Androcles and the Lion Author:Bernard Shaw Androcles and the Lion is a 1912 play written by George Bernard Shaw. — Androcles and the Lion is Shaw's retelling of the tale of Androcles, a slave who is saved by the requited mercy of a lion. In the play, Shaw portrays Androcles to be one of the many Christians being led to the Colosseum for torture. Characters in the play exemplify severa... more »l themes and takes on both modern and supposed early Christianity, including cultural clash between Jesus' teachings and traditional Roman values.« less
This is one of Shaws brief plays about persecution, which he sees as an attempt to suppress anything that seems to threatens the establishment. The rather humorous prologue pits husband-wife banter against the fable of the lion and the thorn. Act I opens facetious with dialogue among the Roman guards and several Christians. Had I not known that this was a Shaw play, I would have easily mistaken the dialogue as something from Monty Python, or as Mad Magazine purports, humor in a jugular vein. The seriousness of the underlying theme continues to the end, but not with outbreaks of raillery. But, against whom is this Irishmens thesis really directed? Rome versus the Christians is merely an allegory for the internal conflict within the northern part of his homeland with the British rule.