Heartbreak House Tickets
Heartbreak House is a play in three acts by George Bernard Shaw, published in
1919 and produced in 1920. The classic play frequently revisits stages around the world
including theatres on Broadway.
The action of Heartbreak House takes place in the decidedly Bohemian household of the elderly Captain Shotover, a dabbler in mysticism. The house in the play could arguably be a metaphorical reference to a ship which must be guided capably, not only by its crew, but also its passengers. The time, to judge from the zeppelin attack that provides the climax, is World War I, although no direct reference is made to the conflict.
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Heartbreak Hotel has a multitude of complex characters and relationships. The contrast between Mazzini Dunn and his employer 'Boss' Mangan is used by Shaw to illustrate society in England and Continental Europe followed the lead of those not capable of properly leading.
Mazzini Dunn is an idealist character in the play. The author contrasts Mazzini with his employer, Alfred Mangan, who is soon to marry Mazzini's daughter. Dunn is allowed opportunity to succeed in business by Mangan, who later bankrupts Dunn and eventually takes over the business once it becomes robust. The ideas and enthusiasm start with Dunn, but he lacks the knowledge and ability to apply them toward improving the business. Mazzini appears kind hearted and munificent, but ineffectual. Mangan behaves in an egotistical and unscrupulous, yet influential manner.