Shaw the socialist
Shaw believed in equality of opportunity and a fair division of land and wealth. Unlike Marx, Shaw believed that socialism would win out over time, rather than by violent revolution.
Shaw the feminist
Shaw was a very vocal supporter of women's rights. Many of Shaw's plays explore women's position in society such as Pygmalion and Mrs Warren's Profession. Charlotte Shaw too was a committed suffragist
Shaw the pacifist
Shaw opposed warfare and imperialism throughout his life. He strongly challenged the First World War. In November 1914 he published a very controversial pamphlet entitled Common Sense about the War.
A good man fallen among Fabians
George Bernard Shaw joined the Fabian Society in 1885.
The Fabian Society had a number of well-known leaders and members at the time, including Sidney and Beatrice Webb, Annie Besant and Edward Carpenter.
The Fabian Society challenged the capitalist model, believing that it had created an unfair and imbalanced society.
Shaw was actively involved with the Fabian Society, writing a number of pamphlets for the cause. Many of Shaw's plays were also vehicles to forward the Fabian cause and infuse society with his political beliefs.
Beatrice Webb wrote in her diary about Shaw, 'He has been for 12 years a devoted propagandist, hammering away at the ordinary routine of Fabian Executive work with as much persistence as Graham Wallas or Sidney (Webb).'
10 of our favourite Shaw quotes
'Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself'
'I learned long ago never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty and besides, the pig likes it.'
'We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.'
'The golden rule is that there are no golden rules.'
'The government who robs Peter to pay Paul will always have the support of Paul.'
'If you can't get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you'd best teach it to dance'
'There is no love sincerer than the love of food'
'Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable'
'You see things and you say "Why?" But I dream things that never were and I say "Why not?"'
'Hell is full of musical amateurs'
George Bernard Shaw At Home
Shaw was a world-famous celebrity who was filmed many times in his long life. This video from the Pathé news archive sees him at home here at Shaw's Corner in 1946 at the grand old age of 90.