Ethnicity, in general, and Britishness, in its specific insular version, forms a perpetual theme of G.B. Shaw’s most well known plays. The main body of the plays analysed in this book reveal a series of cultural and ethnic differences as the plays’ constitutive elements, comprising oppositions on the basis of which the plays are structured. Arms and the Man, The Devil’s Disciple, John Bull’s Other Island and Caesar and Cleopatra are works in which ethnicity is directly present, as a structuring element. The extension of the viewpoint to the more inclusive framework of Anglo-Saxon attitudes allows for a play like Pygmalion to be also included in the line of plays discussed in the book.
Britain and Britishness in G.B. Shaw’s Plays will be of considerable interest to those concerned with the interdisciplinary field of language and literature. It offers a fresh insight into the Shavian oeuvre by highlighting the aspects of ethnic identity and paradox from a linguistic perspective. The book offers an innovative and multidisciplinary approach to the Shavian plays as it integrates different fields of discourse analysis, cultural pragmatics and micro-sociolinguistics.