Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Jeffers, Jennifer

Subject Headings

Shaw, Bernard, 1856-1950, Candida, Shaw, Bernard, 1856-1950 -- Criticism and interpretation, Anglo-Irish, Candida, Celtic Irish, Irish, Other, Protestantism, Roman Catholicism, Said, Said, Edward, Shaw, Shaw, Bernard, Virgin Mary


In 1876, George Bernard Shaw arrived in London, in many ways just another of the Irish immigrants who were coming to England in the wake of famine. Shaw had not in mind just making a living he wanted to be the literary giant he would indeed become. Of Anglo-Irish descent at a time when little distinction was made between the Anglo and Celtic Irish, Shaw felt it necessary to distinguish himself from the latter sort of immigrants, whose Roman Catholicism was a cause for alarm in a Britain that had been Protestant for three centuries. Shaw would do so with his pen, writing texts of a mostly subtle anti-Roman Catholic nature. Inspired in part by the intolerance of his ascendant Protestant family, Shaw would continue writing such texts for the length of his career, long after he may have needed to prove himself something other than "Other"₋ those whom the literary critic Edward Said says a dominant group identifies as being different in powers political, cultural, racial, and moral. To create a perceived sameness with English Protestants, Shaw chose, in his play Candida, to cast the title character as a representation of the Virgin Mary, and highlight the difference between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism through the ways in which she interacts with other characters, and the ways in which they see her