Bookcase Location: TOP SHELF – Essential
Buy It Here

Bernard Shaw – Arms and the Man

Arms & the Man; George Bernard Shaw (theatrical play, 1894; published book 1898); basis for the 1908 operetta Chocolate Soldier (later made into silent film in 1915 & Broadway play 1947)

With apologies to all Como Agua para Chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate) fans, this play is a candidate for the single best work in which chocolate drives the central motive of the drama. The title from Virgil’s ‘of arms & the man I sing’, refers to a soldier at war who carries chocolate instead of a gun in his holster. Seeking refuge from the conflict, he marches into a rural farmhouse, encounters a rustic maiden, falls madly for her & she writes the note that seals the deal: ‘To my chocolate-cream soldier’.

Though it served as a vehicle for Brando’s last stage play in 1953, & Malkovich mounted another production of it in the ‘80s, Shaw considered it a light lacuna. At the premiere, he received the curtain call to a standing ovation. Amidst the cheers, someone in the audience booed. Shaw’s retort: “My dear fellow, I quite agree with you, but what are we two against so many?

Which makes him a kind of patron saint of sorts to the C-spot™ whose guiding insight on “the power of accurate observation” was later echoed by RFK in saying the sharpest criticism often goes hand-in-hand with idealism. Spoken like true quarrelsome Irishmen.

Signup for our free Newsletter

Signup for our free Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from the C-spot.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest