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Write a note on Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion" as a problem play

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viksvaporub | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 13, 2009 at 6:07 PM via web

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Write a note on Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion" as a problem play

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted December 29, 2009 at 7:57 AM (Answer #1)

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A problem play, a genre begun in the 19th century but also applied backward to Shakespeare's tragicomedies, is a play in which the characters' dialogue addresses a pressing social issue of the day that is the theme of the play. The first to write a problem was Andre Dumas. He was followed by Henrik Ibsen and later by George Bernard Shaw. Among the pressing social themes that Shaw addresses in Pygmalion is the idea of an individual's place in society as dictated by externals of speech and manners. The other social problems Shaw tackles are sex, gender roles, wealth, poverty, language, meaning of language, appearances and beauty, reality, transformation, human dignity and human responsibility. This will be enough to guide to find details representative of these thematic problem points.

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