Pygmalion Questions and Answers

Pygmalion

The most famous part of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion is Eliza Doolittle's transformation from a Cockney flower girl to someone who can pass for royalty. The shift astonishes everyone who knew...

Latest answer posted January 7, 2021, 12:14 pm (UTC)

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Pygmalion

Shaw took the title of his play from an ancient Greek legend. According to this legend, Pygmalion was a sculptor who disliked women and did not see any reason to ever get married. Nevertheless,...

Latest answer posted February 15, 2017, 10:52 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

The play Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw, belongs to the genre of Romanticism, which composed most of the mid to end of the 19th century literary scene. The reason why the play falls under the...

Latest answer posted February 7, 2012, 5:28 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

A comedy of manners usually satirizes the behavior of a class of people, typically the nobility or other upper classes. This sort of comedy tends to be set in contemporary times. Dialogue tends to...

Latest answer posted May 14, 2020, 5:18 pm (UTC)

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Pygmalion

Yes, Eliza does markedly improve her self-confidence. This comes about as she learns the speech and manners of a lady. Her confidence increases as she gains the acceptance and approval of...

Latest answer posted June 13, 2019, 2:56 pm (UTC)

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Pygmalion

Henry Higgins isn't quite the misogynist we think he is. Neither is George Bernard Shaw, the writer of Pygmalion, even though Higgins seems at times to be speaking with Shaw's voice. Shaw was a...

Latest answer posted June 20, 2019, 1:02 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

W. S. Gilbert's 1871 play Pygmalion and Galatea, an Original Mythological Comedy was one of the major inspirations for George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion. In Gilbert's play, a sculptor, whose...

Latest answer posted June 5, 2017, 1:25 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

Act IV begins to illustrate a change in Higgins' attitude towards Eliza. When Pickering, Higgins, and Eliza return to the Wimpole Street laboratory after the party, both Higgins and Pickering...

Latest answer posted April 14, 2016, 1:38 pm (UTC)

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Pygmalion

The word "Shavian" was coined specifically to refer to the ideas and writings of George Bernard Shaw. As a play written by George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion obviously falls into this category. First...

Latest answer posted May 2, 2019, 5:21 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

Professor Higgins objectifies Eliza as the main component of his experiment, even bullying her at times. When Eliza takes a taxi and comes to Higgins for speech lessons so that she can "be a lady...

Latest answer posted December 19, 2017, 5:13 pm (UTC)

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Pygmalion

In the ancient Greek Pygmalion myth, Pygmalion is a sculptor who falls in love with a statue he carves out of ivory. Pygmalion makes the statue in honor of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. He...

Latest answer posted April 16, 2018, 6:54 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

A problem play is one that addresses a social problem but that, more deeply, has a strain of darkness or ambiguity that renders the happy ending (most problem plays are comedies) problematic....

Latest answer posted January 14, 2021, 11:38 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

Henry Higgins is the Pygmalion figure in this play. Just as Pygmalion sculpts a female figure so beautiful that it turns into a real woman, so Higgins turns flower seller Eliza Doolittle into a...

Latest answer posted November 6, 2019, 12:16 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Pygmalion

Shaw's Pygmalion is based on the tale of "Pygmalion" the sculptor in Ovid's (Roman poet) Metamorphoses, which is fifteen tales written in Latin in heroic hexameter. In Ovid's "Pygmalion," the...

Latest answer posted July 29, 2010, 6:24 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

Mrs. Pearce provides a way into the drama and its characters for the audience. She gives us a little glimpse beneath the surface of other characters in the play, especially Henry Higgins. It is...

Latest answer posted November 26, 2018, 12:03 pm (UTC)

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Pygmalion

Mrs. Pearce is concerned about the swearing of Higgins when he speaks and his table manners when he eats because they now have an impressionable young "lady" living with them. She also...

Latest answer posted June 20, 2007, 6:56 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

Though the ambassador's garden party is not actually staged, it plays a significant role in Shaw's play Pygmalion. During the garden party, which takes place months after the start of Eliza's...

Latest answer posted July 30, 2018, 10:56 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

Pygmalion explores class conflicts: conflicts between an ideology that believes class attributes are in-born (nature) versus Higgins's belief that he can teach class to Eliza (nurture) and pass her...

Latest answer posted May 13, 2017, 6:32 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

In the Shavian play Pygmalion, the relationship between the characters of Mrs. Higgins and her son, Higgins, is perhaps one of the most comedic in literature. We come to learn about the...

Latest answer posted April 29, 2012, 8:41 pm (UTC)

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Pygmalion

Henry Higgins is an only child whose only living parent is his mother, Mrs. Higgins. He is also an eternal bachelor who will not change his single, arrogant ways. He is highly educated and treats...

Latest answer posted March 20, 2012, 1:43 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

The major difference between the play Pygmalion and the musical film (dubbed My Fair Lady) that it was later made into is also one of the most controversial aspects of its adaptation. This...

Latest answer posted January 24, 2016, 12:52 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

In Pygmalion, middle-class morality is the expectation of proper behavior for those belonging to the middle class. This term is developed into opposition toward the looser moral standards of the...

Latest answer posted September 12, 2021, 11:40 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

Shaw's Pygmalion satirizes the social snobbery of the late Victorian era by focusing on speech and manners. Professor Higgins, though born well, stands outside the social conventions by his...

Latest answer posted January 31, 2019, 4:13 pm (UTC)

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Pygmalion

Eliza, coming from a very poor background, is not familiar with a bathtub or a bathroom when Henry Higgins commands Mrs. Pearce to give her a bath. At first, Eliza exclaims with a curse word...

Latest answer posted September 30, 2018, 1:39 pm (UTC)

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Pygmalion

You already have a very thorough discussion of these two characters in Pygmalion. I would simply add a couple of things. Pickeringis, indeed, a rather harmless foil to Higgins, and he is the one...

Latest answer posted August 29, 2010, 11:55 pm (UTC)

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Pygmalion

Eliza and Higgins are characters who share a few things in common, and then drastically turn incompatible when specific events take place and shake the foundation of the scam that originally brings...

Latest answer posted January 12, 2012, 12:14 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Pygmalion

The rain at the start of Act I of Shaw's Pygmalion is a convenient and convincing device that allows the conversations and interactions between Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins and other...

Latest answer posted November 25, 2018, 10:00 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

Shaw was very interested in language and in how accents and vocabulary stigmatize people and separate classes. One of the things he wanted to show in his play was that a person could rise in social...

Latest answer posted January 17, 2012, 9:21 pm (UTC)

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Pygmalion

At the beginning of Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw attempts to give anyone reading the play an idea of Eliza Doolittle's accent. This is her last line before he abandons the attempt: Ow, eez...

Latest answer posted October 5, 2019, 2:57 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

Alfred Doolittle is a man changed by wealth at the end of the story. He returns to reflect how money has hurt his lifestyle since his earlier appearance. He complains that while earlier in life he...

Latest answer posted April 9, 2019, 5:26 pm (UTC)

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Pygmalion

George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion contains many examples of humor; the play lampoons the rigid British class system of the Victorian era. Because this play satirizes the types that the characters...

Latest answer posted December 6, 2017, 12:19 pm (UTC)

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Pygmalion

Henry Higgins, a linguist, happens to overhear Cockney flower seller Eliza Doolittle speaking in lower class dialect at Covent Garden. He brags that: in three months I could pass that girl off as...

Latest answer posted March 4, 2019, 9:42 pm (UTC)

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Pygmalion

Shaw's socialism is also relevant here. In the figure of Eliza Dolittle, he wants us to see how the working classes are so often cynically exploited by the social elite, as exemplified by the...

Latest answer posted April 15, 2019, 4:47 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

Shaw's stage directions underscore how poverty-stricken Eliza Doolittle is as the play begins. For example, when Henry Higgins gives her a good deal of money for her flowers (while not taking any...

Latest answer posted October 16, 2019, 11:23 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Pygmalion

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856–2 November 1950) was first staged in 1913. Shaw himself was a lifelong socialist, vegetarian, social critic, and spelling reformer. His quirky and...

Latest answer posted December 30, 2019, 2:34 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

The "new small talk" is a term Higgins invents in act 3 to explain Eliza's bizarre manner of speaking. In the act, Higgins arranges for Eliza to visit his mother during her time for receiving...

Latest answer posted September 11, 2021, 11:48 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

Eliza may be a humble Cockney flower-seller, but she still considers herself a thoroughly respectable young lady. Maybe not the lady of the quality that Higgins would have her be—at least not...

Latest answer posted November 28, 2018, 9:47 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

No. "You certainly are a pretty pair of babies, playing with your live doll," Mrs. Higgins quips to her son, Henry, in Act III of Pygmalion. Though Mrs. Higgins is a woman of society and though she...

Latest answer posted May 17, 2016, 6:32 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

In at least some instances, the humor in Pygmalion is directed against the supercilious Professor Higgins and his social class that are so impressed with appearances and place so much value upon...

Latest answer posted March 2, 2015, 2:42 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

In his play Pygmalion, Shaw criticizes the British class system by depicting situations that show that it is nurture, not nature, that influences the worth of a person. For example, Eliza is...

Latest answer posted March 3, 2016, 9:06 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Pygmalion

The original Pygmalion myth derives from Ancient Greece. The most famous version is told by the Roman poet Ovid in his Metamorphoses. In Ovid's story, the sculptor Pygmalion creates a statue of...

Latest answer posted July 13, 2019, 11:12 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

Act I of GB Shaw's Pygmalion serves as the exposition to the different people that will eventually play an important role in the life of Eliza. The Eynsford-Hill family is a respected and...

Latest answer posted January 6, 2012, 10:48 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Pygmalion

In Pygmalion, Alfred Doolittle is Eliza's father. With the character and values that truly mirror his compound name containing the words "Do" and "Little," it is no surprise that Doolittle boasts...

Latest answer posted June 28, 2011, 10:05 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

It symbolizes her loyalty and devotion to Prof. Higgins. Higgins has successfully trained Eliza to be a lady of quality in much the same way that you'd train a puppy to fetch your slippers. Despite...

Latest answer posted June 17, 2019, 4:45 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Pygmalion

An archetype is a pattern or type that occurs over and over again in literature. Shaw's Pygmalion derives from the Galatea story recounted in Ovid's Metamorphoses, and contains similar archetypes....

Latest answer posted April 1, 2016, 4:32 pm (UTC)

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Pygmalion

Speech patterns, or what we normally call accents, are central to class in the Edwardian England of Shaw's play. In other words, whether or not a person is considered middle-class (what in the US...

Latest answer posted July 4, 2021, 4:53 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Pygmalion

Probably the most popular movie with this theme is My Fair Lady, made in 1964. It was directed by George Cukor and starred Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn. My Fair Lady won eight Oscars, a real...

Latest answer posted April 17, 2009, 1:41 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Pygmalion

While Alfred Doolittle's speech is delivered humorously, and for comic effect, we can certainly identify some good points underlying the humor. Doolittle describes himself as "one of the...

Latest answer posted April 13, 2018, 8:48 am (UTC)

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Pygmalion

Pygmalion is a wonderful play about Eliza Doolittle. Eliza is a young educated girl working in the flower district of London, England. On night she runs into Professor Henry Higgins, a noted...

Latest answer posted January 7, 2012, 12:20 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Pygmalion

The play Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw is, like the previous post accurately stated, primarily a social satire that belongs to the genre of Romanticism, and most specifically, to the form of...

Latest answer posted January 5, 2012, 12:14 am (UTC)

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