Arms and the Man

Arms and the Man

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Overview


Synopsis

Arms and the Man takes places during the 1885 Serbo-Bulgarian war. Raina Petkoff is a young Bulgarian woman engaged to a famous soldier. One night, a Swiss voluntary soldier to the Serbian army, Bluntschli, bursts into her bedroom and begs her to hide him, so that he will not be killed. Raina complies, though she thinks the man a coward, especially when he tells her that he carries chocolates instead of pistol cartridges. As the Petkoff family, their servants, and the soldier, himself, struggle to hold on to their secrets and preserve their ideals, they are forced to question their romantic notions about social class, identity, war, and love. The play ends with Raina renouncing her idyllic love for her fiance and proclaiming her love for Bluntschli. George Orwell once called Shaw's Arms and the Man "the wittiest play he ever wrote... and in spite of being a very light comedy, the most telling."


Characters

Female

Lead

Spoken

Male

Lead

Spoken

Female

Supporting

Spoken



Show Information

Category
Play
Number of Acts:
3 Acts
First Produced:
1894
Genres
Comedy
Time & Place
1885
Cast Size
medium
Ideal For
professional theatre, community theatre, university theatre, high school theatre
Casting Notes:
Mostly male cast
Includes young adult, adult, mature adult characters

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