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Androcles and the Lion

Bernard Shaw

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Book Excerpt: 
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LAVINIA. No; but my faith, like your sword, needs testing. Can you test your sword except by staking your life on it?

THE CAPTAIN (suddenly resuming his official tone) I call the attention of the female prisoner to the fact that Christians are not allowed to draw the Emperor's officers into arguments and put questions to them for which the military regulations provide no answer. (The Christians titter).

LAVINIA. Captain: how CAN you?

THE CAPTAIN. I call the female prisoner's attention specially to the fact that four comfortable homes have been offered her by officers of this regiment, of which she can have her choice the moment she chooses to sacrifice as all well-bred Roman ladies do. I have no more to say to the prisoners.

CENTURION. Dismiss! But stay where you are.

THE CAPTAIN. Centurion: you will remai. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Shaw was a man of conflicts, and though some came from without, the majority were simply Shaw running roughshod over himself. He was quick to adopt new ideas, then vehement in defending them for as long as he kept them--which was rarely very long.

He first fought to abolish censorship, then supported

Bettie's Books

I hadn't realized until just a few weeks ago that the tale of Androcles and the lion was current in the Roman Empire, but as a fact, not a fable. A lion actually did spare its intended victim in the Coloseum, apparently showing affection towards him. I found the reference in an academic study of the

George Bernard Shaw is a bit like your smart alecky friend who evinces an opinion about everything without a need to. He is also an odd man despite all the gorgeousness of his mind and polemics--a man who likes to play the devil's advocate and does it so well, he means to convince you like he did to

From BBC radio 4 Extra:
Recorded in 1967, George Bernard Shaw interprets of one of Aesop's Fables, first published in 1912.

Although a comedy, the piteous plight of the early Christians under their Roman masters gives Shaw a forum for his thoughts on human frailty, religion and martyrdom.

Starring Lesl

Shaw's (extremely long) preface to "Androcles and the Lion" was quite interesting. He presents his version of the gospel stories of Jesus, highlighting the differences in each evangelist. He then argues that the church, through the influence of St. Paul, has subverted Jesus's real message. This is n

Is farcical seriousness a thing?
This is a play in which farce and deep wisdom coexist without contradicting or undermining each other. The plot becomes predictable to those who are familiar with the ancient history of Christianity, but one must read on for the theological musings that the author ins

#10 of my 2018 Shaw Project

Androcles and the Lion is a thorny look at the origins of the Roman Catholic Church. Shaw’s 1912 adaptation of one of Aesop’s fables was a bit of a dramatic lightening rod when it first premiered, attacking religious and political hypocrisy and calling instead for earnestn

Shaw was a complicated man, alright. As others have noted, the bulk of this play is a long and densely packed criticism of the historical and literary merits of the bible as an interpretation of questionable motives and events of Jesus and his crew. I was put in mind of C.S. Lewis, but I think he di

Ο George Bernard Shaw χρησιμοποιεί έναν από τους μύθους του Αισώπου. Ο Ανδροκλής είναι ο αδύναμος άνθρωπος με μεγαλείο ψυχής, που η ζωή του ανταποδίδει τις καλοσύνες που έχει κάνει. Από την άλλη το λιοντάρι δεν ξεχνάει την ευγνωμοσύνη που δέχτηκε από τον ευεργέτη του.

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