About the BookFeminism in Modern English Drama explores the emergence of the New Woman in the plays of Bernard Shaw, Galsworthy and Granville Barker and how their dominating role revolutionized the modern drama. The emphasis shifted from the male protagonist to the unwomanly woman who is shown more as a product of social, economic and political interactions than individual creation.
The focus is on the early and middle plays of Bernard Shaw and the influence of Ibsen’s plays has been given their rightful place. Most of Shaw’s major plays—from Widowers Houses to Pygmalion, come under the purview of the book, while the plays of contemporaries like Pinero, Jones and Oscar Wilde have been discussed to highlight the contrast.
More interesting are the unknown assertive heroines of Galsworthy’s middle and late plays from The Eldest Son and The Fugitive to The Skin Game. His women characters remain in oblivion because hardly any scholar has bothered to study them. Though Granville Barker is well-known as a critic and director of Shakespeare’s plays, his own plays with the New Woman as heroine still remain little known in the academic circle. In the Conclusion the bearing of this early feminism is shown on the Feminist playwrights like Caryl Churchill, Pam Gems et al. of the 1980s.
It is hoped that the present book will prove an asset to those who have keen interest in English drama. In addition, the students, researchers and teachers of English literature will find it an ideal reference book.
About the Author/sSwapan Kumar Banerjee, M.A., Ph.D., has the distinction of becoming the first Reader in English at Narasinha Dutt College, Howrah, affiliated to Calcutta University. Since 1986 he is engaged in teaching English language and literature at this college. Besides English, he has also studied French at Alliance Francaise de Calcutta in which he secured the first place. He has written several short stories and plays as creative exercise.