Read the controversial play that caused an international sensation when it was first performed. George Bernard Shaw's Mrs. Warren's Profession takes a frank and matter-of-fact look at the world's oldest profession and makes an explicit link between the second-class citizenship that has been foisted upon women for thousands of years and the persistence of prostitution as an occupation.
One of Bernard Shaw’s early plays of social protest, Mrs Warren’s Profession places the protagonist’s decision to become a prostitute in the context of the appalling conditions for working class women in Victorian England. Faced with ill health, poverty, and marital servitude on the one hand, and opportunities for financial independence, dignity, and self-worth on the other, Kitty Warren follows her sister into a successful career in prostitution. Shaw’s fierce social criticism in this play is driven not by conventional morality, but by anger at the hypocrisy that allows society to condemn prostitution while condoning the discrimination against women that makes prostitution inevitable. This Broadview edition includes a comprehensive historical and critical introduction; extracts from Shaw’s prefaces to the play; Shaw’s expurgations of the text; early reviews of the play in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain; and contemporary contextual documents on prostitution, incest, censorship, women’s education, and the “New Woman.”
Purchase one of 1st World Library's Classic Books and help support our free internet library of downloadable eBooks. 1st World Library-Literary Society is a non-profit educational organization. Visit us online at www.1stWorldLibrary.ORG - - Mrs Warren's Profession has been performed at last, after a delay of only eight years; and I have once more shared with Ibsen the triumphant amusement of startling all but the strongest-headed of the London theatre critics clean out of the practice of their profession. No author who has ever known the exultation of sending the Press into an hysterical tumult of protest, of moral panic, of involuntary and frantic confession of sin, of a horror of conscience in which the power of distinguishing between the work of art on the stage and the real life of the spectator is confused and overwhelmed, will ever care for the stereotyped compliments which every successful farce or melodrama elicits from the newspapers. Give me that critic who rushed from my play to declare furiously that Sir George Crofts ought to be kicked. What a triumph for the actor, thus to reduce a jaded London journalist to the condition of the simple sailor in the Wapping gallery, who shouts execrations at Iago and warnings to Othello not to believe him! But dearer still than such simplicity is that sense of the sudden earthquake shock to the foundations of morality which sends a pallid crowd of critics into the street shrieking that the pillars of society are cracking and the ruin of the State is at hand. Even the Ibsen champions of ten years ago remonstrate with me just as the veterans of those brave days remonstrated with them. Mr Grein, the hardy iconoclast who first launched my plays on the stage alongside Ghosts and The Wild Duck, exclaimed that I have shattered his ideals. Actually his ideals! What would Dr Relling say? And Mr William Archer himself disowns me because I "cannot touch pitch without wallowing in it". Truly my play must be more needed than I knew; and yet I thought I knew how little the others know.
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Seminar paper from the year 2003 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: very good, University of Hannover (English Seminar), language: English, abstract: In 1894 George Bernard Shaw wrote a play about prostitution called ”Mrs Warren’s Profession”. In Queen Victoria’s days it was forbidden to stage the play by censorship because of the shown decay and all the public theatres did not dare it. In 1902 a private theatre company that often staged forbidden plays in those days – the Stage Society – decided to perform it.1 But there is not only the aspect of prostitution dealt with in Shaw’s play. This essay will look into the relationship of Mrs Kitty Warren and her daughter Vivie, two totally different women who try to cope with life. For this reason their different ways of life shall be described and they shall be characterised. Afterwards their concepts of life will be compared and the conflict between mother and daughter will be examined. But the essay will not only contrast the two women but also show the similarities between them. 1 Shaw, George Bernard: Preface of Mrs Warren’s Profession. In: Plays Unpleasant. Harmondsworth: Penguin.1975. pp.181-182.
Mrs Warren's Profession, Pygmalion, Man and Superman, Major Barbara : Contexts and Criticism
Author: Bernard Shaw
Publisher: W W Norton & Company Incorporated
Presents four plays by George Bernard Shaw, incuding "Mrs. Warren's Profession," "Pygmalion," "Man and Superman," and "Major Barbara," each with an explanatory annotation, and includes information on the author and his work, a chronology, and a selected bibliography.
This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.