George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 – 2 November 1950) was an Irish playwright, critic, polemicist, and political activist. He was born in Dublin, Ireland, and later moved to London where he struggled financially while writing regularly. Starting his literary career as a novelist, he decided to write plays to illustrate his criticism of the English stage as a fervent advocate of the new theatre of Ibsen. His earliest dramas were called Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant (1898).
Shaw was a prolific writer, producing over 60 plays, including Mrs. Warren’s Profession (1893), Arms and the Man (1894), Pygmalion (1912), and Saint Joan (1923). He also wrote numerous essays, articles, and books on a range of subjects, including politics, music, and literature.
Shaw was a passionate advocate for socialism and a critic of capitalism. He was a member of the Fabian Society, a socialist organization that sought to advance the principles of democratic socialism through gradual reform. Shaw’s plays often dealt with social issues, and he used his writing to challenge the prevailing ideas of his time.
In 1925, Shaw was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, “for his work which is marked by both idealism and humanity, its stimulating satire often being infused with a singular poetic beauty”.
George Bernard Shaw was a literary giant of the twentieth century. His works continue to be performed and studied today, and his ideas and principles continue to inspire generations of writers and thinkers around the world.