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The Man of Destiny” by George Bernard Shaw

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  • Pages: 4
  • Word count: 814
  • Category: Drama

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I’m going to analyze an extract from a play “The man of destiny” by George Bernard Shaw, an Irish playwright, who was mostly talented for drama. He wrote more than 60 plays. Nearly all his writings are devoted to the social problems, but have a vein of comedy which makes their stark themes more palatable. The fact of his being the only person to be nominated both a Nobel Prize in literarture and an Oscar proves him to be a very talented person. “The man of destiny” is a drama and drama is a kind of a genre which can be personified, leading to the climax through series of events. The play opens with the lieutenant hearing the Lady’s voice which he thinks to be the voice of a man who has tricked him out of Napoleon’s letters. In fact it was the Lady who has stolen them. Napoleon orders her to give back the letters but the Lady starts to flatter Napoleon in order to distract his attention. Suddenly Napoleon hears the lieutenant’s voice and that makes him to remember about the letters again. The Lady agrees to give him the letters except one which is a love letter. The Lady hints that the love letter has been written by Napoleon’s wife to his friend Barras.

Napoleon doesn’t believe her and thinks she has done that because of revenge. The play ends with Napoleon driving the Lady out. There’s an external type of a conflict in the play. The two parties are Napoleon, that is protagonist, and the Lady, antagonist. The author doesn’t describe Napoleon directly, but it isn’t very difficult to know his character as the author shows us all his emotions through his actions. There’s no use to describe Napoleon’s appearance. He is a historic person and it is considered that everyone knows him. Napoleon’s character is round and dynamic. In the beginning of the play Napoleon is shown as a polite and courteous person. And also he is strict and exacting as he immediately demands the letters and doesn’t like the Lady’s disobedience. He is also shown as a kind person. He tries to calm down the Lady when she sinks on her knees. Repetitions “No. No. There. There. Be calm Be calm” show his embarrassing. It is also clear that Napoleons was not a very patient person as he quickly “utters a yell of rage”, speaks in a ” furious whisper”. As for the Lady, the author describes her directly and it is quite easy to know what kind of a person she was through her actions and appearance which is considered to be a very important part of characterization.

The Lady is described as a “tall, extraordinary graceful with delicately intelligent face” woman. Her character is round and static as she doesn’t change very much. The Lady is a very clever and cunning person. She has managed to trick the lieutenant out of letters. She has a great artistic talent. She can express a wide range of emotions. It is not too difficult for her to disguise herself as a man, to perform a play as if she is crying sitting on her keens in front of Napoleon. The author uses the third-person objective narrator. The narrator can tell us what is happening but he can’t tell us what’s in Napoleon’s or in the Lady’s minds. The author uses remarks in which he describes emotions of the main characters. The tone of the story is highly emotional. The language is emotional and expressive. The story is full of different stylistic devises. The author uses many epithets while describing Napoleons feelings and mood at hearing the Lady’s words. The story also contains many metaphors (cut a very foolish figure, you goose, falling into your hands), oxymoron (bitter sweetly).

Also we can see that he use a lot of repetitions 11 вопрос (Tut!Tut!,Pray!Pray! No,no. Be calm, be calm. There! There!) which show Napoleon to be embarrassed and emotional. The author mostly writes in short, simple sentences. Long paragraphs are used to express character’s thoughts, attitude and opinions. There are a lot of exclamatory sentences as the main characters are highly emotional. Bernard Shaw uses indirect characterization that makes us feel as the spectators of the action. The story is devoted to the problem of Napoleon’s private life. The author managed to show the reader that every person has his own secrets and weak sides, no matter what status he has in the society. Even Napoleon, a French political leader, The author touches upon one of the most interesting problems. We shouldn’t think of a person judging on his status. The most important thing is hidden from our first sight. We should bear in mind that everyone, even Napoleon, a French political reader, first of all is a man with his own thought, fears and strangeness.

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