Major Barbara is a three-act play by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw that was first performed in London in 1905. Major Barbara is commonly grouped among Shaw's “discussion plays”—that is, plays that are largely driven by discussion and oratory rather than more conventional forms of dramatic action. The play is marked by Shaw’s brilliant dialogue, combined with his use of paradox and socialist theory.


Read the detailed scene-by-scene Summary & Analysis or the Full Play Summary of Major Barbara.


See a complete list of the characters in Major Barbara and in-depth analysis of Barbara Undershaft, Andrew Undershaft, and Adolphus Cusins.

Literary Devices

Here where you will find analysis of the main themes, motifs, and symbols in Major Barbara.


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Deeper Study

Go further in your study of Major Barbara with background information about George Bernard Shaw and the play as well as mini essays about key topics.