George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950) was an Irish playwright, noted for his satirical wit.
Arms and the Man inspired the operetta The Chocolate Soldier, and Pygmalion inspired the musical My Fair Lady.
His will funded a contest to create a new non-Latin alphabet for the English language. Four of the winning entries were combined to create the Shavian alphabet, which first appeared in 1962 in a special edition of another Shaw play, Androcles and the Lion.
Works by George Bernard Shaw with their own trope pages include:
- Androcles and the Lion
- Arms and the Man
- Caesar and Cleopatranote
- The Devil's Disciple
- Major Barbara
- Saint Joan
Other works by George Bernard Shaw provide examples of:
- Actually, I Am Him: In Caesar and Cleopatra, 16-year-old Cleopatra is hiding from the invading Romans, and she runs into a nice old man who turns out to be Caesar after she's said quite a few things she wouldn't have if she'd known, including repeating a rumour that Caesar has a nose as big as an elephant's.
- Author Filibuster: His socialist views (he was a prominent figure in the Fabian Society) sneak into many characters.
- Dump Them All: In Mrs Warrens Profession.
- A Hell of a Time: In the "Don Juan in Hell" sequence in Man and Superman, Hell is a relatively pleasant place...
- Don Juan: Hell, Señora, is a place for the wicked. The wicked are quite comfortable.
- Literary Allusion Title: "Man and Superman" is an allusion to Thus Spake Zarathustra
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: "Immenso Champernoon" (G. K. Chesterton) in Back to Methuselah
- Satan Is Good: In the "Don Juan in Hell" dream-sequence interlude of Man and Superman, the difference between Heaven and Hell is not presented as being between good and evil. Rather, Hell is a place for those who love pleasure, love and beauty to be happy; Heaven is a place for the higher-minded, intellectual, aspiring sorts who worship the "Life Force" (a philosophical concept in which Shaw, apparently, actually believed). The Devil is a gentleman who left Heaven and set up Hell because he found Heaven intolerably boring. God is not mentioned at all; the implication is that there is no God, save the Life Force.
- Something Completely Different: Act III of Man and Superman. Everyone's suddenly in hell, all their names have changed, and they're pausing the plot to have a big philosophical debate, and afterwards everything's back to normal. It's usually left out entirely.
- There Are Two Kinds of People in the World: Maxims for Revolutionists #124:The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
- The Unpronounceable:
- In Caesar and Cleopatra, none of the Romans can pronounce the name of Cleopatra's nurse Ftatateeta.Ftatateeta: Who pronounces the name of Ftatateeta, the Queen's chief nurse?
Caesar: Nobody can pronounce it, Tota, except yourself.
- In Misalliance, there's a running joke of no one being able to pronounce (or spell) Lena Szczepalowska's last name — while Lena herself can't fathom why everyone's having so much trouble with it.
- In Caesar and Cleopatra, none of the Romans can pronounce the name of Cleopatra's nurse Ftatateeta.