ize the emotional tense aposiopesis is widely used: "Whilst I had to sit at home inactive – dreaming – useless doing nothing that could give me the right to call myself worthy of any man"; "My lord and my…".
The romantic image is destroyed and the higher love is betrayed when Sergius begins flirting with Raina’s maid Louka: "I am surprised at myself, Louka. What would Sergius, the hero of Slivnitza, say if he saw me now? What would Sergius, the apostle of higher love, say if he saw me now? What would half a dozen Sergiuses who keep popping in and out of this handsome figure of mine say if they caught us here?" This metaphor is explained by Louka literally and, thus, the humouristic effect is induced: "Well, you see, sir, since you say you are half a dozen different gentlemen all at once, I should have a great deal to look after".
The image of a romantic hero is described ironically: this kind of comical modality is created by the contradiction between "the hero of Slivnitza" and his real nature, between the language of the dialogue with Raina and that one with Louka. The same contradiction is found in the use of the word "gentleman": the direct meaning is "a man who is well behaved, educated and refined" ; the contextual meaning is "a gentleman is a person who has its own morality and does what suits him and is convenient for him". The latter meaning is realized in the sentence: "It’s so hard to know what a gentleman considers right".
In his play "Major Barbara" the great dramatist accuses the rich entrepreneurs of England of making money on war and death, mocks British philanthropy. It is a paradox that philanthropic organization "Salvation Army" subsists on money of such people as Undershaft, the armourer and gun-maker. Such fact can exist only in a spoilt society. Despite all his cynicism and evil nature Undershaft is clever in a way and he is the only person in this play who does something practical.
His daughter, Barbara (major Barbara because this charity organization is military in structure and everybody is given a rank), is whole-heartedly enthusiastic about helping the poor, but she is able to do nothing besides giving flaming spirited speeches. Undershaft mocks such people: "You are all alike, you respectable people. You can tell me the bursting strain of a ten-inch gun, which is a very simple matter; but you all think you can tell me the bursting strain of a man under temptation. You daren’t handle high explosives; but you are all ready to handle honesty and truth and justice and the whole duty of man, and kill one another at the game. What a country! What a world!" In this instance irony is created by using literary and figurative meaning of words: "the bursting strain of a ten-inch gun" and "the bursting strain of a man under temptation"; "to handle high explosives" and "to handle honesty and truth and justice and the whole duty of man".
It is another paradox that such enemy of humanity as Undershaft becomes an author’s mouthpiece for criticizing English society. In the above-mentioned extract the entrepreneur mocks inability of people to do something practical and really useful. Undershaft’s son Stephen doesn’t know anything or can do anything either, but he is kin on producing solemn speeches. His father comments on it in such a way: "He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career". First of all, it is another paradox: politicians should know much about life in their country. The irony of this instance is created by incompatibility of the first and the second sentences. The second sentence is unexpected because the reader usually views politician as a knowledgeable person.
Nevertheless, Stephen is sure of his deep knowledge and competence; he merely states that he knows the difference between right and wrong. Shaw uses his two favourite stylistic means (gradation and irony) to express Undershaft’s indignation at such boldness and self-assurance: "You don’t say so! What! No capacity for business, no knowledge of law, no sympathy with art, no pretension to philosophy; only a simple knowledge of the secret that has puzzled all the philosophers, baffled all the lawyers, muddled all the men of business, and ruined most of the artists: the secret of right and wrong. Why, man, you are a genius, a master of masters, a god! At twenty four, too!" There are two cases of gradation in this small extract. The first is rising in emotional intensity: philosophers (thinkers and observers) are only puzzled by this vital problem, lawyers and businessmen (men of action) are baffled and muddled (bewildered), artists (the most emotional and easily wounded people) are ruined utterly. Another case of gradation is used for ironic praise (or s