Man and Superman By George Bernard Shaw Character Analysis The Statue

The Commander of Calatrava, who has chosen to retain his sculptured form because it is more flattering to him than was his fleshly form, suggests Ramsden. But the Statue hardly views himself as an advanced thinker. Indeed, as he says, he is happy not to have to think at all: "I'm quite content with brains enough to know that I am enjoying myself. Why should I want to understand it? . . . My experience is that one's pleasures don't bear thinking about." Harmlessly vain, he insists that Don Juan bested him in the duel only because his foot had slipped; and Don Juan plays up to his vanity, cheerfully acknowledging his superiority as a duelist. He still prides himself upon having been a valiant soldier and is almost provoked into another duel when Don Juan scoffingly refers to "that vulgar pageant of incompetent schoolboyish gladiators which you call the Army" and then adds, "When the military man approaches, the world locks up its spoons and packs off its womanhood."

Determined to embrace unreality and live content in Hell, the Statue nevertheless is quite honest about himself and acknowledges the validity of many statements made by Don Juan. Excusing himself to the shocked Dona Ana, saying that Don Juan "has stripped every rag of decency from the discussion," he says that he "may as well tell the frozen truth." He then admits that Don Juan's argument that woman is the pursuer in the love game is sound and that he had often lied when making love to women.

It is the Statue who tells Don Juan that there are no beautiful women or artists in Heaven — intelligence which makes the Spaniard all the more anxious to go there. And he is impressed by Don Juan's conception of the Superman. The Devil is impelled to caution him against "these Life Worshippers": "Do not listen to their gospel, Senor Commander: it is dangerous. Beware of the pursuit of the Superhuman: it leads to an indiscriminate contempt for Heaven." So the pleasure-loving Statue leaves with the Devil through a trap door.

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