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Title: George Bernard Shaw’s religion of creative evolution : a study of shavian dramatic works
Authors: Jang, Keum-Hee
Supervisors: Foulkes, Richard
Award date: 2006
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: This thesis aims to explore Bernard Shaw’s religious and philosophical development and indicate how far his personal thoughts and religious ideas relate to his philosophical background and contemporaries, including his view as a philosophical artist. This study focuses on the particular plays, which use a variety of theatrical genres to explore Shaw’s development towards the full-blown myth of creative evolution during his life. The first part of the thesis, demonstrates that Shaw’s own religious and philosophical development and also considers that of his contemporaries and a review of the literary context in which Shaw’s plays were written. In the second part of the thesis, the eight plays in which Shaw’s philosophical religious ideas appear are critically examined especially by comparing the relationship of each character to the main action of the play and to the main theme or idea of the play. Through the chapters, this thesis shows how Shaw dramatizes the purpose of the life force, in order to make clear what humanity can do to aid its progress. This is because the life force is the central fact of Shaw ’s creative evolution. The life force provides the impetus for evolutionary progress as the basic structural element of Shaw ’s plays. This study explores the eight major plays which have a particular relation to his development of a religious dimension: The Man of Destiny, The Devil's Disciple , Pygmalion, Caesar and Cleopatra, Major Barbara, Heartbreak House, Man and Superman and Back to Methuselah. In focusing on these eight plays, the characters of the plays chosen reveal the progression of Shaw’s combination of social ideas with the religious dynamic that would culminate in his creed of creative evolution. These plays had explicitly their ideological origins in religious ideas. In these plays, therefore, religion is itself part of the texture of the social/historical material that Shaw chose to dramatize. Each play chosen will be analyzed from the perspectives established in the introductory chapters in relation to dramatic themes and types of genres by grouping the plays.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, School of Historical Studies
Leicester Theses

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