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Introduction 'Mrs Warren's Profession was written in 1894 to draw the attention to the truth that prostitution is caused, not by female depravity and male licentiousness, but simply by underpaying, under-valuing and over-working women so shamefully that the poorest of them are forced to resort to prostitution to keep body and soul together.' (Shaw in his preface to Mrs Warren's Profession; The Guthrie Theater Study Guide). This paper analyzes how George Bernard Shaw explores the problem of prostitution and the temptations that Vivie Warren faces in his play 'Mrs Warren's Profession' written in 1894. Concerning the problem of prostitution, Shaw gives an account of a conflict between individual needs and the morality of Victorian society. Furthermore, Shaw exposes the downsides of the principles and morality of the upper classes at the turn of the century. It was a period of sexual repression, which lasted during the 1890s and into the 20th century. The author claims that the 'White Slave Traffic', which referred to prostitutes as slaves, was a social problem in post-industrial revolution England. First I will analyze the exploration of the problem of prostitution by looking at the characters and their opinion towards prostition. Then I will focus on the justifications and reasons for prostitution that Shaw provides. In the second half of this paper, I will analyze the temptations Vivie Warren has to face also by looking at the characters and the evolution she goes through. I will finish off with a conclusion in respect to both analyses and by viewing the play as a morality play. Because of the focus on prostitution and Shaw's critical view of society's attitude towards it, the play was censored and wasn't performed until 1902 in a private club. Public perfomance didn't take place until 1926 (Norton Topics Online). The censorship shows how controversial the issue of prostitution and how revolutionary Shaw's play was in the Victorian period. 1. The problem of prostitution 1.1 The characters and the issue of prostitution [...]

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2. April
GRIN Verlag

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