Gardens and Books as the Means to New Dramatic Forms
In Misalliance, it would seem at first glance that Shaw has abandoned the use of both gardens and libraries, for the sole on-stage setting is “a big hall with tiled flooring” and a “glass pavilion [which] springs from a bridgelike arch in the wall of the house.” But that would be a mistake, for gardens and books are both present, but in a way unlike anything Shaw has attempted before: the garden, with which much interaction occurs by characters such as Hypatia and Percival as well as others, is outside and seen through the enormous glass pavilion, and books and libraries form a major portion of the conversations, especially discussions involving John Tarleton. Furthermore, gardens and books are united in their mutual function of enabling Shaw to move in a new direction in both the style of the play and in his use of settings.
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