1/27/2019

The Character of Bluntschli of "Arms and The Man"

    Bluntschli is the leading character of Arms and the Man. He is Shaw’s mouthpiece. In the play he appears as a practical minded man, realist, unemotional, and shrewd judge of human nature. Through him Shaw expresses his own ideas about war and love. Shaw makes him an unheriic hero of the play.    Bluntschli is a professional soldier who fights for money. In the Serbo-Bulgarian war he fights for the Serbians but he is a Swiss. As a professional soldier, he judges war and soldiering from the professional point of view. So he says. “I fight when I have to, and am very glad to get out of it when I havent to.” He thinks that soldiers are, like ordinary man, subject to common human frailties. So soldiers are afraid to die, and most of the soldiers are born fools. He values food more than ammunition in the battle field. To him food saves a soldier in the battle-field from starvation. Ammunition is necessary to bring the enemies under control but food is essential to get the sufficient strength of fighting heroically in the battle field. So he is practical minded.    He cures of Raina’s romantic views about war and soldiering. To shatter her romantic notions he gradually tells her what is true about life and war. But the greatest blow he hits is his description of the cavalry charge headed by Sergius. He tells her that Sergius acts as an utter fool in leading the cavalry charge against a battery of machine guns. While advancing towards the artillery, Sergius looked like a romantic hero of an opera. In his attacking the artillery, he appears as ludicrous as Don Quixote because if the Serbians had the right kind of ammunition, the Bulgarians could be massacred.    Bluntschli has the power of judging human nature. He sees through the real nature of Sergius. When she tells him that she has told two lies in her whole life, he does not believe her. He tells her that she has not just told two lies but she has been telling frequent lies in her life. To this Raina wonders, “How did you find me out?” He understands Nicola at a glance and takes him to be the ablest man in Bulgaria. His observation of Petkoff’s dependence upon his wife, even in military matters, is correct. He has also fully understood the working of Sergius’ mind.    But there is a contradiction in his character. It is his incorrigible love for romance and adventure, which he calls “an incurably romantic disposition.” It is this disposition which had led him to become a professional soldier. He says that he ran away from home twice when he was a boy. Hej joined the army instead of his father’s business.He climbed the balcony of the petkoff house instead of taking shelter in the nearest  underground room.Again,he came back secretly to the house to have a look at the young lady (Raina) instead of sending the coat by any other man of his own age.    Though he has an incurably romantic dispoisition, he is a hardened realist and an expert soldier. He pawned petkoff’s old coad to make sure of its safe keeping. He helps prtkoff in the disposal of  three regiments. He is so practical that even the news of his father’s death does not affect him. It is for his practical sense, Raina is gradually drawn to him.    Thus Bluntschli is the most living character in the play.He is a practical man who has no illusions about life and war. He represents Shaw’s realistic attitude towards love and war. His conversation is very fascinating and by means of his forcible arguments he cures Raina and Sergius of their romantic views about war.    Read More From G.B. Shaw


  Bluntschli is the leading character of Arms and the Man. He is Shaw’s mouthpiece. In the play he appears as a practical minded man, realist, unemotional, and shrewd judge of human nature. Through him Shaw expresses his own ideas about war and love. Shaw makes him an unheroic hero of the play.

Bluntschli is a professional soldier who fights for money. In the Serbo-Bulgarian war he fights for the Serbians but he is a Swiss. As a professional soldier, he judges war and soldiering from the professional point of view. So he says. “I fight when I have to, and am very glad to get out of it when I havent to.” He thinks that soldiers are, like ordinary man, subject to common human frailties. So soldiers are afraid to die, and most of the soldiers are born fools. He values food more than ammunition in the battle field. To him food saves a soldier in the battle-field from starvation. Ammunition is necessary to bring the enemies under control but food is essential to get the sufficient strength of fighting heroically in the battle field. So he is practical minded.



He cures of Raina’s romantic views about war and soldiering. To shatter her romantic notions he gradually tells her what is true about life and war. But the greatest blow he hits is his description of the cavalry charge headed by Sergius. He tells her that Sergius acts as an utter fool in leading the cavalry charge against a battery of machine guns. While advancing towards the artillery, Sergius looked like a romantic hero of an opera. In his attacking the artillery, he appears as ludicrous as Don Quixote because if the Serbians had the right kind of ammunition, the Bulgarians could be massacred.

Bluntschli has the power of judging human nature. He sees through the real nature of Sergius. When she tells him that she has told two lies in her whole life, he does not believe her. He tells her that she has not just told two lies but she has been telling frequent lies in her life. To this Raina wonders, “How did you find me out?” He understands Nicola at a glance and takes him to be the ablest man in Bulgaria. His observation of Petkoff’s dependence upon his wife, even in military matters, is correct. He has also fully understood the working of Sergius’ mind.



But there is a contradiction in his character. It is his incorrigible love for romance and adventure, which he calls “an incurably romantic disposition.” It is this disposition which had led him to become a professional soldier. He says that he ran away from home twice when he was a boy. Hej joined the army instead of his father’s business.He climbed the balcony of the petkoff house instead of taking shelter in the nearest  underground room.Again,he came back secretly to the house to have a look at the young lady (Raina) instead of sending the coat by any other man of his own age.

Though he has an incurably romantic dispoisition, he is a hardened realist and an expert soldier. He pawned petkoff’s old coad to make sure of its safe keeping. He helps prtkoff in the disposal of  three regiments. He is so practical that even the news of his father’s death does not affect him. It is for his practical sense, Raina is gradually drawn to him.

Thus Bluntschli is the most living character in the play.He is a practical man who has no illusions about life and war. He represents Shaw’s realistic attitude towards love and war. His conversation is very fascinating and by means of his forcible arguments he cures Raina and Sergius of their romantic views about war.


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