George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 – 2 November 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Unbuilt Trope: The Doctor's Dilemma, written in 1906, features a character named Jennifer Dubedat. At that point "Jennifer" was a very rare feminine name, to the extent that Shaw had to have her explain its origin. With Jennifer eventually becoming a common, almost cliched name for girls later in the century, the exchange becomes Hilarious in HindsightMrs. Dubedat: My name is Jennifer.
Ridgeon: A strange name.
Mrs. Dubedat: Not in Cornwall. I am Cornish. It’s only what you call Guinevere.
- 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 itnote .
- In Caesar and Cleopatra, none of the Romans can pronounce the name of Cleopatra's nurse Ftatateeta.