Pygmalion Questions and Answers
by George Bernard Shaw

Pygmalion book cover
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What does Pygmalion mean?  

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Pygmalion is a Greek name. In Greek mythology, Pygmalion was a sculpture who carved a statue of a beautiful woman out of ivory. The statue was so beautiful, that Pygmalion fell in love with it. The symbolism in the play has to do with Henry Higgins falling in love with his own creation. Liza Doolittle was an uneducated cockney whom nobody could really understand when she spoke. Higgins, a professor of linguistics, believed he could train her to talk and act like a lady and he then fell in love with his creation. The theme of the play has to do with social status, relations between men and women, the nature of beauty, the nature of reality. You can read about the play here on eNotes.

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lsgirl | Student

Pygmalion is a Greek name. Pygmalion—or Pygmaion according to Hesychios of Alexandria —is probably a Cypriot form of Adonis, a Levantine vegetation-god.

A sculptor and king of Cyprus who carved an ivory statue of a maiden and fell in love with it. It was brought to life, in response to his prayer, by Aphrodite.

giorgiana1976 | Student

Pygmalion was a king from Cyprus. Disappointed because he could not find a woman as he wanted, he has decided not to  marry again. He also decided to carve in ivory the feminine ideal. The statue that he has carved was so beautiful, so perfect, that Pygmalion fallen in love with it and named it Galatea.

Pygmalion starts to pray to Aphrodite, the goddess of love, to bring him someone as wonderful as the statue. The prayers and the passion with which Pygmalion fallen in love with Galatea impress the goddess, who animates the statue.

Pygmalion myth succeeds to illustrate the process of idealization of the object. Pygmalion myth also illustrates the role of idealization in the psychic life of the individual.

Pygmalion effect means someone's labeling. The tagged person assimilates the label. Association reaction occurs when we learn new things. We try to associate the new information with something already known.