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G.B.S. and "The Law of Change"

G.B.S. and "The Law of Change" The quotation in my title comes from the aphorism that Shaw created as a heading for one of the sections in his 1924 preface to Saint Joan: ``The Law of Change is the Law of God.'' This essay explores various manifestations of the concept of change in Shaw's work as a philosophical thinker, as a political and social activist, and as a dramatist and reflects on his achievement as a herald and creator of cultural and social change in his own time. The theme of change can be seen as a signature tune in all of Shaw's lifework. One of the well-chosen musical pieces played at his funeral ceremony in 1950 was the Elgar setting of Arthur O'Shaugnessy's ode ``We Are the Music Makers.'' In this poem the music makers are described as ``world losers and world forsakers''; but--the poet asserts--they are also ``the movers and shakers / Of the world for ever, it seems.'' Shaw was one of the great ``movers and shakers'' of his age. Change was his element, and of course his struggles for change made him a controversial, and at times even reviled, figure. Looking back on his career from the present vantage point http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png SHAW The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies Penn State University Press

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 The Pennsylvania State University. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1529-1480
Publisher site
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Abstract

The quotation in my title comes from the aphorism that Shaw created as a heading for one of the sections in his 1924 preface to Saint Joan: ``The Law of Change is the Law of God.'' This essay explores various manifestations of the concept of change in Shaw's work as a philosophical thinker, as a political and social activist, and as a dramatist and reflects on his achievement as a herald and creator of cultural and social change in his own time. The theme of change can be seen as a signature tune in all of Shaw's lifework. One of the well-chosen musical pieces played at his funeral ceremony in 1950 was the Elgar setting of Arthur O'Shaugnessy's ode ``We Are the Music Makers.'' In this poem the music makers are described as ``world losers and world forsakers''; but--the poet asserts--they are also ``the movers and shakers / Of the world for ever, it seems.'' Shaw was one of the great ``movers and shakers'' of his age. Change was his element, and of course his struggles for change made him a controversial, and at times even reviled, figure. Looking back on his career from the present vantage point

Journal

SHAW The Annual of Bernard Shaw StudiesPenn State University Press

Published: Oct 22, 2007

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