Pygmalion Questions and Answers
by George Bernard Shaw

Pygmalion book cover
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In "Pygmalion" by G.B. Shaw, explore the ways Eliza/Henry (or any key character) are presented to the audience. Use examples from the play's text in your response.

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-Flower Girl: Nah then, Freddy: look wh' y' gowin, deah ( eText, p. 7).

Other than the audience first being able to see Eliza dressed poorly as a flower girl, Shaw first presents her character through her dialect. (Even the words written out for Eliza's dialogue are difficult to understand unless one pronounces the words aloud.) Her social status, poor clothing and poor ways of speaking classify her as an uneducated working girl. Later, in the opening of Act IV, Shaw writes a large paragraph of stage directions as Eliza is presented in an evening dress, looking the part of a princess. Shaw writes in body language for the actors like, "Eliza looks at him darkly; then rises suddenly and leaves the room" ( eText pg. 60). Thus, attitudes of the characters are shown through stage directions, too, and not just through dialogue.

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