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Candida (version 2)

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By: (1856-1950)

In "Candida", George Bernard Shaw delivers a thought-provoking exploration of marriage, fidelity, and societal expectations. The play follows the unconventional dynamic between Candida, a strong and independent woman, her husband Reverend Morell, and a young poet named Marchbanks. The interactions between the three characters are both witty and poignant, with Shaw skillfully delving into the complexities of love and relationships.

The dialogue is sharp and engaging, showcasing Shaw's signature wit and clever wordplay. The characters are well-rounded and multi-dimensional, with Candida emerging as a particularly compelling and empowered female protagonist. Through the interactions between Candida, Morell, and Marchbanks, Shaw raises questions about traditional gender roles, personal fulfillment, and the nature of true love.

While some may find the play's exploration of marriage and fidelity challenging, Shaw's keen insight and ability to provoke thought make "Candida" a compelling and enduring work. Overall, "Candida" is a timeless classic that continues to resonate with modern audiences, offering a rich and rewarding reading experience.

Book Description:
This play tells the story of Candida, the wife of a famous clergyman, the Reverend James Mavor Morell. Morell is a Christian Socialist, popular in the Church of England, but Candida is responsible for much of his success. Candida returns home briefly from a trip to London with Eugene Marchbanks, a young poet who wants to rescue her from what he presumes to be her dull family life. Marchbanks is in love with Candida and believes she deserves something more than just complacency from her husband. He considers her divine, and his love eternal. In his view, it is quite improper and humiliating for Candida to have to attend to petty household chores. Morell believes Candida needs his care and protection, but the truth is quite the contrary. Ultimately, Candida must choose between the two gentlemen. She reasserts her preference for the "weaker of the two" who, after a momentary uncertainty, turns out to be her husband Morell. Note that the pronunciation of Candida is how Shaw himself preferred it be pronounced. [wikipedia and phil chenevert]

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