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write down the plot of pygmalion.  

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ani02 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 19, 2012 at 4:23 PM via web

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write down the plot of pygmalion.

 

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prishi12 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted February 28, 2012 at 1:11 AM (Answer #1)

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Pygmalion is a Shavian reworking of the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea (Greek based). Shaw’s Pygmalion is a play about an English professor who turns a poor girl from the streets into a fashionable society woman. This story was the basis of the later Broadway musical and movie My Fair Lady - An Academy winning motion picture.

Like all great Shavian drama Pygmalion is very rich in complexities. It combines a central story of transformation of a young flower girl into a refined lady. It has elements of myth, fairy tale and romance. It also combines an interesting plot with an exploration of social identity and relations between men and women among other issues. The ability to “morph” and change, to move from one layer of society to another is also explored.

In the play, not only the dialogue is witty but the entire premise is a witty one: the ill-tempered phonetics specialist Professor Higgins undertakes to change the speech and therefore the life of a flower girl, with the situational ironic twist of unexpected romantic love. While being a highly entertaining play, Pygmalion attempts to instruct against the prejudice that dialect and even accent restrict or elevate a person's success in the society. By changing the Flower Girl's speech, Shaw intends to prove that esteem in society should be given to the deserving individuals, like the Flower Girl, and not to unworthy individuals like The Daughter (Clara).

Though Shaw's play isn't didactic (some early ones were), it carries a didactic social lesson. Although the play doesn't call up instruction about to the "life force" that Shaw believed in in the same way as Saint Joan does, Pygmalion does suggest an undercurrent of the force that Shaw believed would lead to a better world if every individual would unite with the force. This is demonstrated by Eliza's achievements and the way relationships between Freddy, Eliza and Professor Higgins work out in the end. Eliza's achievements are marked out when she makes her grand debut into the society. Eliza is the same in her inner being, she was always "a good girl" and able to speak up for herself, but her speech changes and other external changes make her acceptable to high society whereas otherwise she would have been spurned.

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prishi12 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted February 28, 2012 at 1:13 AM (Answer #2)

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Shaw's Pygmalion was born in the Victorian era in the year 1912 and marked tremendous changes in the British society. Pygmalion is very rich in complexities. It combines a central story of transformation of a young flower girl into a refined lady. It has elements of myth, fairy tale and romance. It also combines an interesting plot with an exploration of social identity and relations between men and women among other issues. The ability to “morph” and change, to move from one layer of society to another is also explored.

The Play-

Pygmalion is a Shavian reworking of the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea (Greek based). Shaw’s Pygmalion is a play about an English professor who turns a poor girl from the streets into a fashionable society woman. This story was the basis of the later Broadway musical and movie My Fair Lady - An Academy winning motion picture.

In the play, not only the dialogue is witty but the entire premise is a witty one: the ill-tempered phonetics specialist Professor Higgins undertakes to change the speech and therefore the life of a flower girl, with the situational ironic twist of unexpected romantic love. While being a highly entertaining play, Pygmalion attempts to instruct against the prejudice that dialect and even accent restrict or elevate a person's success in the society. By changing the Flower Girl's speech, Shaw intends to prove that esteem in society should be given to the deserving individuals, like the Flower Girl, and not to unworthy individuals like The Daughter (Clara).

Though Shaw's play isn't didactic (some early ones were), it carries a didactic social lesson. Although the play doesn't call up instruction about to the "life force" that Shaw believed in in the same way as Saint Joan does, Pygmalion does suggest an undercurrent of the force that Shaw believed would lead to a better world if every individual would unite with the force. This is demonstrated by Eliza's achievements and the way relationships between Freddy, Eliza and Professor Higgins work out in the end. Eliza's achievements are marked out when she makes her grand debut into the society. Eliza is the same in her inner being, she was always "a good girl" and able to speak up for herself, but her speech changes and other external changes make her acceptable to high society whereas otherwise she would have been spurned.

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