George Bernard Shaw

About George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 – 2 November 1950) was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60 plays. He was also an essayist, novelist and short story writer. Nearly all his writings address prevailing social problems, but have a vein of comedy which makes their stark themes more palatable. Issues which engaged Shaw's attention included education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege.

He was most angered by what he perceived as the exploitation of the working class. An ardent socialist, Shaw wrote many brochures and speeches for the Fabian Society. He became an accomplished orator in the furtherance of its causes, which included gaining equal rights for men and women, alleviating abuses of the working class, rescinding private ownership of productive land, and promoting healthy lifestyles. For a short time he was active in local politics, serving on the London County Council.

In 1898, Shaw married Charlotte Payne-Townshend, a fellow Fabian, whom he survived. They settled in Ayot St Lawrence in a house now called Shaw's Corner. Shaw died there, aged 94, from chronic problems exacerbated by injuries he incurred by falling from a ladder.

He is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize in Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938), for his contributions to literature and for his work on the film Pygmalion (adaptation of his play of the same name), respectively. Shaw wanted to refuse his Nobel Prize outright because he had no desire for public honours, but accepted it at his wife's behest: she considered it a tribute to Ireland. He did reject the monetary award, requesting it be used to finance translation of fellow playwright August Strindberg's works from Swedish to English.

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Quotes By George Bernard Shaw

While we ourselves are the living graves of murdered animals, how can we expect any ideal living conditions on this earth?

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When a man wants to murder a tiger, he calls it sport; when a tiger wants to murder him, he calls it ferocity.

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Vivisection is a social evil because if it advances human knowledge, it does so at the expense of human character.

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Those who don't hesitate to vivisect won't hesitate to lie about it.

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Think of the fierce energy concentrated in an acorn! You bury it in the ground, and it explodes into an oak! Bury a sheep, and nothing happens but decay.

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The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity.

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The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

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I choose not to make a graveyard of my body for the rotting corpses of dead animals.

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Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity; and fashion will drive them to acquire any custom.

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Atrocities are no less atrocities when they occur in laboratories and are called medical research.

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Animals are my friends. And I don't eat my friends.

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A man of my spiritual intensity does not eat corpses.

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Quote Of The Day

Being vegan is offensive to people who eat animals. When people meet vegans, they become aware in that moment that they eat animals. Rarely do they have to confront this truth. People become uncomfortable and place the feeling on the vegan. Their own sense of mercy and compassion arises and makes them uneasy. Mercy asks of you to abstain from this cruelty.

Gary Smith