Set during the American Revolutionary War, The Devil’s Disciple follows Richard ‘Dick’ Dudgeon, the rakish reprobate of the play’s title who finds himself an unlikely hero. In Websterbridge, New Hampshire, Richard’s wild ways contrast sharply with the Puritanical piety of the townspeople. His family disowns him, his mother curses him -- not that Richard minds in the least. Only Anthony Anderson, the affable, open-minded Presbyterian minister, welcomes him into his home, much to his Judith, his wife’s, disapproval. When British soldiers arrive to arrest the clergyman, Richard finds himself willingly taking Anderson’s place at the gallows. To his -- and everyone else’s -- surprise, the “Devil’s Disciple” may have a hero in him yet. The Devil’s Disciple was Shaw’s first major theatrical success. Filled with Shaw’s classic wit and paradoxical characters, the play continues to amuse, provoke, and surprise audiences over a hundred years later.
The Devil's Disciple guide sections