Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version
The conflict in "Arms and the Man" is between opposing beliefs and ideas.
Raina is the protagonist. She has romantic notions about war and love.
In a way, Bluntschli could be considered the antagonist since he presents a realistic picture of war. Louka is the other antagonist who makes Raina and Sergius aware of the practical side of love.
Bluntschli's arrival with the coat is the climax. At that point the play gets most complicated.
The outcome is a happy one. Raina marries Bluntschli and Louka secures Sergius. Overall, the main characters come down to the practical realities of life.
The play has two major Themes : war and marriage. Romantic illusion about war lead to disasters, in the same way romantic notions of love and marriage lead to unhappy marriages.
A minor theme is the relationship between the upper and lower classes as represented by the Petkoffs and their servants Nicola and Louka. Shaw upheld social equality.
Pleasant. The play was published together with the others in "Plays Pleasant".