Glengarry Glen Ross is a Pulitzer prize-winning play by David Mamet. It tells the story of a group of salesmen working for a dubious real-estate firm. Head office has a shock in store for the men: a new sales competition is being launched. The top prize is a new Cadillac car. But, in a week’s time, anyone who’s not performing will be fired.
When George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1925, he was praised for turning “his weapons against everything that he conceives of as prejudice.” This is clearly true of Pygmalion, which was premiered in German in Vienna in 1913. The play is a modern interpretation of an ancient myth, the tale of Pygmalion and Galatea. In Shaw’s rendition, Higgins, a teacher, “creates” Eliza, his pupil, by teaching her to speak like a duchess – a transformation that allows Shaw to attack the superficial class prejudices of his time.
The Merchant of Venice revolves around the taking of a loan from a Jewish moneylender called Shylock, one of Shakespeare’s most powerful fictional characters. Shylock agrees to lend Antonio 3,000 ducats for three months: if the loan is not repaid in time, he will demand a pound of the merchant’s flesh.