by Reg Green (February 2023)
Standing Woman in Red, Egon Schiele, 1913
A review I read this week of a performance of George Bernard Shaw’s Arms and the Man (at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, Southwest London) reminded me that, when I first heard of the play as a child, I was baffled by the title.
I looked it up and found that it was the first line of “The Aeneid,” and meant that its subject was war and the Trojan hero who allegedly founded Rome.
At the time the significance of all that was years ahead of me but at least I understood what kind of arms Shaw was talking about.
I still couldn’t get enthusiastic, however. Perhaps that’s because, unlike Aeneas, I’ve always been a leg man.