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By Bernard Shaw
With Plays Unpleasant, Shaw issued a radical challenge to his audiences’ complacency and exposed social evils through his dramatization of the moral conflicts between youthful idealism and economic reality, promiscuity and marriage, and the duties of women to others and to themselves. His first play, Widowers’ Houses, depicts Harry Trench’s dilemma on learning that the inheritance of his fiancee comes from her father’s income as a slum landlord. In The Philanderer, charismatic Leonard Charteris proposes marriage to Grace, while he is still involved with the beautiful Julia Craven – who is not inclined to give him up so easily. And in Mrs Warren’s Profession, Vivie Warren is forced to reconsider her own future when she discovers that her mother’s immoral earnings funded her genteel upbringing.