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Bernard Shaw Bio

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BERNARD SHAW (1856-1950)

George Bernard Shaw was born in 1856 in Dublin, Ireland. He led a average school life, but his real education came from his strong foundation in music and painting, which he received at home (Bentley vi). Bernard, he never used the name "George," had a very impressive career. He wrote over fifty plays, many which are still widely preformed, and was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1925. Shaw died in 1950 in St. Lawrence, England (McNabb 4).

Bernard Shaw was born to a mother who was a singer and father who was a drunkard. At twenty he moved to London to continue his studies of the arts. He became a follower of Marx and was a active socialist and founding member of the Fabian Society. He met, and married, Charlotte Payne-Townshend in 1898 (McNabb 4).

His literary career was by far the most successful facet of Shaw's life. He wrote over fifty plays, and created a series of masterpieces that created a large impact in English drama. Many of his plays are still preformed today. He won a Nobel Prize for literature in 1925, and in 1938 won an Academy Award for Pygmalion.

Shaw was especially known for his strong opinions. They ranged from prostitution and war to capitalism and love. Instead of creating villain versus hero dramas, he chose to create life-like characters who are made of both good and evil (Mc Nabb 4).

Bernard Shaw was overwhelmed with offers to film his plays, but accepted very few. His most famous adaptation was Pygmalion, which was the basis for My Fair Lady. Shaw died at age ninety-four in Ayot St. Lawrence, England in 1950 (Bentley vi).


Bentley, Eric. Foreword. Plays By George Bernard Shaw. By George Bernard Shaw. New York: Penguin Putnam. (vi).

McNabb, Jim. "Arms and the Man Study Guide". August, 2003. National Arts Centre English Theater. July 17, 2005



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