Standard Ebooks

Man and Superman

George Bernard Shaw


Following the death of her father, Ann Whitefield becomes the ward of Jack Tanner and Roebuck Ramsden; Jack is a childhood friend, author of The Revolutionist’s Handbook, and descendant of Don Juan, while Roebuck Ramsden is a respectable friend of her father’s entirely opposed to Jack’s philosophy. Also in mourning are Octavius Robinson, who is openly in love with Ann, and his sister Violet, who is secretly pregnant. So begins a journey that will take them across London, Europe, and to Hell.

George Bernard Shaw wrote Man and Superman between 1901 and 1903. It was first performed in 1905 with the third act excised; a part of that third act, Don Juan in Hell, was performed in 1907. The full play was not performed in its entirety until 1915.

Shaw explains that he wrote Man and Superman after being challenged to write on the theme of Don Juan. Once described as Shaw’s most allusive play, Man and Superman refers to Nietzsche’s concept of the Übermensch. It combines Nietzsche’s argument that humanity is evolving towards a “superman” with the philosophy of Don Juan as a way to present his conception of society: namely, that it is women who are the driving force behind natural selection and the propagation of the species. To this end, Shaw includes as an appendix The Revolutionist’s Handbook and Pocket Companion as written by the character Jack Tanner.

Read free

This ebook is thought to be free of copyright restrictions in the United States. It may still be under copyright in other countries. If you’re not located in the United States, you must check your local laws to verify that this ebook is free of copyright restrictions in the country you’re located in before accessing, downloading, or using it.

Download for ereaders

Read online

A brief history of this ebook

  1. Update metadata boilerplate

  2. Update core.css to new standards

  3. Semanticate

  4. Update word count in metadata

  5. Typogrify

More details



Page scans

Other sources

Improve this ebook

Anyone can contribute to make a Standard Ebook better for everyone!

To report typos, typography errors, or other corrections, see how to report errors.

If you’re comfortable with technology and want to contribute directly, check out this ebook’s GitHub repository and our contributors section.

You can also donate to Standard Ebooks to help fund continuing improvement of this and other ebooks.