Major Barbara

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“This is the worst play ever. And I've written some shitty stuff.”

~ Sophocles on Major Barbara

Major Barbara is a three-act play by George Bernard Shaw, widely considered to be his most controversial, as well as his shittiest. While a minority of readers in 1915 found his off-the-cuff blasphemy and condoning of arms manufacturing "quite ripping" and "rather jolly, wot wot!", the majority of his readers (especially high school students in the present day) have been forced to slog through three immensely trying acts of pointless exposition in order to arrive at an utterly meaningless conclusion. Common criticisms include labeling the play "fucking shit" and "total fucking shit", while it's stringent defenders admit that "while not shit, it could have used more fucking."


  • London
  • Act I The Estate of Lady Brittletits
  • Act II The Salvation Army Shelter in West Ham
  • Act III The Brittletits Estate, then the arms factory of Andrew Pullmyshaft.


Major Barbara belongs to the Salvation Army, and refuses to take money from people on moral grounds. She and her fiance Adolphus Cusins enjoy a seemingly platonic relationship, much to the dismay of the aforementioned high school students. Andrew Pullmyshaft takes a visit to Barbara's Salvation Army shelter, and much exposition happens. Some cockney guy threatens violence. Disappointment follows. There is discussion about philosophy and orphans. Then more threats of violence. A guy named Tarquin may or may not lay a smack down. Shortly afterward our characters visit the Pullmyshaft Arms Factory, where they see a smiling, super-happy community much like The Soviet Union. Cusins reveals that he is an orphan in the play's climax, and he and Barbara platonically hold hands as she renounces religion and they dance off together, most likely to build bombs and totally not make sweet love. The curtain closes. Audience members tear up their tickets in dismay.

The Writing[edit]

George Bernard Shaw wrote most of Major Barbara while serving time for being sodomized by Oscar Wilde. Wilde, it should be known, got away scot free, having dazzled the judge and jury with his remarkable wit and fantastically large penis. As a result of his incarceration Shaw became increasingly frustrated with the world, and was determined to unleash on the unknowing masses a play that would really, really suck balls. This is the main reason Shaw currently resides in purgatory refilling paper for 1000 monkeys with typewriters.

See also George Bernard Shaw