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Excerpt from Bernard Shaw as Artist-Philosopher: An Exposition of Shavianism
Bernard Shaw, with eminently characteristic generosity, has given us several important clues to dramatic theory. These should be carefully studied by anyone who wishes to understand his views on dramatic art.
In the Preface to the Pleasant Plays he enunciates the law of conflict. "Unity, however desirable in political agitations, is fatal to drama, since every drama must be the artistic presentation of a conflict. The end may be reconciliation or destruction; or, as in life itself, there may be no end; but the conflict is indispensable: no conflict, no drama."
The dramatic value of conflict is supreme, because conflict, more than any other state, exposes character.
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