Candida is one of the most impressive characters of the play, Candida. The entire play hinged on her action or reaction. The title of the play Candida is after her name. Obviously the title suggests the intrinsic quality Candida. She is Candida, mature and pragmatic. Her character is a blend of many virtues. Her loyalty, her frankness of her heart’s integrity are her precious qualities. She loves her husband with all her sincerity and her husband is proud of her. Shaw’s heroines are usually not so smart, clear headed, dashing and clairvoyant as the heroines of Shakespeare’s plays. However, Candida has all the qualities to match Shakespeare’s heroines Portia, Viola, Olivia and Rosalind.

Candida is the only woman character who dominates in all the act. She is the charming, vivacious, attractive and a paradise to her husband. She does all the drudgeries of her house, scrubs the floor, cleans lamps, slices onions and peels potatoes. She is a great boon and treasure to her husband. But Morell, her husband exploits her genius and her submissive nature. Candida loves Morell and she also loves March Banks. She knows that they love her from the very care of their heart. But when she has been given the option to choose between Morell and March Banks, she chooses her husband. She is not sentimental. Reason and common are her guide and guiding Angels. She applies her mind and she is not swayed away by sentiments and emotions. Although she loves March Banks yet she can’t leave Morell. Her love for her husband and her love for March Banks are viewed by some of the critics as abominable. She is branded by some of the critics as a sentimental prostitute but the nitty-gritty is that she has an angelic quality. She loves the soul and not the follies vanities. She looks upon Candida as the most respectable heroine and to top all these qualities Candida is the epitome of all the virtues. She is sentimental as well as practical. There is a fine balance between her mind and heart. Significantly, there is no split in her personality. Although she has given body to Morell and soul to March Banks yet she maintains the poise of her mind and heart. Shaw has portrayed her character with much perfection. In Candida would have run away with March Banks, it would have been sentimental Melodramatic play, but Candida maintains the line of control of discipline and does not allow her emotions to dominate over her reason. Her loyalty, fidelity to her husband eclipsed the tender feelings of her heart and side tracked her soft feelings and which is why, Morell has all praised for Candida. He forcefully says, “she is my wife, she is my sister and she is my mother.

Also Read : 


Candida is scrupulous, painstaking and helpful to the needy. The hallmark of her character is the strength of her a strong mind. Her deep love for March Banks is sincere and honest. Her love is not the passion of the blood, it is the love of heart. Shaw has all praised for Candida. Really, she has turned the eternal triangle upside down. While portraying the character of Candida Shaw has projected her character as a practical and pragmatic lady. She tells March Banks very candidly and wants to make him realise that there is a great disparity of age between her and him. It is impossible to live with dignity with him. It is her husband alone who can give her dignity, strength, honour and what not. Further she wants to make March Banks realise that her marriage with him is unthinkable. Candida displays her intelligence and presence of mind to change the excessive emotionalism of March Banks. She tells him to write, “when I am thirty, she will be forty-five and when I am sixty she will be seventy-five. Candida very intelligently want to make him realise that there is a great difference of age and so they couldn’t like husband and wife. She doesn’t want to hurt and wound his feelings and so very softly and tenderly suggests him to realise the stark realities of life.

Unquestionably, Candida is the most dynamic and charismatic character of this play. The hallmark of her character is her frankness and pragmatism attitude towards life. Like all the shavian characters she keeps the dignity and is not swayed away by cataract of sentiments and emotions. Candida is the heart and hinge of this play “Candida”.



Leave a Comment