Immoral Men in Mrs. Warrens Proffession

Topics: George Bernard Shaw, Mrs. Warren's Profession, Oscar Wilde Pages: 3 (1060 words) Published: March 6, 2013
One critic argues of Mrs. Warrens Profession that ‘the men are ineffectual or immoral monsters – it is women who carry the play.’ In the light of this view, compare and contrast the presentation of men in Mrs. Warrens Profession and An Ideal Husband. Victorian society was almost completely governed by rich, aristocratic and immoral men, this description forms the central concept for Shaw's play. He portrays men as immoral and sexually corrupt through his satirisation of the church and the aristocracy, rather than a play that is presided over by men he presents one that is carried in its entirety by women. Similarly Wilde places the men in his play in a powerless position, the antagonist; Mrs. Cheveley is a woman who threatens Robert Chilterns life and career for the majority of the play. This presentation of men in these plays had never been seen so blatantly before and naturally they received a large amount of criticism, in fact Shaw's play was banned for a full 8 years before finally being allowed to play on stage. Throughout Shaw’s play he outlines men to be immoral and sexually corrupt. He achieves this through his characterisation of Sir George Crofts, who despite knowing that Vivie may be his daughter admits, ‘I fell attracted’, Shaw here presents a man whose personality agrees entirely with the critic, he has no uncertainty in regard to his attraction to her only that Praed ‘set [his] mind at rest’. Furthermore he admits to having slept with Mrs Warren, Vivie’s mother, but he is not the only man to have done so. The audience is later introduced to Reverend Gardener, a man of god who was seduced by Mrs Warren, ‘I have a whole album of your letters’ to which the reverend responds with ‘red face’. The reverend is a man who asserts himself ‘as father and clergyman’, but it is clear that he has no grounds to ‘command respect in either capacity,’ he has slept with a prostitute but preaches purity. Thus, we can see that within the first act Shaw portrays men as...
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