Androcles and the Lion
20 Installments— in English—Entirely free
Members' Rating: from 4 Ratings
Androcles, the hero of George Bernard Shaw’s exciting 1912 dramatization of a classic Roman legend, Androcles and the Lion, is a generous Greek Christian. As he makes his way through the jungle one day, the young man is shocked to find a lion in his path. The lion is writhing around and roaring loudly—a frightening sight indeed. Androcles overcomes his fear, however, when he realizes that the mighty beast is in great pain from a thorn stuck in his paw. Androcles’s faith compels him to take pity on the creature, and he courageously plucks the thorn out, releasing the lion from his suffering. Although he is safe for the moment, Androcles is in serious danger of another sort. In his day of bitter religious strife, Romans are capturing Christians and torturing them in elaborate public ceremonies at the Coliseum. One fateful day, Androcles finds himself in the hands of these cruel captors. Dragged along to the Coliseum, Androcles knows that only a miracle can save him. As he is thrown into the center of the arena, a gate opens and a lion rushes out. Will Androcles’s past mercy for his fellow creature be repaid at this crucial moment? Or will he suffer a grisly fate? Shaw’s modern re-imagining of an ancient myth offers thoughtful contemplation of important spiritual themes in the form of a dramatic and surprising fable.
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George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) was born into a modest Dublin family. As a child, Shaw struggled throughout his schooling, resisting the rigid structure and rules that he felt were unnecessarily imposed by strict educational institutions. After leaving school in his teenage years, Shaw worked as a clerk, not sure of the direction his life would take. His parents, however, separated around this time and Shaw left his father’s home in Dublin in order to join his mother and sisters in London and try his hand at writing. London offered Shaw the kind of freedom and opportunities that he needed in order to develop. He was able to spend time reading and perfecting his literary craft in libraries around the city. He joined like-minded peers in the Fabian Society, a well-known London group of progressive political thinkers. In the 1890s, Shaw saw his first successes on the London stage, and went on to produce dozens of plays, novels, and works in prose, including Pygmalion, St. Joan, and Cashel Byron’s Profession. Shaw is perhaps best known for his play Pygmalion, which was adapted into the musical “My Fair Lady,” enjoying long-lived success on the stage and screen.Back to top
Opening Lines (Experimental)
Overture; forest sounds, roaring of lions, Christian hymn faintly.
A jungle path. A lion's roar, a melancholy suffering roar, comes from the jungle. It is repeated nearer. The lion limps from the jungle on three legs, holding up his right forepaw, in which a huge thorn sticks. He sits down and ...
Ratings for 'Androcles and the Lion' by Shaw, George Bernard