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The Prism of war : Shaw's treatment of war in Arms and the man and Heartbreak house Matsuba, Stephen N. 1987

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THE PRISM OF WAR: SHAW'S TREATMENT OF WAR IN ARMS AND THE MAN AND HEARTBREAK HOUSE By STEPHEN N. MATSUBA B . A . , The University of Br i t i sh Columbia, 1984 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of English) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1987 © Stephen N. Matsuba, 1987 In presenting th i s thes i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Un ivers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary s h a l l make i t f r ee l y ava i l ab le for reference and study. I fur ther agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thes i s for scho lar ly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by h i s or her representat ives. I t i s understood that copying or pub l i ca t ion of th i s thes i s for f i n a n c i a l gain sha l l not be allowed without my wr i t ten permission. Department of English  The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date 12 October 1987 D E - 6 n / s n Abstract Many critics examine Shaw's plays in terms of the subjects they deal with, but they often ignore what aspects of these subjects Shaw draws on or how he uses them. One subject that appears in many of his works is war. This thesis examines Shaw's treatment of war in Arms and the Man and Heartbreak House, and attempts to discover a common element between them that reveals something not only about the plays themselves, but also about Shaw's drama in general. The chapter on Arms and the Man notes how Shaw makes war a highly visible element of the play, but avoids dealing with issues directly related to war. Shaw does not draw on war itself, but on its image. The sources for Catherine's and Bluntschli's impres-sions of both war and Sergius—Lady Butler's paintings, the mili-tary melodrama and extravaganza, Tennyson's "Charge of the Light Brigade," and accounts of the Battle of Balaklava—indicate that the play's focus is not on war, but on how one perceives the world. This idea is further reinforced by Shaw's own views about idealism, romanticism, and realism. Unlike Arms and the Man, war is an integral part of Heart- break House. Shaw uses elements from the British homefront during the First World War—the wasted lives of England's youth, the lies of the government and the press, and the potential for violence both on the front and at home during the conflict—to help create the play's deep sense of c r i s i s and impending doom. But as with Arms and the Man, Heartbreak House i s not a play about war. Whereas war i s highly v is ib le in the former, i t s presence i s neg-l i g i b l e in the lat ter: there are no military characters or any clear indication that a war i s in progress unt i l the end of the play. Moreover, Shaw does not draw on sources related only to the war. Thus while Heartbreak House was born largely out of the despair of the F i r s t World War, i t s themes go beyond that confl ict to deal with questions about the individual , the family, and the fabric of society i t s e l f . This thesis concludes by brief ly examining Saint Joan, and notes that i t combines the two approaches to war found in Arms and  the Man and Heartbreak House, but distances i t s intended audience—the English—by using a h i s tor ica l confl ict where Englishmen are the enemy. In comparing the three plays' treatment of war, one can conclude that the common element in Shaw's treat-ment of war i s his distancing of an audience from the subject i t s e l f . Moreover, one discovers that this distancing i s related to the nature of the subjects that Shaw uses for his plays. Only subjects that he believed were complex were suitable for creating his dramatic works. Therefore, i t i s frui t less for c r i t i c s to examine Shaw's plays for his opinions about a subject; they should concentrate on how Shaw uses these subjects in his plays instead. - i i i -Table of Contents Abstract i i L i s t of Figures v Acknowledgement v i Abbreviations and Texts Used 1 1 The Prism of War 3 2 The Mask of War: Arms and the Man 8 3 The Purging F ire : Heartbreak House 43 4 The Patterns of War and Other Subjects 78 Works consulted 92 - i v -Lis t of Figures Figure 1: Thompson's Scotland For Ever! 21 Figure 2: Shaw's conception of the set for act three of Heartbreak House 49 Figure 3: Woodville's "The Winning of the F i r s t V . C . Awarded to a T e r r i t o r i a l . " Il lustrated London News 17 July 1915 60 -v -Acknowledgements In any work l i k e t h i s , one r e a l i z e s j u s t how much he i s dependant on o t h e r s . I n my case , I owe much to D r . J . L . W i s e n t h a l , my t h e s i s a d v i s o r , whose comments and adv i se helped to shape t h i s study of Shaw. I app rec i a t e D r . Andrew P a r k i n f o r h i s a s s i s t a n c e and adv i se as the o ther member o f my t h e s i s committee, and f o r accep t ing t h i s p o s i t i o n on what was r a the r shor t n o t i c e . I a l s o thank D r . J o e l H . Kap lan , who not on ly was a member o f my t h e s i s committee and po in ted me toward a number of important m a t e r i a l s on V i c t o r i a n melodrama and spec t acu l a r t h e a t r e , but was the person who sparked my i n t e r e s t i n Shaw. In t h i s v a i n , P ro fes so r Dan H . Laurence, whose seminar on Shaw and h i s contemporaries g iven a t the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia i n the summer o f 1984 honed my i n t e r e s t i n t h i s a r ea , deserves r e c o g n i t i o n . F i n a l l y , I wish to thank M i s s Peggy E . Bochun, whose pa t ience and adv i se as both proofreader and f r i e n d i s g r e a t l y a p p r e c i a t e d . She has helped me i n more ways than she w i l l ever r e a l i z e . S . N . M . Vancouver 1987 1 Abbreviations and Texts Used For the sake of b r e v i t y , the f o l l o w i n g a b b r e v i a t i o n s w i l l be used i n the p a r e n t h e t i c a l documentation; the a b b r e v i a t i o n s of the t i t l e s of Shaw's plays are taken from the l i s t i n the index of C o l l e c t e d P l a y s w i t h T h e i r Prefaces (7: 682): A&M Arms and the Man DocD The Doctor's Dilemma HH Heartbreak House MB Major Barbara MD The Man of Destiny SJ Sa i n t Joan CL1 C o l l e c t e d L e t t e r s , 1874- •1897 CL2 C o l l e c t e d L e t t e r s , 1898- •1910 CL3 C o l l e c t e d L e t t e r s , 1911- •1925 In examining Shaw's treatment of war i n Arms and the Man and Heartbreak House, i t i s important t o consider the t e x t s being used. Shaw was an i n v e t e r a t e r e v i s e r , working and reworking not only h i s manuscripts, but a l s o the various published e d i t i o n s of h i s works. The e d i t i o n s used f o r t h i s study w i l l be the f i r s t published e d i t i o n s : the f i r s t v e r s i o n s that Shaw wanted to present to the p u b l i c . Therefore unless i n d i c a t e d otherwise, the page references c i t e d f o r Arms and the Man are from the Richards e d i -2 tion of Plays Pleasant (1898), and the ones for Heartbreak House are from the Constable edition of Heartbreak House, Great  Catherine, and Playlets of the War (1919). The Garland facsimiles of his holograph manuscripts make i t possible to examine both plays in their original forms. These texts w i l l be indicated in the parenthetical documentation by "facs.", and w i l l use the Gar-land editions' pagination rather than the British Library's. 3 The Prism of War Throughout most of Bernard Shaw's l i f e , the Western world was engaged i n war: when he was born, the Crimean War was nearing i t s end while the P e r s i a n War was j u s t beginning; before he d i e d , the world had s u f f e r e d through two major c o n f l i c t s , atomic bombs had exploded over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the United States Army was f i g h t i n g i n Korea. One a l s o f i n d s war present i n many of h i s p l a y s . Of the f i f t y - t w o that were published, twenty-four i n v o l v e war, elements d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to war, or m i l i t a r y c h a r a c t e r s . For Shaw, however, war represented something more than the con-f l i c t fought between n a t i o n s ; f o r him, i t was a l s o an instrument that revealed the nature of s o c i e t y . In What I R e a l l y Wrote About  the War, he describes how i t exposes the complexity of our m o r a l i t y : [ I ] t must be borne i n mind t h a t our m o r a l i t y i s never a simple, s i n g l e , p e r f e c t l y homogeneous body of thought and sympathy, as we c o n v e n t i o n a l l y assume i t to be. L i k e white l i g h t i t may present t h a t appearance at q u i e t times; but the prism of war s p l i t s i t v i o l e n t l y i n t o a spectrum i n which a l l the c o l o r s of the rainbow are con-t r a s t e d . (1) But i n Shaw's drama, war a c t s as both the instrument and the sub-j e c t : i t i s the prism t h a t s p l i t s complex s o c i a l i s s u e s i n t o 4 elements that can be examined, and i t i s a complex social issue that needs to be examined. Shaw was very interested in war. He wrote almost a hundred books and articles—from "A Word for War" in 1887 to "G.B.S. on the A-bomb" in 1950—directly on or related to the subject. But his views on war are rather complex. Shaw did not believe that war was ever necessary, and he declared his opposition to i t long before the beginning of the Fi r s t World War. In a letter to E. C. Chapman, he noted, "I admit that there are excellent reasons for going to war, and for retaliating upon persons who injure us. Yet I am, on the whole, strongly opposed both to war & retaliation" (29 July 1891, CL1 303). But while he was against war, he was not a pacifist. Although Shaw believed that the Fi r s t World War could have and should have been avoided, he also believed that once England was brought into the conflict i t could not simply back out. In Common Sense About the War, he wrote: The war should be pushed vigorously, not with a view to a f i n a l crushing of the German army between the Anglo-French combination and the Russian millions, but to the establishment of a decisive military superiority by the Anglo-French combination alone. A victory unattainable without Russian aid would be a defeat for Western Euro-pean Liberalism: Germany would be beaten not by us but by a M i l i t a r i s t autocracy worse than her own. (105) The complexity of Shaw's views on war may well have had a bearing on his interest in war as a dramatic device. For Shaw, as 5 for any dramatist, conflict i s the heart of every drama. In his preface to Plays Pleasant, he declares that "every drama must be the a r t i s t i c presentation of a conflict. The end may be recon-c i l i t a t i o n or destruction; or, as in l i f e i t s e l f , there may be no end; but the conflict i s indispensable: no conflict, no drama" ( v i i ) . And war i s the greatest form of human conflict in terms of size and destructive power. Of course, Shaw's dramatic interest in war i s not unique; playwrights since the time of the Greeks have drawn on war for the settings, characters, and themes of their works. Euripides's The Trojan Women opens on "a battlefield, a few days after the battle" (11), and focuses on the condition of the women of Troy after their men have been k i l l e d and they are at the mercy of their captors. Many of Shakespeare's plays have war settings: the four mature tragedies—Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth—have war settings, and of the ten History Plays only Henry VIII does not involve a battle. The heroic drama of the Restoration, like Dryden's The Conquest of Granada by the Spaniards (1670), uses war-heroes and their exploits as i t s sources. Military melodramas were very popular in the nineteenth century, and plays dealing with the Fi r s t World War were produced long after that conflict was over: the most notable of these are Sean O'Casey's The Silver Tassie (1928) and Shelagh Delaney's Oh, What a Lovely War! (1963). But while playwrights may use war in their plays, no playwright writes a play exclusively about war. In Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part One, for example, one sees Hotspur itching for 6 battle, and the King dreading i t ; one watches Hal grow in charac-ter on the battlefield, changing from the irresponsible prodigal to the warrior. Indeed, the play's climax i s the meeting of Hal and Hotspur i n the Battle of Shrewsbury. But even though war i s important, i t i s not the sole concern of the play. In his intro-duction to the Arden edition of Henry IV, Part One, A. R. Humphreys notes: The play i s about adventure—the adventure of conflict, the adventure of Bohemianism. It i s consequently also about danger—the danger of defeat, the danger of retribution. And i t i s consequently also about courage—the courage of self-assertion, the courage of disreputability. . . . ( l v i i ) An audience i s as much interested in how Falstaff i s going to explain his behaviour at Gad's H i l l as i t i s in the result of the war. Even a play lik e 0'Casey's The Silver Tassie, written after the Fir s t World War and meant to "counter the 'false effrontery' of R. C. Sherriff's account of the Great War in Journey's End" (Wright 215), deals with issues that go beyond this subject. As one watches Harry Hegan go to war, become crippled, and return home to find that his g i r l and a l l meaning in l i f e have l e f t him, i t i s not simply the f o l l y of war but also the foibles and weaknesses of mankind that are held up for a l l to see: "The Lord hath given," he says as he leaves the stage for the f i n a l time, "and man hath taken away" (O'Casey act 4, 129). Therefore, neither searching for Shaw's views about war in his plays, nor proving that they are not polemic works with war as 7 t h e i r s o l e concern, would r e v e a l much about the playwright. Instead, my t h e s i s w i l l focus on the elements of war th a t Shaw draws on f o r Arms and the Man and Heartbreak House, and what h i s choice says about h i s drama. I have l i m i t e d my examination to two plays because, given t h a t almost h a l f of Shaw's f i f t y - t w o pub-l i s h e d plays i n v o l v e war, i t would be impossible to cover t h i s subject comprehensively i n a master's t h e s i s . I s h a l l , however, r e f e r to Shaw's other plays when they are r e l e v a n t to my argument. My t h e s i s focuses on Arms and the Man and Heartbreak House because they have very d i f f e r e n t approaches to the treatment of war: the former makes war a very v i s i b l e part of the pl a y , but the sources i t draws on are used f o r what they say about the way one perceives the image of war rat h e r than f o r what they say about war i t s e l f ; the l a t t e r draws on elements d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to i s s u e s from the F i r s t World War f o r i t s themes, but i t does not a l l o w an audience to immediately make a connection between those themes and th a t war. By examining these two extremes, i t i s p o s s i b l e t o discover something about Shaw's handling of t h i s s u b j e c t , and to r e v e a l something about h i s approach to w r i t i n g p l a y s . 8 The Mask of War: The Treatment of War in Arms and the Man War i s a highly visible element of Arms and the Man. The f i r s t act deals almost exclusively with Sergius's cavalry charge at Slivnitza, and while the war between the Serbians and Bulgarians i s over at the beginning of the second act, the business of war continues into the third: Sergius announces his resignation from the army (act 2, 30), Petkoff asks Bluntschli for help in drafting the orders for sending three cavalry regiments to Philippopolis (act 2, 44), and act three opens with Bluntschli writing the orders and sending Sergius and Petkoff off to give these to the messengers (act 3, 51). Moreover, the two principal male charac-ters, Sergius and Bluntschli, never remove their uniforms, and Petkoff does not change into c i v i l i a n clothing un t i l the f i n a l act. Thus many c r i t i c s have perceived war as an important theme in the play. The New York Times review of the 1925 Theatre Guild production of Arms and the Man states: [The play] i s no longer especially devastating as an attack upon militarism. In respect to campaigning the popular mood now matches Mr. Shaw's of thirty-six years ago; the languid aftermath of the great war, i n which 9 uniforms were drab and military l i f e in general a matter of persistence and endurance rather than brilliance, leaves most people empty of the glories and heroism of warfare. . . . At the present time most of us are innocent of this particular human peccadillo; and, accordingly, the f i r s t act of "Arms and the Man" seems t r i f l i n g . We have already removed the aureole from the head of Mars. (Rev. of A&M) A careful examination of the play, however, reveals that i t i s not "an attack on militarism"; nor i s the play influenced by elements directly related to war, as i s the case in Heartbreak House. In fact, Arms and the Man holds very l i t t l e interest in the subject of war i t s e l f . Even the f i r s t act, where the main conflict involves Catherine's and Bluntschli's interpretations of Sergius's cavalry charge at the battle of Slivnitza, i s more concerned with the themes related to the perception of war. Despite war's high v i s i b l i t y in Arms and the Man, i t s role as a "prism" has l i t t l e to do with issues directly related to battles; i t s primary concern i s to examine the conflict between two philosophies of perceiving the world—realism and idealism. Although war i s present throughout Arms and the Man, Shaw does not u t i l i z e i t s potential as a dramatic device as f u l l y as other dramatists. The setting of the war in the play and i t s out-come i s of l i t t l e importance: one i s never taken to the battlefield, as i s the case in Tom Robertson's War, and neither a late-Victorian nor a modern audience would have any interest in a war between Servia^" and Bulgaria—nor did Shaw. He openly admitted that the setting of his play i s not very important. In "Ten Minutes with Mr Bernard Shaw," he writes: [M]y play i s not an historical play in your sense at a l l . It was written without the slightest reference to Bulgaria. In the original MS. the names of the places were blank, and the characters were called simply The Father, The Daughter, The Stranger, The Heroic Lover, and so on. The incident of the machine-gun bound me to a recent war; that was a l l . ("Ten Minutes" 481) Shaw's statement i s confirmed when one examines the holograph man-uscript of Arms and the Man. He changed his characters' names: Raina i s originally called Juana, Catherine i s listed only as the "Mother," Nicola i s Michaeloff (see A&M facs. 6-7), and Louka i s called Luga in the f i r s t draft and then i s changed to Stanca when Shaw revised the play (see A&M facs. 217). He did not write down the location of the war unti l he had begun his revisions, and in Shaw's original description of the setting, there i s only one specification: the scene i s "a lady's bedchamber prettily furnished" (A&M facs. 3). Also the play was originally set in Servia, not Bulgaria. In a letter to Charles Charrington, Shaw noted, "I have had to shift the scene from Servia to Bulgaria, and 1 After 1894, "Servia" was changed to "Serbia," and the Standard Edition of Arms and the Man uses the modernized spelling. However, since I am using the Richards edition, which uses the old spelling, I w i l l use the original spelling to avoid confusion. to make the most absurd a l t e r a t i o n s i n d e t a i l f o r the sake of l o c a l c o l o u r " (as qtd. i n the i n t r o d u c t i o n t o A&M f a c s . x i v ) . Even then, the l o c a l e i s not q u i t e s e t : Shaw f i r s t s e t s the play i n "a [town?] between Sophia and i n the Dragonian pass," and changes t h i s to "a small town near the Dragonian pass" (A&M f a c s . 5). Moreover, Arms and the Man, u n l i k e other p l a y s , does not use war t o maintain suspense. I t i s t r u e t h a t the p o s s i b i l i t y of B l u n t s c h l i being caught and k i l l e d by enemy s o l d i e r s i n act one keeps an audience i n suspense, a t e n s i o n s i m i l a r to t h a t used by the w r i t e r s of m i l i t a r y melodramas. But i n Robertson's War, f o r example, war i s used t o maintain suspense throughout most of the play: act two and the f i r s t p art of act three i s set near a b a t t l e f i e l d , and the dramatic t e n s i o n i s focused on the outcome of the b a t t l e ; indeed, the f i n a l climax of the p l a y — t h e r e v e l a t i o n that Captain Sound i s a l i v e t o marry Lotte—depends on i t . But at the opening of the second act of Arms and the Man, the war i s over, and the dramatic t e n s i o n i t created i s gone. The play's c o n f l i c t now focuses not on war, but on l o v e . Even the most hor-r i f y i n g image of war i n the play i s used to b u i l d on the i d e a of l o v e . When Raina confronts B l u n t s c h l i about h i s f r i e n d ' s i n d i s -c r e t i o n , he t e l l s her: BLUNTSCHLI. No: he's dead—burnt a l i v e . RAINA [stopping, shocked1 Burnt a l i v e ! BLUNTSCHLI. Shot i n the h i p i n a wood-yard. Couldnt 12 drag himself out. Your fellows' shells set the timber on f i r e and burnt him, with half a dozen other poor devils in the same predicament. RAINA. How horrible! SERGIUS. And how ridiculous! Oh, war! war! the dream of patriots and heroes. A fraud, Bluntschli, a hollow sham, like love, (act 3, 64-65) The audience's attention i s shifted away from the horrifying image of Bluntschli's friend being burned alive by Sergius's comment on the "hollow sham" of love. In fact, Arms and the Man does l i t t l e to present images of war on stage. The third act of Robertson's play shows "the sick  and wounded" being tended in a church near a battle-field (act 3, 773). Other writers presented even more graphic and spectacular images of war and i t s consequences on stage; Meisel describes scenes from J. H. Amherst's Napoleon Bonaparte's Invasion of Rus- sia; or, The Conflagration of Moscow: The most sensational of the culminating mass spectacles was the burning of Moscow at the end of Act Two. The conflagration, worked with transparencies, appears f i r s t in the distance, and then engulfs the scene in a general chaos of French soldiers and Russian inhabitants rushing about and dying. In the end a house front collapses, and Napoleon on horseback "dashes through everything and  brings [a woman and child] out in safety." . . . [In 13 the third act], a French cuirassier brings in the frozen leg of his dead horse, and the cannibalistic feast i s only prevented by the exterminating onslaught of the enemy. (Realizations 215-16) In contrast, Arms and the Man presents only one violent incident directly related to war, the bullet mistakenly fired through the window when Raina opens her shutters (act 1, 11). Even this tends towards the comic and says l i t t l e about war i t s e l f . In addition, the only visual element of the reality of war i s Bluntschli's dishevelled state when he enters Raina's room in act one; he i s "in *i deplorable plight, bespattered with mud and blood and snow,  his belt and the strap of his revolver-case keeping together the  torn ruins of [his uniform]" (act 1, 8). But his "deplorable  plight" i s designed more as a contrast to the splendid look of Sergius when he f i r s t enters in the second act than a statement about war and i t s effects. One discovers that Arms and the Man does not focus on aspects of war; i t deals with the idea of perception through the image of war. When the play opens, Catherine describes Sergius's great victory at Slivnitza to her daughter, Raina, in the most patriotic and romantic of terms: You cant guess how splendid i t i s . A cavalry charge! think of that! He defied our Russian commanders—acted without orders—led a charge on his own r e s p o n s i b i l i t y — headed i t himself—was the f i r s t man to sweep through 14 their guns. Cant you see i t , Raina: our gallant splen-did Bulgarians with their swords and eyes flashing, thundering down like an avalanche and scattering the wretched Servians and their dandified Austrian officers like chaff, (act 1, 5) Catherine's response to the Bulgarian victory presents a positive, heroic side of war, and focuses attention on the question of leadership. Sergius's success, as one can perceive i t at this early stage of the play, seems admirable: by defying the orders of his superiors, he i s seen as a man of action who i s not afraid to take responsibility; by charging into the fray, he displays the kind of bravery associated with heroes, particularly the heroes of Romantic literature and opera. (This association becomes more significant as the play progresses.) Contrasting Catherine's speech are Bluntschli's descriptions of cavalry charges in general and that of Sergius in particular. In this exchange between Raina and Bluntschli, battlelines for the conflict in the f i r s t act are drawn: MAN. You never saw a cavalry charge, did you? RAINA. How could I? MAN. Ah, perhaps not—of course! Well, i t ' s a funny sight. It's like slinging a handful of peas against a window pane: f i r s t one comes; then two or three close behind him; and then a l l the rest in a lump. RAINA [her eyes dilating as she raises her clasped hands  ecstatically] Yes, f i r s t One!—the bravest of the brave! MAN [ p r o s a i c a l l y 1 Hm! you should see the poor d e v i l p u l l i n g a t h i s horse. RAINA. Why should he p u l l a t h i s horse? MAN fimpatient of so s t u p i d a. question] I t 1 s running away w i t h him, of course: do you suppose the f e l l o w wants to get there before the others and be k i l l e d ? Then they a l l come. You can t e l l the young ones by t h e i r wildness and t h e i r s l a s h i n g . The o l d ones come bunched up under the number one guard: t h e y know th a t theyre mere p r o j e c t i l e s , and t h a t i t ' s no use t r y i n g t o f i g h t . The wounds are mostly broken knees, from the horses can-noning together, ( a c t 1, 15) The d i f f e r e n c e between B l u n t s c h l i ' s and Catherine's speeches i n v o l v e s not only the images they c r e a t e , but a l s o the s t y l e of language the two characters use. B l u n t s c h l i ' s s i m i l e has nothing i n common w i t h the r o m a n t i c a l l y t h r i l l i n g imagery she r e v e l s i n : her charging horsemen come "thundering down l i k e an avalanche" (act 1, 5); he l i k e n s them to peas being thrown against a window. By avoiding the h y p e r b o l i c language and imagery t h a t permeates Catherine's speech, B l u n t s c h l i seems pragmatic and r e a l i s t i c , and by making i t c l e a r t h a t he has witnessed what happens i n a b a t t l e , he a s s o c i a t e s the u n f l a t t e r i n g image of a charge w i t h r e a l i t y . Thus the two characters present d i a m e t r i c a l l y opposed perceptions of war. Catherine sees i t i n an i d e a l i s t i c l i g h t ; she presents a t h r i l l i n g , h e r o i c , and noble image, e l e v a t i n g the s o l d i e r to the 16 l e v e l of a god: l i k e Zeus or Thor h u r l i n g thunderbolts down on t h e i r enemies, the B u l g a r i a n c a v a l r y comes "thundering down" to s c a t t e r the enemy. B l u n t s c h l i presents war as being unromantic, p o i n t l e s s , and ig n o b l e ; i t i s an event where wounds are not "chest h i g h " as w i t h the heroes of melodrama ( M e i s e l , Shaw and the  Nineteenth-century Theatre 186), but are at the knee and p r a c t i -c a l l y s e l f - i n f l i c t e d . Moreover, w h i l e Catherine sees the leader of the charge as a romantic hero, B l u n t s c h l i sees him as "the poor d e v i l " who i s p u l l i n g a t h i s horse's r e i n s to keep from g e t t i n g k i l l e d . Caught between Catherine's and B l u n t s c h l i ' s d e s c r i p t i o n s i s Raina. In Arms and the Man, she a c t s as the battleground f o r the c o n f l i c t between Catherine's and B l u n t s c h l i ' s by p l a y i n g the f o i l to both t h e i r perceptions of war. Despite her t h r i l l a t having her own romantic i d e a l s confirmed by Sergius's v i c t o r y , her reac-t i o n to her mother's news does not repeat the same sentiments. In f a c t , she questions whether those sentiments belong i n the r e a l world. She t e l l s her mother: I sometimes used t o doubt whether [our h e r o i c i d e a l s ] were anything but dreams. Oh, what f a i t h l e s s l i t t l e c r e atures g i r l s are! When I buckled on Sergius's sword he looked so noble: i t was treason to t h i n k of d i s i l l u -s i o n or h u m i l i a t i o n or f a i l u r e . . . . W e l l , i t came i n t o my head j u s t as he was ho l d i n g me i n h i s arms and lo o k i n g i n t o my eyes, t h a t perhaps we only had our he r o i c ideas because we are so fond of reading Byron and 17 Pushkin, and because we were so d e l i g h t e d w i t h the opera th a t season a t Bucharest. Real l i f e i s so seldom l i k e t h a t ! — i n d e e d never, as f a r as I knew i t then. (A&M act 1, 5-6) Raina openly questions her i d e a l s , n o ting t h a t they never have, to her knowledge, become t r u e , and yet she defends them when B l u n t s c h l i a t t a c k s Sergius's l a c k of p r o f e s s i o n a l i s m i n b a t t l e . When the former s c o f f s a t Raina'a f i a n c e f o r h i s amateurish behaviour, she reminds him tha t i t i s her own un p r o f e s s i o n a l a c t i o n t h a t has saved him from h i s pursuers: RAINA. You are my enemy; and you are a t my mercy. What would I do i f I were a p r o f e s s i o n a l s o l d i e r ? MAN. Ah, t r u e , dear young lady: youre always r i g h t . I know how good youve been to me: to my l a s t hour I s h a l l remember those three chocolate creams. I t was u n s o l d i e r l y ; but i t was a n g e l i c , ( a c t 1, 17) Raina f e e l s v i n d i c a t e d and her romantic i d e a l s , i d e a l s which she gained from watching opera and reading the works of w r i t e r s whose l i v e s and works seemed f i l l e d w i t h them, are f o r the time con-firmed. But her co n f e s s i o n , d e s p i t e her a s s e r t i o n that "the world i s r e a l l y a g l o r i o u s world f o r women who can see i t s g l o r y and men who can a c t i t s romance" (ac t 1, 6 ) , undermines our perception of her romanticism. She i s conscious of the b a s i s of her i l l u s i o n , and w hile she i s s t i l l w i l l i n g to embrace such notions a t t h i s stage of the pl a y , i t i s apparent t h a t they, l i k e the sentimental and u n r e a l i s t i c operas of V e r d i ^ t h a t she p r e f e r s , are i l l u s i o n -ary: as she p o i n t s out, "Real l i f e i s so seldom l i k e t h a t ! " The two very d i f f e r e n t images of war t h a t the play c o n t r a s t s provide the focus of the c o n f l i c t i n the f i r s t a c t . However, the nature of t h i s c o n f l i c t i s not based on i s s u e s of war, but on the varying perceptions of i t . U n l i k e Heartbreak House, which i s s t r o n g l y i n f l u e n c e d by the F i r s t World War, n e i t h e r Catherine nor B l u n t s c h l i ' s d e s c r i p t i o n s of c a v a l r y charges are based on Shaw's own experiences. They are a l l based on second-hand accounts. Catherine's d e s c r i p t i o n i s removed from the b a t t l e f i e l d : her v i s i o n of war i s an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of P e t k o f f ' s l e t t e r d e s c r i b i n g the i n c i d e n t ( a c t 1 , 5 ) . In f a c t , one f i n d s t h a t the imagery invoked by her speech has nothing to do w i t h r e a l i t y a t a l l ; when Raina p o i n t s out to her mother that t h e i r i d e a l i s m i s caused by t h e i r fondness f o r "reading Byron and Pushkin" and because they "were so d e l i g h t e d w i t h the opera t h a t season i n Bucharest" (a c t In "A Word More About V e r d i , " published i n The Anglo-Saxon  Review i n March 1901, Shaw wrote: B e l l i n i , D o n i z e t t i , and the I t a l i a n i z e d Jew Meyerbeer pushed the dramatic element i n opera s t i l l f u r t h e r , making i t p o s s i b l e f o r V e r d i to end by being almost wholly dramatic. But u n t i l V e r d i was induced by B o i t o to take Shakespeare s e r i o u s l y they a l l e x p l o i t e d the same romantic s t o c k - i n - t r a d e . They composed w i t h per-f e c t romantic s i n c e r i t y , undesirous and i n t o l e r a n t of r e a l i t y , untroubled by the p h i l o s o p h i c f a c u l t y which, i n the mind of Wagner, r e v o l t e d against the demoralizing f a l s e n e s s of t h e i r dramatic m a t e r i a l . They r e v e l l e d i n the luxury of stage woe, w i t h i t s r h e t o r i c a l loves and deaths and poisons and j e a l o u s i e s and murders, a l l of the most l u s c i o u s , the most enjoyable, the most unreal k i n d . (Shaw's Music 2: 575-76) 19 1, 6), she alerts the audience to the visual, dramatic, and literary images that influence Catherine's way of thinking, images familiar to the late Victorian theatre-goer. Stanley Weintraub notes that Arms and the Man i s , in part, Shaw's response to the "obsessively detailed paintings" of Elizabeth Thompson (Lady Butler) ("Exploiting Art" 64), whose reputation as an a r t i s t was made from her paintings depicting military scenes. She belonged to a school of English painters who avoided "epic and historical pretension" and whose "style has a f f i n i t i e s with that of the Illustrated London News" (Meisel, Realizations 221n): her works sentimentalized and romanticized the "British feats during the Napoleonic and Crimean wars" (Weintraub, "Exploiting Art" 64). She became a celebrity overnight with her fourth painting, The Roll Call, which became "one of the three most sensationally successful pictures of the nineteenth century" (Maas 72), and Shaw notes in both a letter responding to William Archer's critique of the play ("To William Archer," 23 Apr. 1894, CL1 429) and "A Dramatic Realist to His C r i t i c s " (30) that her paintings were copied and displayed in shop windows, making them readily known to the general public. Thompson's Scotland for Ever! (this painting i s also known by the t i t l e , The Charge of the Scots Greys), depicting the charge of the Scots Greys in the Battle of Waterloo, i s a painting that 3 Maas names David Wilkie 1s Chelsea Pensioners Reading the  Gazette of the Battle of Waterloo and William Powell Frith's Derby  Day as the other two paintings (72). p a r a l l e l s Catherine's perception of the B u l g a r i a n charge (see f i g -ure 1). Contrasted by a grey sky which i s the dominant back-ground, the cavalrymen's b r i g h t red uniforms make each member h i g h l y v i s i b l e , i n c l u d i n g the ones i n the r e a r . Most of the men hold t h e i r swords high, ready t o a t t a c k , and are bent forward i n an aggressive r i d i n g p o s i t i o n . The horses, w i t h only two excep-t i o n s , are white, and a l l the animals are wide-eyed, making them appear f r e n z i e d i n t h e i r g a l l o p . Lying i n the foreground are the only signs of the enemy they are pursuing: headgear, a canteen, a r i f l e , a knapsack, and a bugle obviously dropped i n r e t r e a t . The focus of the p a i n t i n g i s the man l e a d i n g the charge. With h i s head turned toward h i s mates, he leads them on w i t h h i s sword r a i s e d higher than any of others'. There i s no t r a c e of f e a r or r e l u c t a n c e i n h i s f a c e . Even h i s horse seems t o l a c k any f e a r : l o o k i n g s t r a i g h t ahead, i t s eyes s t a r e d i r e c t l y a t the viewer. One could e a s i l y e n v i s i o n the man a t the head of the charge i n Thompson's work as Sergius l e a d i n g the B u l g a r i a n c a v a l r y toward the Serbian l i n e s ; indeed, the imagery of the p a i n t i n g i s no d i f -f e r e n t from t h a t of Catherine's speech. Catherine's v i s i o n of war i s a l s o i n f l u e n c e d by the t h e a t r i -c a l treatment of war i n a number of V i c t o r i a n plays and e x t r a v a -ganzas. M a r t i n M e i s e l notes t h a t the popular m i l i t a r y melodrama created an " i d y l l i c p i c t u r e of war i n which a l l wounds were chest-high and the brave acquired the f a i r , " and where war was " g l o r i -ously ennobling" (Shaw and the Nineteenth-century Theatre 186, 188). One can see p a r a l l e l s between her d e s c r i p t i o n of Sergius's Figure Is Elizabeth Thompson's (Lady Butler) Scotland For Ever! (1880); rpt. i n Paddy Kitchen, "Seizing the Heart." This painting depicts the charge of the calvary regiment during the Battle of Waterloo. Note the remnants of the retreating army i n the foreground: (from l e f t to right) a canteen, a r i f l e , a knapsack, a cap, a bugle, and another cap. None of these items could belong to the charging horsemen. 22 charge and S i r Gervase Rokewood's d e s c r i p t i o n of the f e e l i n g a s o l d i e r has when going i n t o b a t t l e i n Tom Tay l o r ' s and Charles Reade 1 s Two Loves and a_ L i f e : You are a p r i e s t , f a t h e r , and a p r i e s t has never a s o l d i e r ' s heart. Oh, i f you knew what i t i s to stand out i n the s u n l i g h t and stake a l l upon the sword, as our S c o t t i s h brethren are doing! The ranks move towards each other l i k e two thunderclouds, every cheek p a l e , every brow bent, every eye b r i g h t . The next moment the trumpets peal along the l i n e , and amidst smoke and dust, and the great music of drum and cannon, man and horse and s t e e l c l a s h together i n the grapple f o r death or g l o r y . (12, col.2) Even Tom Robertson's War, a play t h a t presents both the negative and p o s i t i v e s i d e s of war, e x t o l s the v i r t u e of going i n t o b a t t l e f o r one's homeland. In act two, set near the b a t t l e f i e l d , Herr K a r l Hartmann—the character who denounces the g l o r y of war as "a de l u s i o n , a snare, a c r u e l l i e " (764) i n the previous a c t — w i t h "concentrated s e l f - c o n t a i n e d enthusiasm" d e c l a r e s : [M]ay the shame of a mother's curse b l i g h t the coward who would refuse t o f i g h t when c a l l e d on by h i s Vat e r -land! Let the men r i s e armed from the e a r t h , as i n the heathen f a b l e . To the ranks! to the f r o n t ! a l l men th a t are men. . . . And when the f i g h t i s fought, honour to the brave i n misfortune, help to the f a l l e n , and be past hatreds dead and b u r i e d , as are the thousands of heroes whose memories we weep! (772) 23 There are obvious l i n k s between both Hartmann's sentiment i n the above passage, the s t y l e of Catherine's d e s c r i p t i o n , and the types of speeches t h a t occur i n the m i l i t a r y melodrama. Catherine i s a r d e n t l y p a t r i o t i c , using a d j e c t i v e s t h a t imply a moral super-i o r i t y f o r the Bulgarians and degeneracy f o r the opposing f o r c e s : the B u l g a r i a n c a v a l r y i s both " g a l l a n t " and " s p l e n d i d , " w h i l e the Servians are "wretched" and t h e i r A u s t r i a n s u p e r i o r s are " d a n d i f i e d " (A&M act 1, 5 ) . Her speech to Raina i s spoken "with  surging enthusiasm," and uses f a m i l i a r , c l i c h e d expressions to describe the b a t t l e : the B u l g a r i a n c a v a l r y "sweep[s] through [the enemy's] guns . . . w i t h t h e i r eyes and swords f l a s h i n g , " and come "thundering down l i k e an avalanche," s c a t t e r i n g t h e i r enemy " l i k e c h a f f " ( a c t 1, 5 ) — d e s c r i p t i o n s t h a t echo Rokewood's speech i n Two  Loves and a_ L i f e . Yet w h i l e Catherine's speech creates a h e r o i c and i d e a l i s t i c image of war using melodrama, th a t i d e a l i s m i s undercut by those same melodramatic elements. Audiences were r e a c t i n g n e g a t i v e l y t o the u n r e a l i s t i c world of the melodrama long before Shaw began w r i t i n g Arms and the Man. Booth notes t h a t the genre had begun t o d e c l i n e " w e l l before the end of the nineteenth century" (Booth 178), w i t h Henry Byron burlesquing i t as e a r l y as 1858. Shaw was aware of the l a t e nineteenth-century audience's r e a c t i o n to the emotional and p a t r i o t i c speeches common to m i l i t a r y melodrama. In h i s review of Cheer, Boys, Cheer!, w r i t t e n a year a f t e r completing Arms and the Man, he notes: The greater part of the audience f i n d s i t s e l f amused by the s p e c t a c l e , and i n t e r e s t e d by the magazine gun-24 f i r i n g , the Johannesburg hotel, the polo match, and the Worth dresses; but i t would be utterly ashamed of taking the thrashing of the v i l l a i n , or the "Just before the battle, mother" episode, otherwise than with i t s tongue in i t s cheek. . . . This to me i s the weak point in Drury Lane melodrama. It always contains too much stuff which neither i t s patrons nor i t s authors would conde-scend to take seriously. . . . (Our Theatres 1: 206-07) With melodrama already in decline during the writing of Arms and the Man, the melodramatic roots of Catherine's speech would make an audience leery of accepting her vision of war. Such descrip-tions, after a l l , are based mainly on a r t i f i c e , and a r t i s t i c and ide a l i s t i c interpretations. In contrast, Shaw wants his audience to see Bluntschli's des-cription of cavalry charges as representing reality. In "A Dramatic Realist to His C r i t i c s , " Shaw defends the authenticity of both Sergius's charge and Bluntschli's description with accounts and opinions written by soldiers who served in the f i e l d of battle. At one point, he cites General Horace Porter for "a precedent both for the Swiss's opinion of the heroic Bulgarian, and the possibility of a novice, in 'sheer ignorance of the art of war' (as the Swiss puts i t ) , achieving" Sergius's victory (29): Recruits sometimes rush into dangers from which veterans would shrink. When [General George Henry] Thomas was holding on to his position at Chickamauga on the afternoon of the second day, and resisting charge after 25 charge of an enemy flu s h e d w i t h success, General Granger came up w i t h a d i v i s i o n of troops, many of whom had never before been under f i r e . As soon as they were deployed i n f r o n t of the enemy, they s et up a y e l l , sprang over the earthworks, charged i n t o the ranks, and created such c o n s t e r n a t i o n t h a t the Confederate veterans were paralyzed by the very audacity of such conduct. Granger s a i d , as he watched t h e i r movements, "Just look at them: they don't know any b e t t e r ; they t h i n k t h a t ' s the way i t ought to be done. I ' l l bet t h e y ' l l never to i t again." (As qtd. i n "A Dramatic R e a l i s t " 29) Shaw makes a strong case f o r B l u n t s c h l i ' s account, implying t h a t i t i s the more acceptable image of war. Yet w h i l e Shaw emphasizes the r e a l i s m of B l u n t s c h l i ' s account, what th a t image r e v e a l s about war i t s e l f i s not impor-t a n t . The important f a c t o r i n P o r t e r ' s d e s c r i p t i o n i s not what he says about the misplaced eagerness of r e c r u i t s : Shaw does not r e v e a l what happened t o the cavalrymen i n P o r t e r ' s account, and the quotation does not give a c l e a r i n d i c a t i o n t h a t the r e c r u i t s s u f f e r e d any t e r r i b l e l o s s e s . What i s important i s Granger's statement, an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the event made from h i s own experiences i n b a t t l e . Therefore, B l u n t s c h l i ' s d e s c r i p t i o n , l i k e C atherine's, focuses on how he perceives war r a t h e r than on the subject i t s e l f . The importance of perception i n r e l a t i o n t o the sources of Catherine's and B l u n t s c h l i ' s d e s c r i p t i o n s i s made c l e a r e r when one examines the one source that i s common t o them: 26 the Crimean War. In "A Dramatic R e a l i s t to His C r i t i c s , " Shaw r e l a t e s P o r t e r ' s statement t o the charge a t B a l a k l a v a , d i s m i s s i n g h i s own c r i t i c s ' complaints o v e r t l y and Catherine's d e s c r i p t i o n i m p l i c i t l y by p o i n t i n g out t h e i r l a c k of experience i n r e a l b a t t l e : Imagine the f e e l i n g s of the c r i t i c s — c o u n t r y m e n of the heroes of B a l a c l a v a , and t r a i n e d i n warfare by repeated contemplation of the reproductions of Miss E l i z a b e t h Thompson's p i c t u r e s i n the Regent S t r e e t shop windows, not to mention the r e c i t a t i o n s of Tennyson's Charge of the L i g h t Brigade, which they have c r i t i c i z e d — o n hear-i n g t h i s speech from a mere Swiss! I ask them now t o put aside these a u t h o r i t i e s f o r a moment and t e l l me whether they have ever seen a horse b o l t i n P i c c a d i l l y or the Row. I f so, I would then ask them to consider whether i t i s not r a t h e r l i k e l y t hat i n a b a t t l e f i e l d , which i s , on the whole, r a t h e r a s t a r t l i n g p l a c e , i t i s not conceivable and even l i k e l y t h a t a t l e a s t one horse out of a squadron may b o l t i n a charge. (30) Catherine's speech draws on some of the imagery of Tennyson's "The Charge of the L i g h t Brigade." The poem, w r i t t e n a few months a f t e r the B a t t l e of B a l a k l a v a , would have been f a m i l i a r t o l a t e nineteenth-century theatre-goers, and i t i s not unreasonable to b e l i e v e t h a t many of them would recognize i n her speech the images taken from t h i s poem. I n the f o u r t h stanza, Tennyson w r i t e s : Flashed a l l t h e i r sabres bare, 27 Flashed as they turned i n a i r Sabring the gunners t h e r e , Charging an army, w h i l e A l l the world wondered: Plunged i n the battery-smoke Right through the l i n e they broke; Cossack and Russian Reeled from the sabre s t r o k e Shattered and sundered. (11. 27-36) One can see the p a r a l l e l s between the poem and the imagery Catherine uses to describe a c a v a l r y charge: the L i g h t Brigade " [ f ] l a s h e d a l l t h e i r sabres bare," and the B u l g a r i a n c a v a l r y have t h e i r "swords and eyes f l a s h i n g " ; and both break through t h e i r enemies' l i n e s and f o r c e them t o r e t r e a t . Moreover, b a t t l e bes-tows honour and g l o r y on the main s u b j e c t s . Catherine proudly declares t h a t "Sergius i s the hero of the hour, the i d o l of the regiment" (ASM a c t 1, 5 ) , and Tennyson's poem ends: When can t h e i r g l o r y fade? 0 the w i l d charge they made! A l l the world wondered. Honour the charge they made! Honour the L i g h t Brigade, Noble s i x hundred! (11. 50-55) L i k e Catherine, Tennyson never saw the i n c i d e n t s he d e s c r i b e s . His poem, w r i t t e n " i n a few minutes, a f t e r reading . . . The  Times" (Hallam Tennyson, A Memoir 1: 381), i s based not on per-28 sonal experience, but on what his imagination t e l l s him a battle i s l i k e . Bluntschli's evaluation of Sergius i s based in part on what actually happened at Balaclava. Because of a "mangled order" and a series of mistakes that was precipitated by the egotism of Car-digan, "the entire brigade—half of the British cavalry in the Crimea—charged in the wrong direction" (Farwell 71). Of the approximately 700 horsemen who had joined the charge, only 195 returned: the 17th Lancers was l e f t with thirty-seven men, and the 13th Light Dragoons "could muster only two officers and eight mounted men" (Woodham-Smith 259). In January 1856, the "Inquiry into the Supplies of the British Army in the Crimea" attributed the cavalry's destruction "to the inefficiency, indifference and obstinacy of the Earl of Lucan and the Earl of Cardigan" (Woodham-Smith 276). The press began to attack the two men, and while there were those who defended them, their reputations were tarnished. Bluntschli's assertion that Sergius and his regiment "committed suicide," coupled with the links between Catherine's description and Tennyson's poem, would remind an audience of the actions and f a l l of Cardigan. The only difference between the tragedy of the Battle of Balaclava and the comedy of Arms and the  Man i s the size of the enemies' ammunition. Sergius, lik e Car-digan, i s an idiot who could have k i l l e d not only himself, but everyone with him on his operatic impulse. Shaw avoids making the incident at Slivnitza a tragedy like Balaclava by rending the Ser-vian machine-guns useless through the stupid error of the ammuni-tion suppliers. 29 Thus the element that i s common to the two views of the Battle of Balaclava and their role in Arms and the Man involves the idea of perception. Tennyson's poem presents a heroic and romantic picture of war, but the reports of the actual event and i t s aftermath present war as being wasteful and pointless. The other sources for these descriptions also focus on the idea of perception: whereas Butler's paintings and military melodramas provide a romantic, idealized image, Porter's accounts of the American C i v i l War present war as an event where blunders can be made. Catherine's and Bluntschli's descriptions of cavalry charges, therefore, do not focus on war i t s e l f , but on the ways in which i t can be interpreted. But how one interprets something i s not a simple, clear cut process. In the play's f i r s t act, which uses war as the focus of i t s conflict, the way the characters refer to romanticism, realism, and ideals follows the conventional definition. But Shaw does not have a single definition for any of these terms. For instance, in defining ideal, Shaw notes: [W]e unfortunately use this word ideal indifferently to denote both the institution which the ideal masks and the mask i t s e l f , thereby producing desperate confusion of thought, since the institution may be an effete and poisonous one, whilst the mask may be, and indeed generally i s , an image of what we would fain have in i t s place. If the existing facts, with their masks on, are to be called ideals, and the future possibilities which the masks depict are also to be called i d e a l s — i f , 30 again, the man who i s defending e x i s t i n g i n s t i t u t i o n s by maintaining t h e i r i d e n t i t y w i t h t h e i r masks i s t o be confounded under one name w i t h the man who i s s t r i v i n g to r e a l i z e the f u t u r e p o s s i b i l i t i e s by t e a r i n g the mask and the t h i n g masked asunder, then the p o s i t i o n cannot be i n t e l l i g i b l y described by mortal pen. . . . (The  Quintessence of Ibsenism 121) Shaw's conception of i d e a l i s m here i s very d i f f e r e n t from the standard d i c t i o n a r y d e f i n i t i o n of a "system of thought or philosophy i n which the object of e x t e r n a l perception i s h e l d to c o n s i s t , e i t h e r i n i t s e l f , or perceived, of i d e a s " ("Idealism"). I t i s not the ideas themselves but how they are used t h a t d i f -f e r e n t i a t e s the i d e a l i s t or romantic from the r e a l i s t . For Shaw, i t i s p o s s i b l e to be both a r e a l i s t and an i d e a l i s t , and to be both can be a good t h i n g . T h i s complexity can be seen i n the i n t e r a c t i o n between Sergius and B l u n t s c h l i . C r i t i c s o f t e n see Sergius and B l u n t s c h l i as p o l a r opposites: the former representing romantic i d e a l i s m and the l a t t e r representing p r o s a i c r e a l i s m . And most see B l u n t s c h l i and r e a l i s m as the c l e a r winners: "To a generation d i s i l l u s i o n e d by two great wars," notes A r c h i b a l d Henderson, "Shaw's exposure of 'the g l o r y of war' and demonstration t h a t e f f i c i e n c y , not romance, i s i t s mainspring, are accepted t r u i s m s " (Man of the Century 2: 536). And yet n e i t h e r B l u n t s c h l i nor Sergius can be completely praised or condemned on t h e i r ideas about war, and Shaw i s c a r e f u l not to make e i t h e r character v a s t l y s u p e r i o r to the other. To do 31 so would create "the crude drama of v i l l a i n and hero" that Shaw abhorred: "In such cheap wares," he declared, "I do not deal" (Plays Pleasant v i i ) . The tendency of actors and c r i t i c s interpreting Sergius i s to see him as the comic butt of the play. When Laurence Olivier played the role, he believed the character was a "ridiculous fool of a man" (Olivier 80). It i s true that Sergius acts like a character from an opera, and that his style of language i s "like the hero of a romantic novel" who invests "his loved one with attributes of perfection never attained by mortal woman," and challenges his r i v a l "to a duel at dawn" (Mills 3). As a lover, he professes to be a follower of the "higher love," and plays the part of the operatic hero to Raina's operatic heroine: their reunion i s staged, with Raina listening for her cue so that she can appear "at the right moment" (A&M act 2, 31). He uses a romantic image from the age of chivalry to describe his love for her: "Dearest: a l l my deeds have been yours. You inspired me. I have gone through the war like a knight in a tournament with his lady looking down at him!" (act 2, 34). In war, Bluntschli sees Sergius as a character out of an opera trying to fight a real battle in the real world: He [Sergius] did i t lik e an operatic tenor—a regular handsome fellow, with flashing eyes and lovely moustache, shouting his war-cry and charging lik e Don Quixote at the windmills. We nearly burst with laughter at him; but when the sergeant ran up as white as a sheet, and t o l d us theyd sent us the wrong c a r t r i d g e s , and t h a t we couldnt f i r e a shot f o r the next ten minutes, we laughed a t the other s i d e of our mouths. I never f e l t so s i c k i n my l i f e ; though Ive been i n one or two very t i g h t p l a c e s . And I hadnt even a r e v o l v e r c a r t r i d g e — n o t h i n g but chocolate. We'd no b a y o n e t s — nothing. Of course, they j u s t cut us to b i t s . And there was Don Quixote f l o u r i s h i n g l i k e a drum major, t h i n k i n g he'd done the c l e v e r e s t t h i n g ever known, whereas he ought t o be c o u r t m a r t i a l l e d f o r i t . Of a l l the f o o l s ever l e t loose on a f i e l d of b a t t l e , t h a t man must be the very maddest. He and h i s regiment simply committed s u i c i d e — o n l y the p i s t o l missed f i r e : t h a t s a l l . (A&M act 1, 15-16) Whereas Catherine sees Sergius as the embodiment of the Byronic hero, the Swiss mercenary sees the dashing B u l g a r i a n as a comic i d i o t . L i k e Catherine, B l u n t s c h l i notes how Sergius's eyes as " f l a s h i n g " w i t h h e r o i c g a l l a n t r y , but then undercuts the " g a l l a n t " and " s p l e n d i d " (A&M act 1, 5) image by a s s o c i a t i n g her hero w i t h the image of the r i d i c u l o u s l y romantic Don Quixote f u t i l e l y "charging the w i n d m i l l s " — a n image t h a t leaves B l u n t s c h l i choking "with suppressed l a u g h t e r " ( a c t 1, 16). This i s not t o say t h a t Sergius i s simply a comic b u t t ; on the c o n t r a r y , he i s a complex and d i f f i c u l t c haracter to p o r t r a y . The a c t o r p l a y i n g Sergius must be able to balance the c o n t r a d i c -t i o n s w i t h i n the character to a l l o w him to be the t a r g e t f o r com-33 edy without becoming a c a r i c a t u r e . He must be able t o generate enough sympathy from an audience to make an e f f e c t i v e r i v a l t o the Swiss. Shaw himself describes the needs of the character i n the u n f i n i s h e d d r a f t of a note to the d i r e c t o r of a P a r i s production of Arms and the Man: The most d i f f i c u l t p a r t to cast i s that of Sergius. Sergius i s not a r i d i c u l o u s personage, sent on the stage to be laughed a t , but a superb man, brave, haughty, h i g h - s p i r i t e d , magnetic and handsome. The d i f f i c u l t y l i e s , not i n f i n d i n g an a c t o r w i t h these q u a l i f i c a t i o n s , but i n inducing him t o play a part i n which a l l h i s a t t r a c t i o n s are reduced to t r a g i c a b s u r d i t y , i n which he marries, not the heroine but the parlormaid, i n which a r i v a l a c t o r repeatedly makes the audience laugh a t h i s expense. . . . Unless an a c t o r i s more i n t e l l i g e n t than handsome jeunes premiers o f t e n are, or strong enough t o f e e l sure t h a t he can make h i s tragi-comedy as important as B l u n t s c h l i ' s comedy, he w i l l e i t h e r refuse the part or play i t against the g r a i n as a burlesque. . . . ("Arms and the Man: I n s t r u c t i o n s to the Producer" 270) Sergius i s a f i g u r e only a step away from tragedy: according to Henderson, Shaw saw Arms and the Man as "an attempt at Hamlet i n the comic s p i r i t , " and that " S e r g i u s , the B u l g a r i a n Byron, the comic Hamlet, i s p e r p e t u a l l y mocked by the d i s p a r i t y between h i s imaginative i d e a l s and the d i s i l l u s i o n s which c o n s t a n t l y s t i n g h i s s e n s i t i v e nature" (Man of the Century 2: 539). 34 Indeed, w h i l e there i s a tendency by audiences and c r i t i c s to dismiss Sergius's ideas because he seems to be a romantic i d i o t , t h i s does not mean th a t these ideas themselves should be d i s -missed. In h i s i n t r o d u c t i o n to Shaw and Ibsen, J . L. Wisenthal notes: The play does not weigh the opposing values of the romantic Sergius Saranoff and the p r o s a i c B l u n t s c h l i : i t exposes Sergius and endorses B l u n t s c h l i as representa-t i v e of a healthy and u s e f u l outlook. I f Don Juan i n the H e l l Scene of Man and Superman had s a i d f e r v e n t l y , "Oh, give me the man who w i l l defy t o the death any power on e a r t h or i n heaven t h a t s e t s i t s e l f up a g a i n s t h i s own w i l l and conscience: he alone i s the brave man," we would consider the statement c a r e f u l l y and s y m p a t h e t i c a l l y ; when Sergius says t h i s i n the t h i r d a c t of Arms and the Man we u n h e s i t a t i n g l y dismiss i t as the f o o l i s h n e s s of the I d e a l i s t . (34-35) H i s behaviour on the b a t t l e f i e l d i s meant to be r i d i c u l e d by the audience, and yet Sergius i s aware t h a t f i g h t i n g i n b a t t l e i s not as g l o r i o u s as Catherine and Raina b e l i e v e i t i s . His wartime experience has made him see t h a t war i s not the forum f o r the hero, but r a t h e r the domain of the coward. One must be p r a c t i c a l to s u r v i v e . He t e l l s Catherine: S o l d i e r i n g , my dear madam, i s the coward's a r t of a t t a c k i n g m e r c i l e s s l y when you are s t r o n g , and keeping out of harm's way when you are weak. That i s the whole 35 secret of successful fighting. Get your enemy at a dis-advantage; and never, on any account, fight him on equal terms, (act 2, 31) It becomes clear that Sergius has become disillusioned with war and, by implication, his ideals. He derides soldiering because i t i s not the occupation of the brave who achieve glory and honor, but "the coward's art." He bitterly notes that i f he, like Bluntschli, had bought the horses for his regiment instead of "foolishly leading i t into danger, I should have been a f i e l d -marshall now" (act 2, 32). Even the noble sentiment of courage in battle i s suspect. Sergius admits to Louka: Psha! the courage to rage and k i l l i s cheap. I have an English bull terrier who has as much of that sort of courage as the whole Bulgarian nation, and the whole Russian nation at i t s back. But he lets my groom thrash him, a l l the same. Thats your soldier a l l over! No, Louka: your poor men can cut throats; but they are afraid of their officers; they put up with insults and blows; they stand by and see one another punished lik e children—aye, and help to do i t when they are ordered. And the o f f i c e r s ! — w e l l [with a short, bitter laugh] I_ am an officer. Oh, [fervently] give me the man who w i l l defy to the death any power on earth or in heaven that sets i t s e l f against his own w i l l and conscience: he alone i s the brave man. (act 3, 60) And yet courage i s not an undesirable thing, and war i s where courage can be tested. Sergius t e l l s Louka "unaffectedly" and 36 with a relaxed attitude, "Yes: I am a brave man. My heart jumped like a woman's at the f i r s t shot; but in the charge I found that I was brave. Yes: that at least i s real about me" (act 3, 60). Thus Catherine's perception of war i s not entirely false, and Sergius's experiences with war are not entirely negative. Sergius i s a character who i s defined as a romantic idealist, but whose outlook has elements of realism; in contrast, Bluntschli appears to be a r e a l i s t , one who i s devoid of the romantic delu-sions of his Bulgarian r i v a l . He i s a professional soldier who joins the army that comes " f i r s t on the road" (act 1, 12) and enters battle not out of any sense of patriotism, but for his l i v i n g . As a professional soldier, he fights when he has to, but i s "very glad to get out of i t when" he does not (act 3, 65-66). Unlike Sergius, he does not see fighting as "an amusement" (act 3, 66). Yet the image of the experienced soldier i s not very f l a t -tering. As a professional soldier, Bluntschli arms himself with what experience has told him i s important, but an audience i s as shocked as Raina when he reveals what this i s : MAN. Ive no ammunition. What use are cartridges in battle? I always carry chocolate instead; and I f i n -ished the last cake of that hours ago. RAINA [outraged in her most cherished ideals of manhood1 Chocolate! Do you stuff your pockets with sweets—like a schoolboy—even i n the field? . . . MAN. . . . You can always t e l l an old soldier by the inside of his holster and cartridge boxes. The young 37 ones carry pistols and cartridges; the old ones, grub, (act 1, 13-14) While one may be inclined to sympathize with Bluntschli's practi-cal and r e a l i s t i c outlook, the idea that he carries chocolate rather than ammunition makes him appear more comic than admirable. He seems more a child than a man: he "gobbles" the chocolate creams (act 1, 13), and in the Standard edition, Shaw makes Bluntschli seem even more childish by having him "scrape the box  with his fingers and suck them" (A&M 1931, act 1, 13). And in the Battle of Slivnitza, his practicality backfires on him: with the Bulgarian cavalry bearing down on him and his machine guns unable to f i r e , cartridges would have been much better than chocolate. Moreover, Bluntschli i s in many ways a less attractive character than Sergius. The former's appearance and personality add to his childish image: [He] JLS o_f middling stature and undistinguished  appearance, with strong neck and shoulders; a_ roundish,  obstinate looking head covered with short, crisp bronze  curls; clear quick blue eyes and good brows and mouth; a_ hopelessly prosaic nose like that of a_ strong minded  baby, (act 1, 8-9) He also reacts lik e a baby. He i s frightened by the slightest noise (act 1, 13), and admits that he w i l l cry i f Raina scolds him "just as i f [he] were a l i t t l e boy and [she his] nurse" (act 1, 14). Even when he i s "clean, well brushed, smartly uniformed, and  out of trouble," he i s " s t i l l unmistakeably the same man" (act 2, 38 42). The d e s c r i p t i o n of B l u n t s c h l i c o n t r a s t s s t r o n g l y w i t h t h a t of Sergius: Major Sergius Saranoff, the o r i g i n a l of the p o r t r a i t i n R a i n a 1 s room, i s a t a l l , r o m a n t i c a l l y handsome man, w i t h  the p h y s i c a l hardihood, the high s p i r i t , and the suscep- t i b l e imagination of an untamed mountaineer c h i e f t a i n .  But h i s remarkable personal d i s t i n c t i o n i s of a charac- t e r i s t i c a l l y c i v i l i z e d type. . . . The r e s u l t i s  p r e c i s e l y what the advent of nineteenth century thought  thought f i r s t produced i n England: to w i t , Byronism. ( a c t 2, 28-29) B l u n t s c h l i ' s behaviour i s even l e s s impressive. Sergius may b r u i s e Louka's arm, but B l u n t s c h l i threatens Raina w i t h h i s p i s t o l even though she i s unarmed. He has no qualms about h o l d i n g on to her nightgown i n order to prevent her from exposing him to h i s p u r s u e r s — a n a c t t h a t she condemns as being "not the weapon of a gentleman" ( a c t 1, 10). While the B u l g a r i a n can honestly admit th a t he i s brave, the Swiss admits t h a t he i s a coward who can climb up waterpipes " f a s t enough w i t h death behind" him, but who cannot bear even the thought of c l i m b i n g down the same pipe " i n c o l d blood" ( a c t 1, 17). Therefore, n e i t h e r B l u n t s c h l i nor Sergius presents a s i n g l e q u a l i t y ; they both possess admirable and questionable q u a l i t i e s . An audience's o p i n i o n of the two characters depends on how i t chooses to perceive them. In h i s preface to M i s a l l i a n c e , Shaw deals w i t h the same id e a i n d i s c u s s i n g the i d e a l i s t ' s and the r e a l i s t ' s perception of both marriage and war: 39 One man has a v i s i o n of perpetual b l i s s w i t h a domestic angel a t home, and of f l a s h i n g sabres, thundering guns, v i c t o r i o u s c a v a l r y charges, and routed enemies i n the f i e l d . That i s romantic imagination; and the misch i e f i t does i s i n c a l c u l a b l e . I t begins i n s i l l y and s e l f i s h expectations of the im p o s s i b l e , and ends i n s p i t e f u l disappointment, sour grievance, c y n i c i s m , and misanthropic r e s i s t a n c e to any attempt to a b e t t e r a hopeless world. The wise man knows th a t imagination i s not only a means of p l e a s i n g himself and b e g u i l i n g tedious hours w i t h romances and f a i r y t a l e s and f o o l ' s paradises (a q u i t e d e f e n s i b l e and d e l i g h t f u l amusement when you know e x a c t l y what you are doing and where fancy ends and f a c t s b e g i n ) , but a l s o a means of for e s e e i n g and being prepared f o r r e a l i t i e s as yet unexperienced, and of t e s t i n g the f e a s i b i l i t y and d e s i r a b i l i t y of s e r i o u s Utopias. He does not expect h i s w i f e to be an angel; nor does he overlook the f a c t s t h a t war depends on the rousing of a l l the murderous blackguardism s t i l l l a t e n t i n mankind; t h a t every v i c t o r y means a defeat; t h a t f a t i g u e , hunger, t e r r o r , and disease are the raw m a t e r i a l which romancers work up i n t o m i l i t a r y g l o r y ; and that s o l d i e r s f o r the most part go t o war as c h i l -dren go to s c h o o l , because they are a f r a i d not t o . (Preface t o M i s a l l i a n c e 103) The relevance of t h i s above passage to Arms and the Man i s c l e a r . I n the p l a y , one sees the romantic image of " f l a s h i n g sabres, 40 thundering guns, victorious cavalry charges, and routed enemies in the f i e l d , " and the "spiteful disappointment" that results when i t i s proven to be false. Therefore an audience's perception of the characters should be based on whether they tear off or hide behind their masks. Sergius i s ridiculous when he tries to liv e in his romantic imagination: his expressions of "the higher love" and his challenge to fight a duel with Bluntschli (act 3, 63-66) make him look like a fool. But when he tears off the mask—as he does the case when he reveals the true nature of the soldier (act 3, 60) and wonders which "of the six [Sergiuses] i s the real man" (act 2, 36)—he i s admirable. Raina appears foolish when she acts the part of the operatic heroine who waits for her cue to come on stage, but she gains cred i b i l i t y when she throws away her mask and admits that she has lie d more than twice in her l i f e (act 3, 54). Moreover, to say that Bluntschli gets the better of the other characters because he i s a realist i s inaccurate. Bluntschli i s not a rea l i s t ; he confesses to everyone that he i s "a man who has spoiled a l l his chances i n l i f e through an incurably romantic dis-position" (act 3, 73). He even provides evidence of his romantic nature: I ran away from home twice when I was a boy. I went into the army instead of into my father's business. I climbed the balcony of this house when a man of sense would have dived in to the nearest cellar. I came sneaking back here to have another look at the young lady when any other man of my age would have sent the coat back . . . and gone quietly home, (act 3, 73) 41 In fact, the only character in the play who i s a complete re a l i s t i n the conventional sense i s Nicola, who has "the soul of a ser-vant" (act 2, 25). He i s not a very appealing figure, Louka accuses him of selling his soul for "30 levas" (act 3, 58), and i t i s unlikely that an audience would sympathize with his servile mentality. Bluntschli's advantage over the other characters i s not realism; i t i s what Shaw cal l s " r e a l i s t i c imagination." And i t i s a powerful advantage. In his preface to Misalliance, Shaw notes: A very l i t t l e r e a l i s t i c imagination gives an ambitious person enormous power over the multitudinous victims of the romantic imagination. For the romancer not only pleases himself with f i c t i t i o u s glories: he also ter-r i f i e s himself with imaginary dangers. He does not even picture what these dangers are: he conceives the unknown as always dangerous. When you say to a realist "You must do this" or "You must not do that," he instantly asks what w i l l happen to him i f he does (or does not, as the case may be). Failing an unromantic convincing ans-wer, he does just as he pleases unless he can find for himself a real reason for refraining. In short, though you can intimidate him, you cannot bluff him. But you can always bluff the romantic person: indeed his grasp of real considerations i s so feeble that you find i t necessary to bluff him even when you have solid con-siderations to offer him instead. (Preface to Misal- liance 104) 42 I t i s not the r e a l i s m of war th a t i s important t o B l u n t s c h l i ' s c h a r a c t e r , but h i s a b i l i t y t o remove the mask th a t hides the t r u t h ; we laugh w i t h Sergius when he t e a r s o f f h i s mask to show the r e a l man behind i t ; we laugh a t him when he decides t o keep the mask on. Therefore, the importance of the i n t e r a c t i o n between Sergius and B l u n t s c h l i i s dependent on the way the two characters perceive the world, and what they do w i t h what they see. In Arms and the Man, war helps t o t e a r away the mask t h a t hides the t r u t h : Catherine's and Raina's romantic d e l u s i o n s about war crumble i n l i g h t of B l u n t s c h l i ' s d e s c r i p t i o n , and Sergius r e a l i z e s the "sham" of h i s romantic i d e a l s of lo v e and war. And yet i t i s never a part of th a t t r u t h . The play's i n t e r e s t i n war stems not from the i s s u e s i t r a i s e s , but from what i t can r e v e a l about the way we perceive the world. 43 The Purging Fire: War and Heartbreak House Whereas the presence of war i s a readily identifiable element of Arms and the Man, i t s presence in Heartbreak House seems negligi-ble; the play has no military characters, there i s no clear indication that a war i s in progress until the end of the play, and the bomb that drops into the gravel pit and k i l l s Boss Mangan and B i l l y Dunn, the play's "two burglars" (HH act 3, 109), seems (at least on the surface) to be a climax that i s imposed on the plot rather than a progression of i t . But war i s an important concern i n Heartbreak House. Shaw had contemplated writing the play as early as 1913, but did not actually start composing i t until 4 March 1916, completing the f i r s t draft in May 1917—the period in the F i r s t World War that saw the greatest loss of l i f e . Heartbreak House's ties to the F i r s t World War, however, involve more than i t s date of composition. Anne Wright notes that "the war i s more central and meaningful than might be inferred from the obliquity of treatment" and " i s at the heart" of the play (7). And while Arms and the Man uses war as a visible medium to explore other themes within the play without drawing on the issues of the subject i t s e l f , Heartbreak House does l i t t l e to depict war on stage, and yet actually draws on the Fir s t World War for i t s themes. 44 Heartbreak House has a number of topical allusions to the Fir s t World War. In act one, Shotover notes the possibility of capturing "a machine gun or even a tank" with a grapnel fired from a cannon, and Hesione reminds her father that i t i s his "magnetic keel that sucks up submarines" that made twelve thousand pounds (40); in act three, Hector equates giving destructive power to "Mangan and his mutual admiration gang" with giving "a torpedo to a badly brought up child to play at earthquakes with" (104). The weapons mentioned by the characters became major factors in war-fare for the f i r s t time during the Fi r s t World War. Although the machine gun was invented in the late 1800's and their "lethal efficiency was demonstrated repeatedly in colonial campaigns" (McNeill 272), few "pre-1914 students of war recognized—or accepted—that the development of magazine r i f l e s and machine guns had given the defensive a marked advantage" (Bond 101). The reference to tanks in Heartbreak House was an addition to the typescript (HH facs. 75) made after the British tank saw i t s f i r s t application on the battlefield in August 1916 (McNeill 334). Unlimited submarine warfare was also something new; Wright points out: The "submarine p e r i l " was f e l t from 1915 onwards, and with particular horror at the torpedoing of the c i v i l i a n ship Lusitania in that year. Germany declared unrestricted submarine warfare from 1 February 1917, and the retaliatory blockade of ports led to hardship and lasting damage. Shotover's invention of the ship with the magnetic keel that sucks up submarines i s not totally eccentric: the various anti-submarine devices introduced to counter the " p e r i l " indued hydrophones, "Otter gear", depth charges, smoke apparatus, shells and mines. (Wright 69) Another allusion to the F i r s t World War i s the song "Keep the Home Fires Burning," published i n 1914 with music by Ivor Novello and l y r i c s by Lena Guilbert Ford. It was "surely the number one home-front song of the war" (Jabloner, col. 1), one that expressed "a patriotic concern for the stable continuity of l i f e at home, to be kept safely for the men returning from the Front" (Wright 110-11). The f i r s t verse t e l l s the listener: Let no tears add to their hardships, As the Soldiers pass along, And although your heart i s breaking, Make i t sing this cheery song. This song, however, i s anything but cheery. It has a sense of bitter ambiguity that unintentionally reflects the feelings of Britons on the home-front as the war dragged on. The refrain, usually the only segment played in productions of Heartbreak  House, i s f u l l of sombre images: Keep the Home-fires burning, While your hearts are yearning, Though your lads are far away They dream of Home; There's a silver lining 46 Through the dark cloud shining, Turn the dark cloud inside out, T i l l the boys come Home. While the refrain implores the listener to "[t]urn the dark cloud inside out" and show i t s "silver l i n i n g , " the fact that there i s a dark cloud at a l l implies that something ominous lurks on the horizon. And there was something ominous in the skies over Britain during the F i r s t World War. German zeppelin attacks were a real concern in England; as early as 26 October 1915, the Daily News  and Leader offered i t s readers zeppelin and accident insurance paying up to 250 pounds in "the event of the residence of a sub-scriber being struck by a . . . bomb thrown from an enemy airship or aeroplane" (Liddle 33). These attacks occurred enough times near Shaw's home in Ayot St Lawrence that he jokingly thought of capitalizing on his supposed popularity in Germany by inscribing the following message in luminous paint on his roof: HIER WOHNT DER DICHTER SHAW BITTE FAHREN SIE WEITER.1 ("To Hugo Vallentin," 20 Oct. 1917. CL3 505) And in a letter to Beatrice and Sidney Webb written i n 1916, he describes the attack of the Potters Bar Zeppelin: 1 "HERE LIVES THE POET SHAW[.] PLEASE DRIVE FURTHER." (my translation). 47 It made a magnificent noise the whole time; and not a searchlight touched i t , as i t was the night-out of the Essenden and Luton lights. And not a shot was fired at i t . I was amazed at i t s impunity and audacity. . . . What i s hardly credible, but true, i s that the sound of the Zepp's engines was so fine, and i t s voyage through the stars so enchanting, that I positively caught myself hoping next night that there would be another raid. I grieve to add that after seeing the Zepp f a l l like a burning newspaper, with i t s human contents roasting for some minutes ( i t was frightfully slow) I went to bed and was comfortably asleep in ten minutes. One i s so pleased at having seen the show that the destruction of a dozen people or so i n hideous terror and torment does not count. "I didnt half cheer, I t e l l you" said a dam-sel at the wreck. Pretty lot of animals we are! (5 Oct. 1916. CL3 425-26) The parallels between this incident and the mysterious attack at the end of Heartbreak House are easily seen. Mrs Hushabye "emerges panting from the darkness" and says to E l l i e , "Did you hear the explosions? And the sound i n the sky: i t ' s splendid: i t ' s l i k e an orchestra: i t ' s like Beethoven" (HH act 3, 107). Her feelings toward the mysterious attacker echoes Shaw's own senti-ments about the sound of the Potters Bar Zeppelin. The same unsettling tones of "the damsel at the wreck" are heard in Nurse Guinness's "hideous triumph" (act 3, 109) at the deaths of Mangan 48 and Dunn. And like Shaw, E l l i e i s l e f t with the hope that the unidentified enemy w i l l return (act 3, 110). The attack from the air at the end of the last act i s Heart- break House's most overt link to the war. When Nurse Guinness announces that the household w i l l be "summoned [by the police] i f we don't put that light out" (act 3, 106), i t i s clear that the play has, at least at this moment, a wartime setting. The ser-vants, Mangan, and B i l l y Dunn have a l l run for cover; and the other characters brace themselves for an attack. The identity of the unseen enemy i s never revealed, but Shaw's conception of the set for the third act has a zeppelin-like object flying in the sky (see figure 2), a visual allusion to an incident he witnessed while he was writing the play. But while these elements present a definite connection between actual events of World War One and Heartbreak House, they do not make up a large portion of the play. Yet the influence of the war pervades the atmosphere of the play. Anne Wright notes that Heartbreak House i s marked by "a deep sense of c r i s i s and impending doom," and "[t]he mood of the play, dark, mysterious, savage and poignant, expresses both regret at the passing of an era, and bewilderment in the face of the darkness beyond" (107). Even a Broadway production housed in "a glittering theatre, performed by a glittering cast, and given a glittering production" organized "so that no gloom may tarnish the chromium shine" (Brustein 20) cannot hide the disturbing quality of Shaw's work. In his review of the 1959 production of Heart- break House at the B i l l y Rose Theatre, Robert Brustein writes: 49 Figure 2: Shaw's concept of the set f o r a c t three of Heartbreak  House (HH f a c s . 208). Note the drawing of the a z e p p e l i n -l i k e object i n the upper-left-hand corner. Broadway maintains an affection for Shaw when i t can disguise him as a witty but romantic old sage with a soft spot for young lovers, and the present production labors to perpetuate this fantastic delusion. Yet, somehow, Heartbreak House, though i t can be made to look dull, w i l l not be reduced to a comfortable equation. Even in this production, Shaw remains dangerous. In a time when our own middle classes are obsessed with the cultivation of their pleasures, when our own government i s i n the hands of the practical businessmen, and when our own ingenuity has led us to the doors of destruc-tion, even a glossy version of the play i s enough to make us shift uneasily i n our chairs. (21) Unlike Arms and the Man, the foreboding atmosphere of fear and destruction i n Heartbreak House has direct connections to emotions and events related to the Fi r s t World War. Waste i s one element in the play's atmosphere that i s closely linked to World War One. Shaw noted that the recruitment of the young men of England for the war was condemning them to death. Commenting on the military's recruiting methods during the war, he stated that "men are wanted to make up for 14,000 casualties a day (ducky, ducky, come and be k i l l e d ) " ("To C. H. Norman," 4 Nov. 1915. CL3 328). And when he learned of James Barrie's loss of his adopted son George, Shaw "uncharacteristically and unabashedly wept as he read the letter. 'Such waste', he muttered to Char-lotte, 'such utterly damnable waste'" (Laurence). But the real 51 loss was not simply the loss of l i f e , but the loss of England's creative minds. Weintraub notes: The sons of his friends were being wasted in b a t t l e — i f not their lives, their talents. Lady Gregory, then en route to v i s i t Shaw, had a son flying for the British i n Italy and had lost a young nephew (and surrogate son), Sir Hugh Lane, on the Lusitania. (Shaw, who knew Lane well and also mourned him, had not l e t the loss alter his sense of proportion over the greater carnage in the trenches.) G.B.S. had just watched two proteges go into uniform, Barker and Ervine, and a surrogate son closer to him than anyone but Barker, the twice-wounded Robert Loraine, was with a flying unit in France. Shaw's neighbor James Barrie, one of whose godsons had already been k i l l e d at Ypres, had another, Peter Llewelyn Davies, evacuated home as a shell shock victim. Other friends and friends' sons were at the front or en route there, where expectations for survival were no better than expectations for peace. (Journey to Heartbreak 191-92) The nation was wasting i t s youth, thereby risking the loss of i t s chance for renewal. Just as the war was wasting Britain's chances, the characters i n the play waste their own, which i n turn heightens Heartbreak House's disturbing atmosphere. The relationships involving E l l i e Dunn are complex and anxiety-ridden. She i s the only young character i n the play; the only one a c t i v e l y seeking marriage and, by i m p l i c a t i o n , c h i l d r e n . Indeed, her c r i s i s focuses on her search f o r a s u i t a b l e husband. As the p l o t of Heartbreak House progresses, the question of whom E l l i e w i l l marry i s made even more urgent. There i s a need f o r marriage t o f u l f i l l i t s t r a d i t i o n a l r o l e a t the end of a comedy. In romantic comedies, marriage u s u a l l y holds the promise of s o c i e t y ' s renewal. At the beginning of Heartbreak House, the mar-r i a g e p l o t seems to f i t t h i s mold: a young woman ( E l l i e ) i s seek-i n g marriage, knows and d e s i r e s a s u i t a b l e man (Marcus D a r n l e y ) , but i s blocked by an alazon f i g u r e (Mangan). But the t r a d i t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e of t h i s marriage p l o t soon f a l l s a part. Marcus Darnley turns out t o be a fr a u d , and there i s no one who can take h i s pla c e . The f i e l d of candidates i s unappealing: Hector i s a l i a r who admits t h a t he cannot f a l l i n love again and i s already married, R a n d a l l i s an i d l e r who s u f f e r s from the same k i n d of raging j e a l o u s y t h a t a f f l i c t s E l l i e ' s f a v o u r i t e Shakespearean hero ( O t h e l l o ) , Mangan i s "too o l d " f o r her (act 1, 26), and Shotover i s o l d e r than Mangan. In f a c t , the c a p t a i n i s almost "a mummy" (act 3, 98). Yet E l l i e i s engaged to Mangan, i s i n love w i t h Marcus Darnley (Hector's a l t e r - e g o ) and s t i l l wants t o be near 2 Hector even a f t e r l e a r n i n g about the t r u t h . E v e n t u a l l y she mar-r i e s Shotover. By choosing Shotover as her husband, E l l i e not only e l i m i n a t e s the p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t she w i l l f i n d someone beyond the 2 " I want t o be near your f r i e n d Mr Hushabye," she t e l l s Mangan. "I'm i n love w i t h him" (Act 2, 47). 53 the play; she also abandons the idea of having children. She i s and w i l l l i k e l y remain virgo intacta: i n a letter to L i l l a h McCarthy, Shaw stressed that E l l i e i s "born to immaculate v i r -ginity" (as qtd. in McCarthy 203), and he calls her counterpart in Shakes versus Shav "THE VIRGIN" (SvS 476). The only character in the play who i s capable of producing new l i f e abandons what i s the "point for a young woman of" her age (act 3, 104), and laments to Mrs Hushabye, "You have stolen my babies" (act 2, 61), emphasizing the fact that there w i l l be no children—no renewal—coming to Heartbreak House. Thus an audience waiting to see comedy's tradi-tional promise of renewal through marriage at the end of Heart- break House w i l l be disappointed. Wright notes: The significance of [Ellie's] childless spiritual mar-riage to the eighty-eight-year-old Shotover i s empha-sised by Lady Utterword's reminder, "The point for a young woman of your age i s a baby" [act 3, 104]. Yes, indeed: this i s the underlying "point" in the marriages which, conventionally and r i t u a l i s t i c a l l y , end comedies. But there w i l l be no baby for Heartbreak House (and, for that matter, there i s no young man of E l l i e ' s age to father one). (Wright 90-91) And yet Shotover's house i s in dire need of the things E l l i e ' s children would bring. The majority of the characters i n Heart- break House are either old, or becoming old: Shotover i s eighty-eight, and believes that his "last shot was fired years ago" (HH act 3, 105); Mrs Hushabye, Lady Utterword, Randall, and Hector are 54 over forty, and Mangan i s "about f i f t y f i v e " and "[n]ot ablebodied" (act 1, 25); Mazzini Dunn i s "a l i t t l e elderly man" (act 1, 12), and B i l l y Dunn i s "old and villainous looking" (act 2, 66). The characters sense the need to revive the house with youth, some-thing the captain perceives very early in the play: "Youth! beauty! novelty! They are badly wanted in this house. I am excessively old. Hesione i s only moderately young. Her children are not youthful" (act 1, 9). In rejecting the chance of having children, E l l i e rejects the possibility of bringing that badly needed youth and novelty, thereby wasting her youth. This in turn creates a part of the anxiety in the play. The anxiety over waste created by E l l i e ' s rejection of the "point" of her l i f e i s heightened by the wasted relationships of the other characters. The group in the play with the most poten-t i a l for sexual activity i s the foursome involving Hector, Mrs Hushabye, Randall, and Lady Utterword. In his revisions to the typescript, Shaw altered the ages of these characters to give their f l i r t a t i o n s a greater degree of sexual interest. Shotover's age when Lady Utterword was born i s changed from thirty-two to forty-six, making her forty-two instead of fifty-nine (HH facs. 10) and Mrs Hushabye forty-four instead of sixty-one (HH facs. 17). Hector remains f i f t y (HH facs. 37), and Randall i s changed from an "elderly gentleman" to one who "on closer inspection i s found to be at least over forty" (HH facs. 49). A l l these charac-ters are capable of producing children. But the sexual activity among the four characters i s in i t s e l f a source for conflict. 55 Randall tries to f l i r t with Lady Utterword, but she i s his brother's wife; Lady Utterword f l i r t s with Hector, but he i s her sister's husband. Under conventional western morality, these relationships are doomed from the start: in the Bible i t i s noted that i f "a man shall take his brother's wife, i t jls an unclean thing: he hath uncovered his brother's nakedness; they shall be childless" (Lev. 20.21). And these extra-marital relationships are childless. Randall's f l i r t a t i o u s a c t i v i t i e s never succeed: he pays the price for loving "this demon" (act 2, 86), but i s bilked "when pay-day comes around" (act 2, 87). Lady Utterword manages to get her "claws deeper into" Hector than he had intended (act 1, 35), but he hates her and finds his fascination with her h e l l (act 1, 36). In fact, he cannot f a l l in love, and laments that he gets "landed in a l l sorts of tedious and terrifying f l i r t a t i o n s i n which I'm not a bit in earnest" (act 1, 35). The sexual f l i r t a -tions of these characters, therefore serve no purpose. They are a l l wasted efforts. Moreover, the sanctioned marriages between Hector and Hesione, and Hastings and Ariadne have l i t t l e potential of produc-ing any more children. The spouses have lost interest in each other. Mrs Hushabye speaks to Hector in the past tense when she thinks about their love for one another, and she invites " a l l sorts of pretty women to the house on the chance" that he w i l l f a l l in love with them (act I, 36). Hastings Utterword i s a man who likes "to work sixteen hours a day at the dullest detail," and i s "only too thankful to anyone who w i l l keep [Lady Utterword] in 56 good humor for him" as long as she keeps him "fed regularly" (act 2, 82). The other relationships i n the play are also f u t i l e . B i l l y Dunn ran out on Nurse Guinness, and she would rather k i l l him than have him back. When the explosion k i l l s him at the end of the play, she feels "hideous triumph" rather than remorse. Mrs Hushabye's sentiments about Mangan are not much better. She refers to him as "that thing" and "that object" (act 1, 51 and 59), and does not think that he has a heart un t i l she breaks i t (act 2, 62). Even then, she notes that he has only "a whimpering l i t t l e heart" and asks, "What business has a Boss with a heart?" (act 2, 63). Thus Mangan's desire to be with Hesione i s wasted: her motive for making herself attractive to Mangan—an act that disgusts h e r — i s not sexual interest; i t i s her desire to prevent him from marrying E l l i e . But E l l i e never had any intention of marrying Mangan (act 3, 97), so Hesione's efforts are also a waste of time. Her f l i r t a t i o n with Mazzini Dunn i s even more pointless. It i s a "safe" relationship that lacks any real interest in both parties, and goes nowhere: I never have been a favorite with gorgeous women like you. They always frighten me. MRS HUSHABYE fpleased] Am I a gorgeous woman, Mazzini? I shall f a l l in love with you presently. MAZZINI [with placid gallantry] No you wont, Hesione. But you would be quite safe. Would you believe i t that quite a lot of women have f l i r t e d with me because I am 57 quite safe? But they get tired of me for the same reason. MRS HUSHABYE fmischievously1 Take care. You may not be so safe as you think. MAZZINI. Oh yes, quite safe. You see, I have been in love really: the sort of love that only happens once. [Softly] Thats why E l l i e i s such a lovely g i r l . MRS HUSHABYE. Well, really, you a r e coming out. Are you quite sure you wont let me tempt you into a second grand passion? MAZZINI. Quite. It wouldnt be natural. The fact i s , you dont strike on my box, Mrs Hushabye; and I certainly dont strike on yours. MRS HUSHABYE. I see. Your marriage was a safety match, (act 2, 55) Mrs Hushabye f l i r t s with Dunn merely for the sake of f l i r t i n g with him, and this liaison i s over almost as soon as i t i s started. Another link between the atmosphere of the play and the Fi r s t World War i s the anxiety over how everything w i l l end. Hector's question, "How i s a l l this going to end?" (act 3, 104), i s not only applicable to the happenings i n the play, but i s also rele-vant to the period when Shaw was composing i t . Wright notes that the play "yearns for an ending, but i t s end-anxiety cannot be satisfied. . . . How jis this play to end? It cannot of i t s e l f end the war: in that sense, there i s in 1916 or 1917 no ending for Shaw to write" (74). In one sense, the play has no ending: 58 E l l i e f s and Hesione's hope that the mysterious attacker in the sky w i l l return the next night (HH act 3, 110) makes the audience wonder i f , as Hector notes, their turn w i l l be next (act 3, 109). The question dominating the minds of people as the F i r s t World War dragged on was also "How i s a l l this going to end?" People began to wonder whether the war could ever end; the following rhyme was found among the papers of a couple engaged in raising comforts for soldiers on active service: Absolute evidence have I none, But my Aunt[']s charwoman's sister[']s son Heard a policeman on his beat Telling a maid in Downing Street That he'd got a sister who'd got a friend Who knew for a fact when the war would end. (as quoted in Liddle 8) Fussell notes that the "possibility that the war might be endless began to tease the mind near the end of 1916"; Queen Mary hinted in a letter to Lady Mount Stephen that "even her expectation of an expeditious and rational conclusion was beginning to weaken" (Fussell 71). The endlessness of the war in 1916 clearly paral-l e l s the incomplete conclusion of Heartbreak House. Another element of Heartbreak House that was influenced by the war i s the importance of l i e s . Heartbreak House i s , as J. L. Wisenthal notes, "the home of the unreal" and a "Palace of Lies" (The Marriage of Contraries 138). The home-front during Fir s t World War was also inundated with false stories. The reports of 59 German atrocities were largely untrue. Battles were depicted in glorious and noble images reminiscent of Catherine's description of the Bulgarian victory in Arms and the Man; R. Caton Woodville's il l u s t r a t i o n for the Illustrated London News presents a young man ready to go over the barricade and engage the enemy (see figure 3). The real nature of the war—the conditions encountered in trench warfare, and the horrifying effect of modern weapons—was suppressed by both the British government and the press. But the truth could be seen i f one wanted to look for i t . Shaw saw the dichotomy between the reality of l i f e on the battlefield and the home-front's image of i t . In a letter to Robert Loraine, Shaw noted: Charlotte made inquiries during your active service as to what ought to be sent to officers i n the f i e l d . At the shops they knew a l l about i t , and proposed s i l v e r -mounted dressing-cases, dispatch-boxes, baths, roasting jacks, and arm chairs. Then she asked men who had come back from the front. They a l l said: "Bromo paper [a leading brand of lavatory paper]. Nothing else. And disguise i t as much as possible in the packing, or i t w i l l be stolen." ("To Robert Loraine," 13 Dec. 1914. CL3 278-79) Hector's fantastic stories, especially of Marcus Darnley being "in three revolutions fighting on the barricades" (act 1, 21), has the same kind of romantic image as Woodville's i l l u s t r a t i o n . And like Woodville's romantic image of battle, Hector's stories of heroism 60 F i g u r e 3 : D e t a i l from R. Caton W o o d v i l l e ' s "The Winning of the F i r s t V . C . Awarded to a T e r r i t o r i a l : An H e r o i c E x p l o i t on H i l l 6 0 , " i n the 17 J u l y 1915 e d i t i o n o f the I l l u s t r a t e d  London News ( 8 1 ) . T h i s i l l u s t r a t i o n t y p i f i e s the i d e a l i z e d way t ha t the war was presented to people on the home-front . Under the t i t l e , which i s emblazoned over two pages, i s a c a p t i o n no t i ng tha t the a r t i s t was not a t the scene o f the b a t t l e , but used "MATERIAL SUPPLIED BY PARTICIPANTS IN THE ACTION." 61 are not real. But Boss Mangan i s a greater l i a r than Hector. He boasts that he can c a l l any man who makes a hundred thousand pounds a year a brother, but soon has to admit that he i s a "half-brother only" (act 1, 26). In fact, his wealth turns out to be a sham: the reality of Mangan's millions, Hector points out, i s "a couple of thousand pounds in exchequer b i l l s , 50,000 shares worth ten-pence a dozen, and half a dozen tabloids of cyanide of potassium to poison yourself when you are found out" (act 3, 100). Through Mangan, Shaw vents his frustration with the politicians who he believed were mainly at fault for the war. He declares that "the war i s the inevitable result of Grey's diplomacy (as he doubtless cal l s his imbecility)," and that the f i r s t step in opening the eyes of the people to the truth would be to "emphasize the fact that Asquith and Grey told the country a thundering l i e " ("To Beatrice Webb," 12 Aug. 1914. CL3 245). The "thundering l i e " was the Asquith government's concealment of an agreement with France from the House of Commons and the British people, and i t s assertion that the country had not been committed to war even though i t really was. In a letter to the Daily Citizen, Shaw noted: I have shown that the o f f i c i a l mistrust of the people, which led the diplomatists to conceal their plans from 3 Sir Edward Grey (1862-1933), Viscount Grey of Fallodon, was Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs in the Asquith government from 1905 to 1916. 62 the nation with a completeness which may be gauged by a reference to Mr. Gardiner's^ ar t i c l e in support of non-intervention i n the Daily News (a Government organ) before Sir Edward Grey owned up to having practically already declared war by engaging the co-operation of the Fleet to France without asking the leave of the House of Commons, was unnecessary as regards the people of England, who were perfectly willing to go to the rescue of France and fight Potsdam on the respective merits of Republicanism and Potsdamnation without any lawyer's excuses, and most mischievous as regards Germany, where the concealment of our intentions and preparations pro-duced an impression of treachery which has cost many an Englishman his l i f e and done no good whatever. ("Call You This Discipline?" 161) The situation l e f t Shaw rather bitter. In a letter to Archer, Shaw writes, "It i s a sickening business this sending lambs to the slaughter because we are governed by bloody fools wirepulled by damned thieves" ("To William Archer," 11 Nov. 1914. CL3 265). Mangan i s both the thief and the bloody fool. Like Asquith and Grey^, he bases his power on l i e s : his wealth i s an i l l u s i o n , A A.G. Gardner was the editor of the Daily News, and a sup-porter of Asquith's conduct of the war. ^ Shaw draws a link between Mangan and Lord Devonport. In a letter to Hugo Vallentin, he places Mangan's name i n brackets immediately after Devrjnport's (27 Oct. 1917, CL3 513). But in respect to the subject of lying in Heartbreak House, I believe that the connections between Mangan and Grey are more relevant. 63 but E l l i e was going to marry him because he was wealthy. And both Grey and Mangan bungle the chances for peace for egotistical reasons. In commenting on Grey's decision to keep the agreement with France a secret, Hermann Lutz states, "we are bound to feel a conviction that Grey's main reason for not placing the matter before the Cabinet was a foreboding that the majority of the Cabinet would not agree with his point of view" (82). Mangan expects to save the country, but i s unable to do this himself. Therefore, instead of helping others, he consciously hinders their plans: Well, I dont know what you c a l l achievements; but Ive j o l l y well put a stop to the games of the other fellows in the other departments. Every man of them thought he was going to save the country a l l by himself, and do me out of the credit and out of my chance of a t i t l e . I took good care that i f they wouldnt let me do i t they shouldnt do i t themselves either. I may not know any-thing about my own machinery; but I know how to stick a ramrod into the other fellow's. And now they a l l look the biggest fools going. HECTOR. And in heaven's name, what do y o u look like? MANGAN. I look like the fellow that was too clever for a l l the others, dont I? (act 3, 94-95) Of course Mangan does look like a fool, and like Grey's influence on foreign affai r s , he eventually disappears from the scene: Mangan i s destroyed by the bomb; Grey's power begins to dissolve 64 when Asquith's coalition government collapses and David Lloyd George becomes prime minister in December 1916. The characters' obsession with violence and anger in Heart- break House provides a further link between the war and the play. Many of Shaw's plays written before the war have elements of violence: Jul i a Craven lunges after Grace Tranfield in The  Philanderer (act 1, 81), Frank i s prepared to shoot Crofts in Mrs  Warren's Profession (act 3, 214), Napoleon threatens to use force on the Strange Lady in The Man of Destiny (179), Pothinus i s mur-dered by Ftatateeta on Cleopatra's orders and the queen's maid i s herself murdered by Rufio in Caesar and Cleopatra (act 4, 182 and 192), and Major Barbara has many references to war and k i l l i n g . But the violence in Heartbreak House runs deeper and i s more per-vasive than i n the earlier plays. Cr i t i c s like Margery M. Morgan see a parallel between Shotover and Major Barbara's Andrew Undershaft. She notes: Like Undershaft in Major Barbara, Shotover i s possessor of the latent dionysiac energy symbolized by dynamite. In his cultivation of the "seventh degree of concentra-tion", in order to discover "a mind ray that w i l l explode the ammunition in the belt of [his] adversary," he i s the traditional philosopher-mage, a Faustus, or a Roger Bacon, or a Prospero, seeking that mastery of the material world and physical forces that the scholar, or contemplative, apparently renounces. Ironically, and perhaps ominously, he finds the destructive aspect of 65 his power easier to exploit than the creative; though he i s hostile to negation and destruction, material greed and cruelty, he seems compelled to borrow their own means to attack them. (201) One can certainly see some connections between the two characters. Shotover's income, like Undershaft's, depends on his a b i l i t y to invent implements for war: he received twelve thousand pounds for his ship with a magnetic keel "that sucked up submarines" (act 1, 40), but his "patent l i f e b o a t " — a life-saving invention—brought in only five-hundred (act 1, 39). In both Major Barbara and Heartbreak House, the material rewards are greater i f one can increase war's a b i l i t y to destroy: Mrs Hushabye t e l l s her father that he "cannot afford life-saving inventions" and must "think of something that w i l l murder half Europe at one bang" (act 1, 40); Undershaft t e l l s Charles Lomax: The more destructive war becomes the more fascinating we find i t . No, Mr Lomax: I am obliged to you for making the usual excuse for my trade, but I am not ashamed of i t . I am not one of those men who keep their morals and their business in water-tight compartments. A l l the spare money my trade rivals spend on hospitals, cathedrals and other receptacles for conscience money, I devote to experiments and researches in improved methods of destroying l i f e and property. . . . Your Christianity, which enjoins you to resist not e v i l , and to turn the other cheek, would make me a bankrupt. (MB act 1, 208-09) 66 But to say that there i s a definite parallel between Shotover and Undershaft i s misleading. In Heartbreak House, the perception of violence and war i s very different from that in Major Barbara. While both men desire to k i l l those who feed off the better ele-ments of society, they differ in how they feel that this power to k i l l can be used. Undershaft sees k i l l i n g as the means to achiev-ing social change: "When you vote," he t e l l s Cusins, "you only change the names of the cabinet. When you shoot, you pull down governments, inaugurate new epochs, abolish old orders and set up new" (MB act 3, 283). Yet while Shotover sees a need to k i l l the "hogs to whom the universe i s nothing but a machine for greasing their bristles and f i l l i n g their snouts" (HH act 1, 37) and who " k i l l the better half of ourselves every day to propitiate them" (act 1, 38), he also i s prepared to "blow up the human race i f i t goes too far" (act 1, 32). To him, k i l l i n g i s a means for both liberating the human race and for punishing i t . The two charac-ters also differ in how they perceive their means of income. Undershaft can find himself in "a specially amiable humor" because his gun "blew twenty-seven dummy soldiers into fragments" where before i t "destroyed only thirteen" (MB act 1, 208), and his motto i s "Unashamed" (act 1, 194). Shotover, however, i s not unashamed of his trade: when Hector asks i f he wants the light turned up to work on his new invention for war, the old man replies, "No. Give me deeper darkness. Money i s not made in the l i g h t " (HH act 1, 42). And while Shotover's war inventions are not like Undershaft's destructive ones—Shaw changed Shotover's money-67 making invention in the typescript of Heartbreak House from "an improvement to shrapnel" to the ship's magnetic hull (HH facs. 73)—the destructive capability of Shotover's dynamite i s more immediately apparent. The gunpowder shed in Major Barbara does not explode; the dynamite i n the gravel pit does, and k i l l s Mangan and B i l l y Dunn in the process. In Heartbreak House, a l l the characters seem on the brink of committing some violent act, and a l l of them possess a barely sub-dued rage that threatens violence. Men like Mangan "have the power to k i l l , " and have "millions of blacks over the water for them to train and l e t loose an us" (act 1, 38). Mangan himself i s poised to commit suicide with "half a dozen tabloids of cyanide of potassium" i f the truth of his wealth i s discovered (act 3, 100). Hastings Utterword rules his colonies with bamboo sticks, and i f given the chance w i l l use the same technique on the "British native" (act 3, 95). Hector may wish to spare men like Mangan "in simple magnanimous pity" (act 1, 38), but he too ca l l s for blood: he threatens to k i l l Ariadne i f she persists in f l i r t i n g with him (act 1, 36), and he mimes "a desperate duel with an imaginary  antagonist, and after many vicissitudes runs him through the body up to the h i l t " (act 1, 36-37). Guinness asks Mazzini, "Why didnt you shoot him [Billy Dunn], sir? If I'd known who he was, I'd have shot him myself" (act 2, 72). Shotover dreams of creating a "psychic ray that w i l l explode a l l the explosives at the w i l l of a Mahatma" should the human race go too far (act 1, 32), and in an exchange with Hector, he sees k i l l i n g as the only solution to "the human vermin" of the world: 68 There i s enmity between our seed and their seed. They know i t and act on i t , strangling our souls. They believe in themselves. When we believe i n ourselves, we shall k i l l them, (act 1, 37) And threat becomes action. When Mangan wakes up from hypnosis "in a_ fury" and "kicks the chair violently back out of his way" (act 2, 61). Mazzini Dunn almost k i l l s B i l l y Dunn with one of Hector's dueling pistols (act 3, 63), and Hector grips Ariadne's throat and threatens to choke her when she begins to play her "cat-and-mouse game" with him (act 2, 86). The language of Heartbreak House i s also associated with violence and anger. E l l i e uses " k i l l s " to describe the result of her heartbreak (act 2, 58), B i l l y Dunn (and by association Mazzini Dunn) i s described as a "thief, a pirate, and a murderer" (act 1, 32), and Nurse Guinness ca l l s the unseen enemy in the sky "murder-ing blackguards" (act 3, 109). Randall "howls when [Lady Utter-word] twists his heart, just as Mangan howls when [Mrs Hushabye] twists his" (act 3, 103). Hector's invocation to heaven at the end of act two i s , " F a l l . F a l l and crush" (act 2, 88); and Shotover's warning of what happens when one dr i f t s i s f i l l e d with violent imagery: [T]he smash of the drunken skipper's ship on the rocks, the splintering of her rotten timbers, the tearing of her rusty plates, the drowning of the crew like rats in a trap, (act 3, 105) To some degree, these elements of violence and anger in Heartbreak House draw on what was happening in Britain during the 69 Fir s t World War. Britons had to contend with the threat of attacks from submarines and zeppelins. Moreover, when Shaw was writing Heartbreak House, the number of casualties was appalling. The period between 1916-17 saw probably "the most terrible fight-ing" of the Fi r s t World War, with 60,000 casualties in the f i r s t day of the Somme offensive alone, and the greatest loss of l i f e during the entire conflict. By the end of 1916, the French had suffered 3,350,000 casualties, the Germans, 2,460,000, and the British over 1,000,000 (Bond 116). The war also saw the use of anti-German propaganda, which "affected the c i v i l i a n population most of a l l " (Haste, 79). This type of propaganda, originally designed to justify both the war and Britain's part in i t , stirred up an anger and hatred that soon became "an indispensable part of c i v i l i a n morale" (Haste, 81). A British recruiting poster declared: Germans have wontonly sacked Cities and Holy Places. Germans have murdered thousands of innocent Civilians. Germans have flung v i t r i o l and blazing petrol on the Allied troops. Germans have k i l l e d our Fisherfolk and deserted the drowning. Germans have i n f l i c t e d unspeak-able torture by poison gases on our brave Troops at Ypres. Germans have poisoned wells in South Africa. Germans have il l - t r e a t e d British Prisoners. Germans have assassinated our wounded. THESE CRIMES AGAINST GOD AND MAN ARE COMMITTED TO TRY AND MAKE YOU AFRAID OF THESE GERMAN BARBARIANS. (Haste, i l l u s . 27) 70 The images created i n the poster can be found in the play. Shotover notes that England has broken the laws of God (act 3, 106), and describes the drowning of men. The rectory i s destroyed in act three (106), and Hector asks the captain i f he i s prepared to murder Hector's father's "innocent grandchildren" (act 1, 38). Thus i t becomes clear that Heartbreak House, unlike Arms and  the Man, draws on issues directly influenced by the war. Yet with a l l i t s connections to the Fi r s t World War, the play's presenta-tion of war on the stage i s rather oblique, thereby making i t s relation to wartime issues vague. There are no military battles or sieges mentioned in the play, nor i s there a readily i d e n t i f i -able enemy like the Serbians in Arms and the Man, and one cannot be certain that war i s an element of the play un t i l the f i n a l moments of the last act. The setting i s a house in the English countryside. None of the characters has any military status, and they react i n ways that suggest that Heartbreak House takes place in peacetime rather than during a war. Certainly i f the play has a wartime setting, Mazzini Dunn would not be able to assert that "nothing w i l l happen" i f English society i s allowed to d r i f t (HH act 3, 106). There are, i n fact, other influences on the atmosphere and themes in Heartbreak House that have nothing to do with the F i r s t World War. For instance, the ideas of judgement, of a nation needing to learn navigation or "be damned" (act 3, 106), and a f i n a l explosion that rocks society has as much to do with the writings of Thomas Carlyle as the atmosphere of the war. Indeed, 71 Carlyle's The French Revolution (1837) presents a number of themes that parallel those in Heartbreak House: The French Revolution i s an event that lends i t s e l f to Carlyle's interpretation of i t as the only possible result of f a l s i t y and disbelief. The philosophical scepticism of the intellectuals, the poverty and ignorance of the lower classes, the selfish incompetence of the ruling class, and the faithlessness of the clergy are in his eyes responsible for i t s occurrence and i t s destructive violence. His history i s an elaborate il l u s t r a t i o n of his conviction that human events are directly related to the laws of God. Because France i s Godless, she must suffer. "Ye and your fathers have sown the wind, ye shall reap the whirlwind. Was i t not, from of old, written: The wages of sin i s death" [Carlyle 2: 48]. Carlyle blames the rationalism and the scepticism of the eighteenth century for the f i n a l destruction of faith, but the responsibility for violent revolution must be shared by a l l classes of society. (Waring 87) The society in Heartbreak House, like that of The French Revolu- tion, i s godless: the rector's home i s destroyed and he has no place to spend the night, an event that provokes Shotover to say, "The Church i s on the rocks, breaking up. I told him i t would unless i t headed for God's open sea" (act 3, 106). As for Mangan and B i l l y Dunn—the "two thieves"—their sins are punished by death. 72 The play's anxiety for an ending can also be traced to Car-lyle's writings. The question of judgement and the search for salvation, of " [ l ] i f e with a blessing" as E l l i e defines i t (act 3, 99), i s the main focus of Heartbreak House. E l l i e needs to be saved from marrying Mangan and from poverty, Hector must be saved from Lady Utterword, the world must be saved from "hogs" like Mangan and Randall, and men must be saved from women like Hesione and Ariadne. The development of this question i n the play eventually leads to a larger issue: who w i l l save England? The answer i s unclear. The p o l i t i c a l men—Randall, Mangan, and Hastings—offer no hope, and Hector i s powerless to effect change. E l l i e accepts a st e r i l e marriage with Shotover. Shotover has shot his last bolt long ago, and i s l e f t with only echoes. And yet the c r i s i s i s great: the captain of the ship of England i s "in his bunk, drinking bottled ditch-water; and the crew i s gambling in the forecastle. She w i l l strike and sink and s p l i t " (act 3, 106). Wisenthal notes that Shotover's metaphor of the ship has links to the passage contrasting Sir Jabesh Windbag with Cromwell in Car-lyle's Past and Present (see The Marriage of Contraries 158). The concern of a l l the characters over the fate of England, therefore, i s not tied solely to the war. One can also attribute the play's forboding atmosphere to other playwrights. Shaw wrote a new section on Ibsen's last four plays for the 1913 edition of The Quintessence of Ibsenism. In i t , he noted: And yet the shadow of death i s here; for a l l four, except L i t t l e Eyolf, are tragedies of the dead, deserted 73 and mocked by the young who are s t i l l f u l l of l i f e . The Master Builder i s a dead man before the curtain rises: the breaking of his body to pieces in the last act by i t s f a l l from the tower i s rather the impatient destruc-tion of a ghost of whose delirious whisperings Nature i s tired than of one who s t i l l counts among the l i v i n g . Borkman and the two women, his wife and her sister, are not merely dead: they are buried; and the creatures we hear and see are only their s p i r i t s in torment. "Never dream of l i f e again," says Mrs Borkman to her husband: " l i e quiet where you are." And the last play of a l l i s frankly called When We Dead Awaken. Here the quintes-sence of Ibsenism reaches i t s f i n a l d i s t i l l a t i o n : morality and reformation give place to mortality and resurrection. . . . (173) Shotover, lik e the characters of Ibsen's last plays, i s practi-cally dead. He i s a "mummy" who fears dreams and awakes "tired, tired of l i f e " (act 2, 80). His moments of impassioned, philosophical thought, he notes, are "nothing but echoes" (act 3, 105). Another dramatic influence on Heartbreak House i s Shaw's favourite Shakespearean play: King Lear. In Shakes Versus Shav, the connection between Shakespeare's tragedy and Shaw's comedy i s clearly drawn: SHAKES. Where i s thy Hamlet? Coulds thou write King Lear? SHAV. Aye, with his daughters a l l complete. Couldst thou Have written Heartbreak House? Behold my Lear. _A transparency i s suddenly l i t up, shewing Captain  Shotover seated, as in M i l l a i s ' picture called West Pas- sage, with <i young woman of virginal beauty [ E l l i e ] . (SvS 475-76) Weintraub notes the parallels between the two plays: Without offering any explanations for them, c r i t i c s have long pointed to tantalizing hints of Lear in Shaw's play. As one notes, i t i s "apocalyptic. Captain Shotover i s eighty-eight and mad. His two daughters have an aspect i n which they are fiends. Boss Mangan, the businessman driven to a frenzy by Heartbreak House, proposes [like Lear] to strip himself naked. 'Poor wretch!' Hector Hushabye exclaims at the end of the sec-ond act—and adds, as 'he l i f t s his f i s t s i n invocation to heaven': ' F a l l . F a l l and crush.'" (This parallels, perhaps, Albany's similar gesture and invocation, " F a l l and cease!" near the close of Lear.) Even the a i r raid that brings the play to a violent conclusion seems a modern embodiment of the great storm in Lear. "These reverberations," J. I. M. Stewart observes, "are not insignificant. For Heartbreak House i s the play in which Shaw confronts, for the f i r s t time in his imagina-tive writing, the small extent of his faith i n man. What l i e s just beneath the play's surface i s despair. 75 It i s thus i n intention, or impulsion, radically d i f -ferent from almost a l l the rest of his work. . . . " (Weintraub, Journey to Heartbreak 336-37) Nor can one attribute the character's violence and anger solely to the F i r s t World War. While these elements have connec-tions with wartime Britain, they also represent symptoms of Euro-pean society before the war. Long before the f i r s t shot was fired, a kind of bloodlust enveloped Europe. George Steiner notes: [0]ne thing i s plain: by c^ 1900 there was a terrible readiness, indeed a thirs t , for what Yeats was to c a l l the "blood-dimmed tide." Outwardly b r i l l i a n t and serene, l a belle epoque was menacingly overripe. Anar-chic compulsions were coming to a c r i t i c a l pitch beneath the garden surface. . . . The arms race and the mounting fever of European nationalism were, I think, only the outward symptoms of this malaise. Intellect and feeling were, l i t e r a l l y , fascinated by the prospect of purging f i r e . (Steiner 27) Indeed, Shaw makes i t clear i n the preface to Heartbreak House that the play represents "cultured, leisured Europe before the war" (preface to HH v i i ; my emphasis). The question of how to interpret the role of war i n Heart- break House i s , therefore, complex. Cr i t i c s l i k e Wright and Berst state that Heartbreak House has strong links to war: Berst asserts that "[o]nly i n a limited aspect i s [Shaw's] play about cultured, 76 leisured Europe. Far more profoundly i t i s about the anguish and despair of a sensitive consciousness facing the vanity, stupidity, vileness, and insanity of social and historical r e a l i t i e s " (223-24). Yet one cannot point to war as the main influence working in the play. One cannot determine a definite time for the action of the play: characters act in ways that reflect the period during the F i r s t World War; on the other hand, they behave in a manner that i s totally inconsistent with a war-time setting. For Desmond McCarthy, this ambiguity i s a serious flaw in the play: As a picture of behaviour and talk i n an English country house during the summer of nineteen-fifteen or sixteen or seventeen, or whenever the action i s supposed to take place, the play has no relation to reality. Whatever cogency i t might have had as an exposure of the feck-lessness of the upper-class in England before the war, at the time when the characters and situations were con-ceived by the dramatist, has been f a l s i f i e d by his post-dating i t in order to exhibit Nemesis in the form of f a l l i n g bombs. (153) On the contrary, this ambiguity i s not a flaw. An audience i s not meant to perceive the play as a depiction of pre-war or wartime Europe. Wisenthal notes: The vagueness of historical background seems to me to be a deliberate technique on Shaw's part, to contribute to the dreamy atmosphere of the whole play, and more espe-c i a l l y to give the bombing at the end a wider reference. 77 It i s a symbol of the outbreak of the war, but at the same time i t i s thunder from the heavens, a sign of divine wrath. (The Marriage of Contraries 164-65) The play instead creates an atmosphere of c r i s i s : one that i s applicable not just to a world at war, but to one that i s , for the moment, at peace. It extends a universal warning that goes beyond the dangers of war, using the elements of war to help create i t s hothouse atmosphere. Heartbreak House i s influenced by the writings of Carlyle, Ibsen, and Shakespeare as much as i t i s by the Fi r s t World War. Parts of the play make use of the war only for what i t can con-tribute to an atmosphere that has i t s roots in pre-war Europe. That i s why one finds i n Heartbreak House Shaw keeping war at arms' length. He ut i l i z e s his experiences of wartime Britain, but incorporates them i n a way that avoids making the play's connec-tions to war clear. This i s not to say that one should ignore the influence war has on the overall theme of Heartbreak House. It was born largely out of the despair Shaw f e l t during i t s composi-tion, but goes beyond the Great War to deal with themes that touch on the individual, the family, and the very fabric of society i t s e l f . t 78 The Patterns of War and Other Subjects In drawing a conclusion about Shaw's treatment of war in Arms and  the Man and Heartbreak House, one can choose a number of approaches. It i s possible to show how the differences between the two plays show the diversity of Shaw's technique as a playwright. On the other hand, one could examine the s imi lar i t ies between the two plays to demonstrate the common elements in Shaw's approach to playwrighting. My approach, however, f a l l s between the two. The two plays are very different in their treatment of war. In the f i r s t act of Arms and the Man, the audience's atten-tion focuses on the image of war: Catherine presents a romanti-cal ly idea l i s t i c picture, while Bluntschli presents a prosaic one. In contrast, Heartbreak House uses no clearly discernible images of war u n t i l the enemy in the sky explodes the dynamite in Shotover's gravel p i t . Moreover, whereas Arms and the Man con-centrates on philosophies for perceiving the world rather than on war i t s e l f , Heartbreak House uses issues raised by the F i r s t World War: violence, waste, and the need for l i e s . But careful examina-tion of the reasons for these differences reveals a common pur-pose. The important point that must be considered concerns not the elements of war, but the way they are used on stage. Shaw balances a play's need to draw on sources related to war with his desire to deal with themes that go beyond i t . In Arms 79 and the Man, an audience i s forced to concentrate on the idea of perception. The play makes war a v i s i b l e element, but avoids dealing with war's issues by s h i f t i n g the focus from war to love. This s h i f t emphasizes that i t i s not what the characters perceive, but how they perceive i t that i s important. In Heartbreak House, a clear connection between the issues drawn from F i r s t World War England and the war i t s e l f i s obscured. The atmosphere i s influenced by the anxieties of wartime England, but the charac-ters' behaviour, coupled with the play's setting, i s not always consistent with the sentiments of that period. Thus Shaw achieves the same effect i n both plays: his audience i s never allowed to focus the i r attention on war i t s e l f . They are forced to con-centrate on other issues: that i s to say, they must use war only as a prism. At t h i s point, I could end by saying that Shaw does not write plays about war, but as I noted i n my introduction, t h i s i s not a great revelation about Shaw or any other playwright. What i s interesting i s what one can say about Shaw's treatment of war i n re l a t i o n to his technique of writing plays. Shaw t o l d Henderson that the "play develops i t s e l f . I only hold the pen" (Table-Talk  of G.B.S. 75). Bernard F. Dukore observes that Captain  Brassbound's Conversion i s Shaw's only play that was "planned and plotted" (18). Thus i t i s not surprising that Shaw does not have a single, formulaic approach to using war i n his plays. As one can see i n Heartbreak House and Arms and the Man, how Shaw deals with i t varies according to the dictates of the play: i t can be a 80 part of the main theme, or i t can simply be a device to explore a theme. Or i t can do both. One example of this combination i s Saint  Joan. Unlike Arms and the Man and Heartbreak House, the way that Saint Joan uses war i s influenced by historical fact.^ This type of drama presents a unique set of problems and concerns from those of a play based mainly on the playwright's own ideas. In a letter to Archer, Shaw outlines the constraints imposed on him in writing a play with a similar origin, Caesar and Cleopatra: The defects of "C & C" seem to me inherent in the genre Chronicle Play. I tried cutting & compression; but when I came to read the play to people I found myself forced to restore the cuts—even the most apparently harmless ones. . . . The fact i s , when you come to do these things, you find out that the peculiar characteristics of the Shakespear chronicle play are not due to his neglect or failure to construct them like Othello, but are produced by the technical conditions of the feat. You say i n the chronicle play "I w i l l accept character and story from outside the drama—from History, not from my own dramatic invention & the needs of the dramatic appetite; and I w i l l make the best play I can out of them. (27 July 1899, CL2 93-94) ^ For a detailed account of the sources Shaw draws on for Saint Joan, see Brian Tyson's The Story of Saint Joan. Of partic-ular interest i s the play's faithfulness to the various historical accounts of Joan's t r i a l . 81 In S a i n t Joan, Shaw must deal w i t h the h i s t o r i c a l f i g u r e ' s image as a w a r r i o r . In the preface t o the p l a y , Shaw w r i t e s : She i s the most notable Warrior S a i n t i n the C h r i s t i a n calandar, and the queerest f i s h among the e c c e n t r i c worthies of the Middle Ages. Though a professed and most pious C a t h o l i c , and the p r o j e c t o r of a Crusade against the H u s i t e s , she was i n f a c t one of the f i r s t P r o t e s t a n t martyrs. She was a l s o one of the f i r s t a p o s t l e s of N a t i o n a l i s m , and the f i r s t French prac-t i t i o n e r of Napoleonic r e a l i s m i n warfare as d i s t i n -guished from the s p o r t i n g ransomgambling f s i c l c h i v a l r y of her time, (v) The importance of the h i s t o r i c a l perception of Joan makes war a c r u c i a l part of the p l a y . This i s not to say t h a t the play b l i n d l y f o l l o w s h i s t o r y to r e c r e a t e t h i s image; S a i n t Joan has broader i n t e r e s t s than war or the s o l d i e r - s a i n t . Yet Shaw cannot distance S a i n t Joan from war by obscuring i t s presence as he does i n Heartbreak House. I t must be a v i s i b l e element of the p l a y because h i s t o r y d i c t a t e s that Joan's character must be t o a l a r g e degree defined by her r o l e as a s o l d i e r . Shaw sol v e s t h i s dilemma by combining the two types of t r e a t -ment of war found i n Arms and the Man and Heartbreak House. As i s the case i n Arms and the Man, war i s a very v i s i b l e element of S a i n t Joan. Set i n France during the Hundred Years War, t h i s con-f l i c t i s the main concern of the c h a r a c t e r s f o r the f i r s t f i v e scenes of the p l a y . In the f i r s t scene, the E n g l i s h have France 82 at t h e i r mercy. Bertrand de Poulengey t e l l s Robert de Baudricourt: I f we had any commonsense we should j o i n the Duke of Burgundy and the E n g l i s h King. They hold h a l f the country, r i g h t down t o the L o i r e . They have P a r i s . They have t h i s c a s t l e : you know very w e l l t h a t we had t o surrender i t to the Duke of Bedford, and th a t you are only h o l d i n g i t on p a r o l e . The Dauphin i s i n Chinon, l i k e a r a t i n a corner, except that he wont f i g h t . We dont even know t h a t he i s the Dauphin: h i s mother says he i s n t ; and she ought t o know. Think of t h a t ! the queen denying the l e g i t i m a c y of her own son! . . . I t e l l you t h a t nothing can save our s i d e now but a m i r a c l e , (scene 1, 8-9) In the second scene, Joan t r i e s to convince Charles of the need f o r courage and t o f i g h t the "goddams" that occupy France. Scene three i s set at the French camp th a t i s across the r i v e r from Orleans. The wind i s blowing the wrong way, and Dunois i s plead-i n g w i t h i t to change d i r e c t i o n , but without success. He even endows the wind w i t h the n a t i o n a l i t y of h i s enemy: "Change, curse you, change, E n g l i s h h a r l o t of a wind, change" (scene 3, 33). I n scene f o u r , the venue switches to the E n g l i s h s i d e a f t e r t h e i r defeat a t the c i t y . The Chaplain i s outraged t h a t the E n g l i s h army i s being defeated: THE NOBLEMAN \ s u p e r c i l i o u s 1 What i s the matter? THE CHAPLAIN. The matter, my l o r d , i s th a t we E n g l i s h have been defeated. 83 THE NOBLEMAN. That happens, you know. It i s only in history books and ballads that the enemy i s always defeated. THE CHAPLAIN. But we are being defeated over and over again, (scene 4, 39) In scene five, the focus of the debate between Joan and the other ; characters i s her plan to mount a siege of Paris. Thus war i s more visible in Saint Joan than in Arms and the Man i n that the former makes war an important part of the play for almost the entire play rather that just the f i r s t act. But war i s not simply an image that i s present on the stage in Saint Joan; like Heartbreak House, the play depends directly on aspects of war for i t s themes. Just as history's perception of the real Joan i s based on her image as the "Warrior Saint," an audience's perception of the t i t l e character of Saint Joan i s influenced by war. Her passion to change people—a t r a i t that one can find in most of Shaw's heroic f i g u r e s — i s strongly linked to i t . She t e l l s the Dauphin, "Thou must fight, Charlie, whether thou w i l l or no. I w i l l go f i r s t to hearten thee. We must take our courage in both hands: aye, and pray for i t with both hands too" (scene 2, 30). Her plans, however, go beyond converting the king. She intends to convert a l l the social classes i n France: Our soldiers are always beaten because they are fighting only to save their skins; and the shortest way to save your skin i s to run away. Our knights are thinking only of the money they w i l l make in ransoms: i t i s not k i l l 84 or be k i l l e d with them, but pay or be paid. But I w i l l teach them a l l to fight that the w i l l of God may be done in France; and then they w i l l drive the poor goddams before them like sheep. You and Polly w i l l l i v e to see the day when there w i l l not be an English soldier on the s o i l of France; and there w i l l be but one king there: not the feudal English king, but God's French one. (scene 1, 13-14) In these speeches, one immediately sees that Joan i s brave and loyal. An audience admires the simplicity that allows her to be comfortable with both a king and the common soldier; indeed, she treats them in much the same way. While war influences one's perception of the character, i t i s also an important part of the play's theme. Saint Joan i s not primarily about her triumphs—her success at Orleans, her crowning of Charles, and her canonization. It deals with the reasons why she had to die. War i s at the root of her downfall. Her approach to battles has some similarities to Sergius's: both f a i l to grasp the complexities of their situation. What makes Joan's mistake tragic i s that she, unlike Sergius, i s given a clear warning of her f o l l y . Dunois t e l l s her: Do not think, any of you, that these victories of ours were won without generalship. King Charles: you have said no word i n your proclamations of my part in this campaign; and I make no complaint of that; for the people w i l l run after The Maid and her miracles and not 85 after the Bastard's hard work finding troops for her and feeding them. But I know exactly how much God did for us through The Maid, and how much He l e f t me to do by my own wits; and I t e l l you that your l i t t l e hour of miracles i s over, and that from this time on he who plays the war game best w i l l w i n — i f the luck i s on his side, (scene 5, 62) Joan does not understand why she must play this game. Her only philosophy i s to attack. She t e l l s those around her: You never know when you are victorious: that i s a worse fault [than never knowing when one i s beaten], I shall have to make you carry looking-glasses i n battle to con-vince you that the English have not cut off a l l your noses. You would have been besieged in Orleans s t i l l , you and your councils of war, i f I had not made you attack. You should always attack; and i f you only hold on long enough the enemy w i l l stop f i r s t . You dont know how to begin a battle; and you dont know how to use your cannons. And I do. (scene 5, 61) Her simple tactics s t i r one's soul with the strength of the faith behind them, but they are clearly too simple for Dunois's "war game." To have this kind of simplicity i n a complex world leaves no doubt that Joan w i l l lose. Despite her triumph i n becoming a saint at the end of the play, an audience's f i n a l image of her i s one of defeat: the Epilogue ends with her cry of anguish and near-despair—"0 God that madest this beautiful earth, when w i l l i t be 86 ready to receive Thy saints? How long, 0 Lord, how long?" (Epilogue 114)—after she i s abandoned by her worshippers "as she was l e f t isolated and unsupported during her l i f e " (Wisenthal The  Marriage of Contraries 186). Thus war i s a highly prominent and visible feature of the Saint Joan, and plays a crucial part in conveying both her image to the audience and certain aspects of the main theme. But even though war i s both a prism and a subject in the play, Saint Joan s t i l l maintains a distance between i t s audience and war. Like Arms and the Man, the play shifts i t s focus away from war. Scene six focuses on Joan's t r i a l and away from the war and i t s outcome. Moreover, Joan's patriotism, a patriotism closely linked to war, distances the audience from actual concerns of war i t s e l f . Joan i s the character who e l i c i t s the audience's sympathy, a sympathy created in some measure by her ardent form of patriotism—her con-cern for the welfare of France and God's w i l l . Her speeches involving this sentiment invoke a great deal of emotion. Before the siege of Orleans, she t e l l s Dunois: Is this the time for patience? Our enemy i s at our gates; and here we stand doing nothing. Oh, why are you not fighting? Listen to me: I w i l l deliver you from fear. . . . DUNOIS. Be quiet, and list e n to me. If I were in either of those forts with only ten men I could hold i t against an entire army. The English have more than ten times ten goddams in those forts to hold them against us. 87 JOAN. They cannot hold them against God. God did not give them the land under those forts: they stole i t from Him. He gave i t to us. I w i l l take those forts, (scene 3, 35-36) Her concern for the welfare of France echoes Hector's concern about the state of England. But in Saint Joan, England i s the enemy, and the principal audience for which the play was written i s English. To sympathize with Joan, i t must distance i t s e l f from the war in the play, or else i t must identify with Joan's enemies—an unlikely occurrence. Thus the common element in Shaw's treatment of war i s the need to distance the audience from the very element of war the plays draw upon. This distancing i s indicative of Shaw's choice of other subjects for his plays. Shaw touches on some of the issues related to medicine in The Doctor's Dilemma. An a r t i s t , Louis Dubedat, i s dying of tuberculosis. He i s l e f t in the care of Sir Ralph Bloomfield Bonington ("B.B."), a fashionable consult-ant who has no real s k i l l in medicine. Because of the doctor's incompetence, Dubedat's condition i s accelerated, and he soon dies in his wife's arms. But the play's conflict does not focus on the a b i l i t y of the doctors as much as on moral issues. The a r t i s t i s in the care of a competent doctor, Sir Colenso Ridgeon, who i s experimenting on a new cure for tuberculosis. But the physician i s faced with a dilemma: he can save only one of two people— Dubedat, a dishonest blackguard who i s a gifted a r t i s t , and the honest and decent Dr. Blenkinsop, who has no talent at a l l . He 88 chooses to save Blenkinsop and leaves the ar t i s t in Bonington's hands. Ridgeon's motives are not, however, entirely honourable. He reveals to Sir Patrick Cullen his desire to marry Dubedat's wife, Jennifer: Well, i f I let Blenkinsop die, at least nobody can say I did i t because I wanted to marry his widow. SIR PATRICK. Eh! Whats that? RIDGEON. Now i f I let Dubedat die, I ' l l marry his widow. SIR PATRICK. Perhaps she wont have you, you know. RIDGEON [with a_ self-assured shake of the head] I've a pretty good f l a i r for that sort of thing. I know when a woman i s interested in me. She i s . (DocD act 2, 51) The play's conflict focuses not on Shaw's opinion of doctors, but on a question of ethics that i s not specifically linked to medi-cine at a l l . A pattern about how Shaw uses different subjects in his plays begins to emerge. As noted i n my introduction, Shaw had a strong interest in the subject of war, but his views about i t are com-plex. One finds this i s much the same with his opinion of doc-tors. In Doctor's Delusions, Crude Criminology, and Sham Educa- tion, he wrote: There should be no such thing as a poor doctor and no such thing as an ignorant one. The great majority of our doctors today are both poor and ignorant with the conceited ignorance of obsolete or spurious knowledge. 89 Our surgeons obtain the highest o f f i c i a l q u a l i f i c a t i o n s without having had a single hour of s p e c i f i c manual tr a i n i n g : they have to pick up the art of carving us as paterfamilias picks up the art of carving a goose. The general education of our c i t i z e n s (the patients) leaves them so credulous and g u l l i b l e , that the doctor, to whom they att r i b u t e magical powers over l i f e and death, i s forced to treat them according to th e i r f o l l y l e s t he starve, ( x i ) Yet while he condemned many doctors' methods, Shaw believed that they had an important role i n society: "Please do not class me as one who 'doesnt believe i n doctors,'" he writes i n Doctor's Delu- sions; "One of our most pressing needs i s a national s t a f f of doc-tors whom we can believe i n , and whose prosperity s h a l l depend not on a nation's sickness but on i t s health" ( x i ) . Shaw's views about both doctors and war are not clear cut, but these subjects make th e i r way into Shaw's plays. But subjects for which he had strong and clear opinions r a r e l y , i f ever, enter into his dramatic works. For instance, Shaw wrote a number of a r t i c l e s condemning v i v i s e c t i o n , which he believed was a barbaric practice. In "Vi v i s e c t i o n , " he states: I am the l a s t man a l i v e to deny that v i v i s e c t i o n has led to discoveries. I could f i l l columns with an account of a l l the mare's nests i t has discovered during my own l i f e t i m e . Much has been learnt during the same period from war, from earthquakes, from plague, pestilence, and 90 famine; b a t t l e , murder, and sudden death. But i f any c l a s s of persons devoted themselves t o the a r t i f i c i a l production of such c a l a m i t i e s on the offchance of l e a r n -i n g something from them I should advocate t h e i r p a i n l e s s but prompt e x t i r p a t i o n . They would no doubt denounce me as an enemy of Science. They would be mistaken: I know the d i f f e r e n c e between science and scoundrelism: t h a t i s a l l . (136-37) None of Shaw's plays uses t h i s subject i n a s u b s t a n t i a l way. One can, t h e r e f o r e , conclude t h a t the l a r g e percentage of plays d e a l -i n g w i t h war i n Shaw's dramatic canon i s i n some degree l i n k e d t o the complexity of the playwright's f e e l i n g s about the s u b j e c t . What i s c l e a r i s the f a c t t h a t whatever sub j e c t Shaw chooses to present i n h i s p l a y s — w h e t h e r i t i s war i n Arms and the Man and Heartbreak House, medicine i n The Doctor's Dilemma, or p r o s t i t u -t i o n i n Mrs Warren's P r o f e s s i o n — a c r i t i c should not focus on the subject i t s e l f . Far too o f t e n , c r i t i c s search i n v a i n f o r Shaw's opinions r a t h e r than d e a l i n g w i t h how a subject i s used i n a p l a y . Shaw's treatment of war i n Arms and the Man and Heartbreak House shows us t h a t h i s technique f o r c r e a t i n g h i s p l a y s , i f one can c a l l i t t h a t , does not depend on a controversy over a s p e c i f i c i s s u e , but on t h a t i s s u e ' s a b i l i t y to a c t as a prism to r e v e a l more u n i v e r s a l themes. War i s an i d e a l subject f o r Shaw's drama because of the nature of h i s opinions on i t : there i s not a s i n g l e s i d e t o war, but a spectrum t h a t provides both the means to explore other themes, and the b a s i s f o r a theme. The prism of war in Shaw's plays, therefore, reveals more than the spectrum of society; i t reveals his diversity and complexity as a playwright. 92 Works consulted Works by Shaw Shaw, Bernard. "Arms and the Man: Instructions to the Pro-ducer." Appendix 4 of Arms and the Man: A_ Facsimile of  the Holograph Manuscript. Intro, by Norma Jenckes. Early  Texts. 270-71. . Arms and the Man: A Comedy. Plays Pleasant. Richards, 1898. 1-76. . Arms and the Man: An Anti-romantic Comedy. Plays Pleasant. Standard edition. London: Constable, 1931. 3-71. . Bernard Shaw's Letters to Siegfried Trebitsch. Ed. Samuel A. Weiss. Stanford, CA: Stanford UP, 1986. . Caesar and Cleopatra: A_ History. Three Plays For Puritans. London: Constable, 1901. 91-211. . "Call You This Discipline?" Daily Citizen 26 Nov. 1914. Rpt. i n Agitations: Letters to the Press 1875-1950. Ed. Dan H. Laurence and James Rambeau. New York: Ungar, 1985. . Collected Letters, 1874-1897. Ed. Dan H. Laurence. 1965. London: Reinhardt, 1985. . Collected Letters, 1898-1910. Ed. Dan H. Laurence. London: Reinhardt, 1972. . Collected Letters, 1911-1925. Ed. Dan H. Laurence. London: Reinhardt, 1985. 93 Collected Plays with Their Prefaces. 7 vols. London: Reinhardt/Bodley Head, 1970-74. Common Sense About the War. Supplement to The New States- man 14 Nov. 1914. Rpt. in What I Really Wrote About the War. 22-110. Doctor's Delusions, Crude Criminology, and Sham Education. London: Constable, 1932. The Doctor's Dilemma: A Tragedy. London: Constable, 1915. "A Dramatic Realist to His C r i t i c s . " The New Review 11 (July 1894). Rpt. i n Shaw on Theatre. Ed. E.J. West. 1958. New York: H i l l and Wang, 1959. 18-41. Early Texts: Play Manuscripts in Facsimile. Gen. Ed. Dan H. Laurence. 12 vols. New York: Garland, 1981. Heartbreak House: A Facsimile of the Revised Typescript. Intro. Stanley Weintraub and Anne Wright. Early Texts. Heartbreak House. Heartbreak House, Great Catherine, and  Playlets of the War. London: Constable, 1919. 1-110. Major Barbara. John Bull's Other Island and Major Bar- bara: also How He Lied to Her Husband. London: Constable, 1907. 189-293. The Man of Destiny: A T r i f l e . Plays Pleasant. 155-203. Mrs Warren's Profession: A_ Play. Plays Unpleasant. 159-235. Our Theatres in the Nineties. 3 vols. London: Constable, 1932. The Philanderer: A_ Topical Comedy. Plays Unpleasant. 73-155. Plays Pleasant. London: Richards, 1898. Plays Unpleasant. London: Richards, 1898. Preface to Heartbreak House. Heartbreak House, Great  Catherine, and Playlets of the War. London: Constable, 1919. v i i - x l v i i . Preface to Misalliance. Misalliance, The Dark Lady of the  Sonnets, and Fanny's F i r s t Play. London: Constable, 1932. 3-106. 94 . Preface to Plays Pleasant, v - x v i i i . . The Quintessence of Ibsenism. Shaw and Ibsen. 108-237. . Saint Joan: _A Chronicle Play in Six Scenes and an Epilogue. London: Constable, 1924. . Shakes Versus Shav. Vol. 7 of Collected Plays with Their Prefaces. 468-77. . Shaw and Ibsen: Bernard Shaw's The Quintessance of Ibsenism and Related Writings. Ed. J. L. Wisenthal. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 1979. . Shaw's Music: The Complete Musical Criticism. Ed. Dan H. Laurence. 3 vols. London: Reinhardt/Bodley Head, 1981. . "Ten Minutes with Mr Bernard Shaw." To-day 28 April 1894. Rpt. in Collected Plays with Their Prefaces. 1: 480-84. . "Vivisection." The Sunday Express 7 Aug. 1927. Rpt. in Doctor's Delusions, Crude Criminology, and Sham Education. 133-41. . What I Really Wrote About the War. London: Constable, 1931. Works by other authors Berquist, Gordon N. The Pen and the Sword: War and Peace in the  Prose and Plays of Bernard Shaw. Salzburg Studies in English Literature. Salzburg: Institut fur Englische Sprache und Literatur/Universitat Salzburg, 1977. Berst, Charles A. Bernard Shaw and the Art of Drama. Urbana, IL: U of I l l i n o i s P, 1973. Bond, Brian. War and Society in Europe, 1870-1970. Fontana History of European War and Society. Ed. Geoffrey Best. London: Fontana, 1984. Booth, Michael R. English Melodrama. London: Jenkins, 1965. Brustein, Robert. "The Man i s Dangerous." Review of Heartbreak  House, by Bernard Shaw. B i l l y Rose Theatre, New York. The New Republic 2 November 1959: 20-21. 95 Buitenhuis, Peter. The Great War of Words: British, American,  and Canadian Propaganda and Fiction, 1914-1933. Van-couver, BC: U of British Columbia P, 1987. Carlyle, Thomas. The French Revolution: A History. 3 vols. Vols. 2-4 of The Works of Thomas Carlyle. Ed. Henry Duff T r a i l l . 30 vols. New York: Scribner's, 1896-1901. Dukore, Bernard F. Bernard Shaw, Playwright: Aspects of Shavian  Drama. Columbia, MO: U of Missouri P, 1973. Euripides. The Trojan Women. Trans. Gilbert Murray. London: Allen, 1910. Farwell, Byron. Queen Victoria's L i t t l e Wars. New York: Norton, 1972. Fussell, Paul. The Great War and Modern Memory. London: Oxford UP, 1975. Haste, Cate. Keep the Home Fires Burning: Propaganda in the  Fir s t World War. London: Lane, 1977. Henderson, Archibald. George Bernard Shaw: Man of the Century. 2 vols. New York: Apple-Century-Crofts, 1956. . Table-talk of G.B.S.: Conversations on Things i n General Between Bernard Shaw and His Biographer. [1925]. New York: Haskell, 1974. Humphreys, A. R. Intro. The Fi r s t Part of Henry IV. By Wil-liam Shakespeare. Arden Shakespeare. Gen eds. Harold F. Brooks, Harold Jenkins, and Brian Morris. London: Methuen, 1966. x i - l x x x i i . "Idealism." The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Diction- ary. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1971. Jabloner, Stephen. Jacket notes. It's a Long Way to Tipperary:  Original Songs of World War I, Recorded 1915-1919. Pelican, 101, 1971. Kitchen, Paddy. "Seizing the Heart." Country Life 21 May 1987: 126-27. Laurence, Dan H. Shaw: An Exhibit. Austin, TX: Humanities Research Center/ U of Texas at Austin, 1977. N. Pag. Liddle, Peter. Testimony of War, 1914-1918. Wilton, Salisbury: Russell, 1979. 96 Lutz, Hermann. Lord Grey and the World War. Trans. E. W. Dickes. London: Allen, 1928. Maas, Jeremy. The Victorian Art World in Photographs. New York: Universe, 1984. MacCarthy, Desmond. Shaw. London: Macgibbon, 1951. McCarthy, L i l l a h . Myself and My Friends. London: Butterworth, 1933. McNeill, William H. The Pursuit of Power: Technology, Armed Force, and Society since A.D. 1000. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1982. "March." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. 3rd ed. Ed. Michael Kennedy. London: Oxford UP, 1980. Meisel, Martin. Realizations: Narrative, P i c t o r i a l , and Theatrical Arts in Nineteenth-century England. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1983. . Shaw and the Nineteenth-century Theatre. 1963. New York: Limelight, 1984. Mills, John A. "Shaw's Linguistic Satire." Shaw Review 8.1 (1965): 2-11. Morgan, Margery M. The Shavian Playground: An Exploration of  the Art of George Bernard Shaw. London: Methuen, 1972. Novello, Ivor (music), and Lena Guilbert Ford ( l y r i c s ) . " ' T i l l The Boys Come Home (Keep the Home-Fires Burning)." New York: Chappell, n.d. O'Casey, Sean. The Silver Tassie: A Tragi-comedy in Four Acts. New York: Macmillan, 1928. Olivier, Laurence. On Acting. London: Weidenfeld, 1986. Rev. of Arms and the Man, by Bernard Shaw. New York Times 4 Oct 1925, sec. 9: 1. Robbins, Keith. Sir Edward Grey: A Biography of Lord Grey of  Fallodon. London: Cassell. 1971. Robertson, T[om] W. War: A Drama in Three Acts. London: French, n.d. 745-89. Steiner, George. In Bluebeard's Castle: Some Notes Towards the  Re-definition of Culture. London: Faber, 1971. 97 Taylor, Tom, and Charles Reade. Two Loves and a Lif e : A Drama,  in Four Acts. Dicks' Standard Plays 1050. Tennyson, Alfred Lord. "The Charge of the Light Brigade." The  Poems of Tennyson. Ed. Christopher Ricks. Longmans' Annotated English Poets. Gen ed. F.W. Bateson. London: Longmans, 1969. 1034-36. [Tennyson, Hallam Lord]. Alfred Lord Tennyson: A_ Memoir by His  Son. 2 vols. London: Macmillan, 1897. Tyson, Brian. The Story of Shaw's Saint Joan. Kingston and Montreal: McGill-Queen's UP, 1982. Waring, Walter. Thomas Carlyle. Twayne's English Authors Series 238. Ed. Sylvia E. Bowman. Boston: Twayne, 1978. Weintraub, Stanley. Bernard Shaw 1914-1918: Journey to Heart- break. London: Routledge, 1973. . "Exploiting Art: Shaw in the Picture Galleries and the Picture Galleries in Shaw's Plays." The Unexpected Shaw:  Biographical Approaches to G.B.S. and His Work. New York: Ungar, 1982. 54-96. Wisenthal, J. L. The Marriage of Contraries: Bernard Shaw's  Middle Plays. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1974. "Shaw and Ibsen." Shaw, Shaw and Ibsen. 3-73. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Reason Why. London: Constable, 1953. Woodville, R. Caton. Drawing. "The Winning of the F i r s t V.C. Awarded to a T e r r i t o r i a l : An Heroic Exploit on H i l l 60." Illustrated London News 17 July 1915: 81-82. Wright, Anne. Literature of C r i s i s , 1910-22: Howards End, Heartbreak House, Women in Love, and The Waste Land. London: Macmillan, 1984. 


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