Arms and the Man
As is the case with many of George Bernard Shaw’s plays,Arms and the Man is a delightful comedy. The plot is rather straightforward, but it does offer some unique surprises. The setting is during the Balkan wars of the 1880s. Like the area that surrounds modern-day Israel, the Balkans have always suffered from a constant history of unrest and conflict. Arms and the Man is a satire that exposes the romantic ideals that center on war, which are personified in Bluntschli, a Swiss mercenary, and Sergius, a Bulgarian officer. Raina Petkoff holds to an unrealistic view of war at first and must eventually decide between her fiancé, Sergius, and Bluntschli, who hides in her bedroom when he flees from the front lines with the rest of the defeated Serbian army. The play has three acts and is introduced by Shaw's philosophy of drama.