undertook to criticize his cultural and socio-economic world, but he did it in order to promote man's social and intellectual improvement. His paradoxical manner conflicted with the religious and social conventions of his day, but his diabolical gestures, which were more than a jest, made his devil's advocacy central to his career as a dramatist.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1978
Shaw, Bernard, $d 1856-1950 $x Criticism and interpretation
Shaw, Bernard, $d 1856-1950 $x Literary style
Shaw, Bernard, $d 1856-1950 $x Characters

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