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Some Important Questions of “Arms and The Man” by Shaw

It may help you to understand the drama…

·         What is “drama of ideas”? Would you classify ‘Arms and the Man’ as a drama of ideas?

Or, Is ‘Arms and the Man’ a problem play?
Or, is ‘Arms and the Man’ a radicalist propaganda?

Ans: A drama of ideas or a problem plays concerns itself with the problems of life—the maladies of society. The dramatist presents those vividly before the audience/readers with a view to bringing about radical changes in the real situation. Arms and the Man can definitely be classified as a drama of ideas since it deal s with the undesirable presentation of the romantic concept of love and war.

·         Do you consider Bluntschli a Shavian hero/an anti-hero/numeric hero/anti-romantic hero?

Ans: Bernard Shaw deliberately created Bluntschli as an anti-hero or unheroic hero, who exposes the false romantic ideas of love and war. He brings all the characters round back to the practical problems of life, doing which, he shows that he is truly heroic in the sense that happiness actually lies in that. He is radically rational and logical in his actions and views about life.

·         Character of Sergius: a foil to Bluntschli/a Byronic hero/romantic fool/romantic idiot.

Ans: G. B. Shaw created Saranoff Sergius as a romantic type made famous by the craze of Byronism in Europe, as a foil to Bluntschli in an obvious attempt to expose the hollowness of the conception of love and war, which, the character of the former believes to live by. Shaw shows that, in reality, Sergius is a romantic fool, a coward, full of contradictions. In spite of his higher love for Raina, he flirts with a maid-servant louka. In practical affairs, he fails utterly.

·         Character of Raina:

Ans: Shaw presents Raina as a young girl with as head full of false conceptions of love and war. But very quickly she learns the truth as she comes in contact with Bluntschli whom she rightly chooses as her husband free from all the illusions. But above all, Shaw endows her with all the attributes of a woman, of a mother, which Shaw later on necessary for the creation of Superman.

·         Character of Louka:

Ans: From the very beginning Louka knows her worth and judges all other characters correctly. With her physical charm, practical calculations and feminine tricks, she succeeds in winning over Sergius who in the beginning looked upon her as a mere maid at his disposal for flirting. Ultimately she boldly stands upright against the whole family to save her honour and win her object, Sergius.

·         Character of Nicola:

Ans: Louka flirtingly describes Nicola as a man with the “soul of a servant”. It is true that he is of servile nature; yet Bluntschli describes him as the “ablest man in Bulgaria”. He is free all the illusions. He leads his life calculating for specific purpose of achieving his financial freedom. Above all, he knows himself and others very well.

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