Abstract

ABSTRACT:

In popular discourse, shamelessness is generally used as a negative term, tending to denote narcissistic behaviour that destroys the social fabric. Contrary to this tendency, in illustrating the relationship between heresy and affect in Saint Joan (1923), Bernard Shaw provides the template for a progressive ethics of shamelessness. While he is often considered a creator of puppets that merely voice his ideas, this article argues that his characters contend with complex emotions and that he is attuned to the ways in which affect governs human relationships and political institutions. Through Joan's refusal to be ashamed of her heresies–her proto-Protestantism, her proto-feminism, and her protonationalism–Shaw makes a compelling case for shamelessness as having the potential to impel society toward positive evolutionary change.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5286
Print ISSN
0026-7694
Pages
pp. 289-309
Launched on MUSE
2020-11-12
Open Access
No
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