Drama of ideas

Question: Discuss You Never Can Tell as a Drama of ideas.


“Drama of Ideas” is such a kind of drama in which the clash of ideas and hostile ideologies expresses the most acute problems of social and personal morality. To put it differently, “Drama of Ideas” is a different type of drama which discusses creating ideas. The pioneer of “Drama of Ideas” is George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950). You Never Can Tell a drama of ideas because it reflects social problems and personal morality.


“Drama of Ideas” is a form of drama which presents certain ideas or theories in dramatic form. It is another name of social criticism or real sense of development of the modern society.

“You Never Can Tell” as drama of Ideas

Every literary work has some literary features and “You Never Can Tell” is no exception. This drama has some special features of “Drama of Ideas” which are illustrated here.

Focusing on Conjugal problems

“You Never Can Tell” is a drama of ideas. In this drama, Shaw expresses conjugal problems. We know that Conjugal life depends on mutual understanding but in the play, Mr. Crampton and Mrs. Clandon’s conjugal life has a lack of mutual understanding that is why their conjugal life creates a big problem and they become judicially separated. So it proves that ‘You Never Can Tell’ is a drama of ideas.

More Notes: Modern Drama

Dilemma in relationship

G.B Shaw is a genius dramatist in the Victorian period. In his drama, he reveals dilemma in relationship through the characters of Valentine and Gloria. When Gloria learns that Valentine has already proposed to several women, she asks him directly and Valentine without any hesitation confesses that he has already proposed to several women. But it is the natural instinct of a man to propose to women for the purpose of finding out true partners. Now, he has got his perfect match that is why he does not anymore to propose anyone. But Gloria is not convinced. But Valentine explains when he saw Gloria; he felt that oxygen was running in his blood. Gloria also admits that she also felt so.

Satire on conventional love and marriage

Shaw satirizes conventional love and marriage. In the play, Shaw’s mouthpiece is the waiter, Walter Boon. He delivers the message of the drama which is that young men and women at the point of marrying regard marriage as a source of dread but after all, marriages are not so unhappy and uncomfortable as they think Marriages create a paradise on earth by producing happiness and comfort to both the husband and the wife.

Valentine told Gloria that his attack on the conflict of love is not conventional. He does not kneel in front of her. She doesn’t worship and adore her like a romantic lover. Instead, he hugs her tightly and kisses on her lips. Here, he applies his new method to overcome all the resistance of new women. His work is more direct and realistic and so he easily wins Gloria’s heart.

Representation of Byronic hero

In the play, Valentine is a Byronic hero. There are some features of Byronic Hero such as tall and handsome, educated, adventurous, womanizer, these features are represented in the character of Valentine. He is anti-romantic in his attitude to love and far from being sentimental. But he feels that he is a device of the life force in fulfilling its highest purpose. He proposes to many women before seeing Gloria.


Every literary work bears morality for humans and ‘You Never Can Tell’ is no exception. The morality of the play is that everyone never can tell what will happen in the future.  Man needs a family and conjugal life needs mutual understanding.


In termination, we can assert that this drama is properly a drama of ideas because it contains all the features of the drama of ideas and here, Shaw produces his realistic view about love and marriage.

SR Sarker
SR Sarker
Articles: 380

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