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Encyclopedia > Man and Superman

Man and Superman is a 1903 play in four acts by G. Bernard Shaw. Although it can be performed as a light comedy of manners, Shaw intended it to be something much deeper than that, as can be seen by the play's very title. This title comes from Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophical ideas about the "Superman." 1903 (MCMIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... George Bernard Shaw (July 26, 1856 – November 2, 1950) was an Irish playwright and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925. ... The comedy of manners satirizes the manners and affectations of a social class, often represented by stock characters, such as the miles gloriosus in ancient times, the fop and the rake during the Restoration, or an old person pretending to be young. ... Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882 Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 - August 25, 1900) was a highly influential German philosopher. ... This page appears to have an unresolved commentary on itself presented as part of the text. ...

The plot is centered on Jack Tanner, author of "The Revolutionist's Handbook and Pocket Companion" and a confirmed bachelor, and the lovely Ann's persistent efforts to make him marry her. Ann is referred to as "The Life Force" and represents Shaw's view that in every culture, it's the women who force the men to marry them, rather than the men taking the initiative. It has been suggested that Revolutionary be merged into this article or section. ... The term life force or lifeforce can refer to: The soul, spirit, or other vitalistic energy. ...

In performance, the long third act of the play is often cut. Referred to as "Don Juan in Hell," it consists of a philosophical debate between Don Juan (played by the same actor who plays Jack Tanner), and the Devil (Mendoza, a Spaniard), with Doña Ana (Ann) and the Statue of Ana's guardian (Roebuck Ramsden, an aged acquaintance of Tanner's) looking on. Don Juan in Hell is often performed separately as a play in its own right. Don Juan is a legendary fictional libertine, whose story has been told many times by different authors. ... Medieval illustration of Hell in the Hortus deliciarum manuscript of Herrad of Landsberg (about 1180) Hell is, according to many religious beliefs, a place or a state of painful suffering. ... The Devil is the name given to a supernatural entity, who, in most Western religions, is the central embodiment of evil. ...

The Plays of G. Bernard Shaw
Plays Unpleasant: The Philanderer, Mrs. Warren's Profession, Widowers' Houses
Plays Pleasant: Arms and the Man, Candida, The Man of Destiny, You Never Can Tell
Three Plays for Puritans: Caesar and Cleopatra, Captain Brassbound's Conversion, The Devil's Disciple
Back to Methuselah, a cycle of 5 plays: In the Beginning: B.C. 4004 (In the Garden of Eden), The Gospel of the Brothers Barnabas: Present Day, The Thing Happens: A.D. 2170, Tragedy of an Elderly Gentleman: A.D. 3000, As Far as Thought Can Reach: A.D. 31,920
Other Plays: Androcles and the Lion, The Apple Cart, The Doctor's Dilemma, Fanny's First Play, Geneva, Heartbreak House, John Bull's Other Island, Major Barbara, Man and Superman, Misalliance, Pygmalion, Saint Joan

  Results from FactBites:
Superman - The Man (1982 words)
Superman, the world-famous crime-fighter and adventurer who masks his true identity beneath the mild-mannered guise of his alter ego, journalist Clark Kent, is the hero of the Superman chronicles and the veteran of well over thousands of adventures.
While Superman was still an infant, his native planet exploded into fragments as the result of a cataclysmic chain reaction originating at the planet's core, but not before his parents had placed him in an experimental rocket ship and launched him toward the safety of the planet Earth.
Superman is a man of high ideals, and much of his behavior is motivated by an abiding sense of honor and principle.
  More results at FactBites »



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