Critical Overview of the Character of Bluntschli, The Swiss in Arms and the Man written by George Bernard Shaw




Arms and the Man Bluntschli The Swiss character: Though our hero is not a traditional one, yet he is the very life of the romantic adventure which he undertakes by climbing up the balcony of Raina. Where the majority of the characters are overtaken either by failure to perform things professionally and realistically, he, alongwith Louka, appears to be the truthful and realistic personality in the play. Quite interestingly, Shaw has drawn a funny appearance for his first entry but we must feel how strong nerved and overwhelming personality is endowed to this character by the playwright. He is Raina's "chocolate cream soldier" and a Swiss national fighting for the Servian army as a professional soldier. He is a man of practicality and wisdom. He admits before Raina that he has no jingoistic or nationalistic ideals behind the war except professionalism and he even wishes: " I wish for your sake I had joined the Bulgarian army instead of the Servian." He reveals the reality of war and shatters the very heroism of battles and bravery the history all nations is filled with. Probably, he is the persona of the playwright in communicating the message that war can bring nothing and no heroism should be associated with it.

Our dear anti hero behaves so innocently and amuses the lady to such an extent that Raina falls in love with the same fugitive soldier that forcibly entered her room on gun point. She not only helps him stay in her room but also feeds him with the chocolates. She assists him to escape before dawn and covers him with her father's old coat. The Swiss returns to the house of Raina to return the coat and he is taken as a guest by Raina's father who is much impressed by his military wisdom and understanding.


The soldier realized that Sergius is cheating on Raina as well as she is herself interested in him, therefore, he also considers for the love of the beautiful young maid. He tells her that he was ignoring her earlier because he considered her a young school girl of 17 but now the Swiss proposes Raina saying:

"If you were twenty-three when you said those things to me this afternoon, I shall take them seriously."

The play ends with the imminent marriage of the Swiss with Raina.



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