The Life and Career of George Bernard Shaw Essay

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The Life and Career of George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw was an iconoclastic writer and speaker who embraced many subjects that his peers had not yet dared to embrace. He is considered to be the best and most significant playwright since William Shakespeare. His life and career were focused mainly on social reform. Bernard was born on July 26, 1856 in Dublin, Ireland. His parents were mother Lucinda Elizabeth Garly and father George Carr Shaw. His father and grandfather were both alcoholics. His mother was from Carlow. She was a musically gifted and taught singing and music lessons (Kunitz 1268). Bernard was the third and youngest sibling in his family. He had two older sisters (Weintraub 655). Bernard's father's and
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Only two were published; none were successful. This was his first attempt at writing fiction (Weintraub 655). In 1879, Shaw took a job at the Edison Telephone Company. He kept it only for a few months. It was his last job that involved no writing (Weintraub 655). Shaw's writing career was jump-started not only by his career as a drama critic, but as music and art critic as well (Batson 966). In 1885, Bernard became a critic under the name "Corno di Basseto." During this time, he also began to write political pamphlets, most of them about socialism (Kunitz 1268). Bernard started writing drama in 1894. His plays were published almost immediately, but were not produced until 1904, when "Shaw Craze" hit London. This craze went international around 1910 (Kunitz 1269). People loved Shaw's dry form of comedy, which was based on his having a cunning wit and being a wonderful ironist (Kunitz 1269). In 1909, the Joint Select Committee on Stage Censorship investigated Bernard. It declared all of his plays "conscientiously immoral" (Batson 967). Two of his plays were banned by British censors: O'Flaherty, V.C. for it's non-patriotic view of Britain and also Saint Joan of Arc because of it's so-called sacrilegious views (Kunitz 1269). In 1938, after years of refusing, Bernard finally allowed one of his plays, Pygmalion, to be filmed (Kunitz 1269). Bernard won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1925. He gave all of the prize money to the
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