Candida is one of the significant and immortal play of G.B. Shaw. It is neither a tragedy nor a comedy. It deals with the conjugal life of Candida and Morell. It is a serious comedy. Interestingly Shaw’s plays deal with the burgeoning problems of his age. In most of his plays Shaw expresses the artificiality and hollowness of our social life. Remarkably Shaw not only expresses the social domestic malaise but also suggest their remedies ensure. Like Shakespearean plays the conflict are palpably palpable but they are of different types. In Shaw’s plays the conflict is apparently between the affluent people of society and their exploitations Shaw, like Galsworthy (The Silver Box) discusses the rampant vices and corruption of society.
In Candida, Shaw is at his best. He attacked the economical system in its greatest and most popular institution marriage. True the economic as well as marriage and family problems has been focused. However the subtitle of the play ‘Mystery’ is weighted with much significance. Significantly, In Candida, Shaw is not confined to one problem. He discusses the complicacies of the eternal triangle, the exploitation of the capitalist and the hollowness of the institution of marriage together with wit, humour and satire. Varied ideas and varied problems have been forcefully focused but to top all these Candida is reckoned to be a mystery play. There is supreme suspense and curiosity in the relation of March banks and Candida. When March Banks challenges Morell and Candida says that she will leave him, this gives a turn to the climax of the play. When candida is given the option by Morell to choose between March Banks and him. Candida decides to live with Morell her husband for whom she has prodigious love but at the same time she has soft and tender feelings for March Banks. She tells him that there is a great gap of age between her and him. The suggestion of Candida infructuous in healing up the wounded feeling of March Banks. At the end of the plays March Banks goes out in the dark nights telling Morell and Candida “I have better secret than that in my heart”. But Morell and Candida don’t don’t know the secret of March Banks heart. What the secret is, it still remains a mystery. Shaw has provided no clue to reveal the mystery. According to A.C Ward more than one Mystery might be found here but chief is that apparently weak and dependent. March Banks is far stronger in spirit than candida’s robust and self assured husband whose preaching fortifies the spirit of countless others.
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What is more Candida’s long speech at the end of the auction scene reveals it to March Banks the life of domestic dependence and contentment of hope. And March bank statements that he has a better secret than in his heart, is really a mystery. The dramatist concludes with this remark, they embrace but they don’t know the secret of posts love. The finale of the drama suggests that Shaw in this play wants March Banks realise that love weather romantic or otherwise can bring no real happiness to an artist. The secret which he carries in his heart is the realization of the futility of the prosaic life. One more mystery is revealed that Morell is apparently independent. Although in the last act of the play Morell offers his strength for candida’s defence. She comes to realise that Morell is routed in his heart and would be non-existent without care and division. March Banks realises that the life of an artist lies in the art and not in the domestic blesses. March Banks’ illusions were removed by candida’s statement. That moment this illusions is removed March Banks goes out in the darkness with secret in his heart. Morell and Candida felt to understand the mystery of the secret of March Banks love. It is for the readers to smoke out the secret which was in the heart of the poet. What is more the subtitle of the play mystery is also meaty and laden with suggestions.