Problem play is a genre of drama which takes up important social issues by using arguments among the characters in the play on the stage. These characters express clashing ideas that help the audience and the readers to understand the issue and reach a solution on their own.
It must be noted that in a problem play, the playwright never gives a solution. It is left to the audience to understand the situaions and bring out a solution.
The protagonist Candida is the wife of James Morell, a famous clergyman who delivers the sermons of morality to the people. He believes that he is an ideal husband and treats his wife well and she cannot live without him.
However, ironically Morell himself is dependent on Candida and cannot live without her. It is Candida who takes care of all his needs and even the household things. In the play, Candida is not portrayed as a helpless or a traditional "distressed damsel" but as a new woman.
She is wiser than her husband. She knows all the weaknesses of her husband still pretends to be dependent on him. Her husband who by the intervention of Eugene Marchbanks, comes to know about his love for her, starts fearing of losing her. Being insecure and helpless, he gives choice to Candida to either live with him to go with Eugene.
Candida being an understanding woman decides to live with him. Hence though Morell is incapable of being her husband and she secretly loves Eugene, she has to live with her husband. Thus this is not a solution. It is left to the audience to decide what would she have done and what it would have resulted.
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