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Shaw: The Bellicose Pacifist

Shaw: The Bellicose Pacifist The use of art as propaganda, even for patriotic purposes, has perplexed authors and artists over the centuries, dating from the time of Homer's The Iliad, Euripides' The Trojan Women, and Aristophanes' Lysistrata to Shakespeare's Henry V and far beyond. Each of these authors weaves an ambivalence toward war into his writing, depicting the terrible cost of warfare in human capital and revealing society's love/hate relationship with war. Bernard Shaw was no different from these literary giants, as the articles written for this volume will show. Yet war offers a particularly compelling topic for writers and storytellers, for as Thomas Hardy avers, ``War makes rattling good history; but Peace is poor reading.''1 Authors may or may not have intended to persuade audiences about a particular point of view or historical period. An actor/manager, producer, director, or even government official involved in a current iteration of a famous work, may use an author's words for his or her own purposes. Often these slanted messages are conveyed subtly, with only a hint of persuasion toward a particular point of view. At other times, those wishing to sway public opinion are more forthcoming, openly stating their desire to influence and enlisting 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 © 2008 The Pennsylvania State University
ISSN
1529-1480
Publisher site
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Abstract

The use of art as propaganda, even for patriotic purposes, has perplexed authors and artists over the centuries, dating from the time of Homer's The Iliad, Euripides' The Trojan Women, and Aristophanes' Lysistrata to Shakespeare's Henry V and far beyond. Each of these authors weaves an ambivalence toward war into his writing, depicting the terrible cost of warfare in human capital and revealing society's love/hate relationship with war. Bernard Shaw was no different from these literary giants, as the articles written for this volume will show. Yet war offers a particularly compelling topic for writers and storytellers, for as Thomas Hardy avers, ``War makes rattling good history; but Peace is poor reading.''1 Authors may or may not have intended to persuade audiences about a particular point of view or historical period. An actor/manager, producer, director, or even government official involved in a current iteration of a famous work, may use an author's words for his or her own purposes. Often these slanted messages are conveyed subtly, with only a hint of persuasion toward a particular point of view. At other times, those wishing to sway public opinion are more forthcoming, openly stating their desire to influence and enlisting

Journal

SHAW The Annual of Bernard Shaw StudiesPenn State University Press

Published: Dec 24, 2008

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