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 represent, the personage of Professor Henry Higgins is that of the intellectual who is impatient with society and prone to sarcasm. When Colonel Pickering proposes a wager that he can teach the flower girl they encounter to speak so well that she will fool the upper class at the ambassador's garden party, Higgins looks at Liza and is tempted.
This dialogue between Higgins and Pickering in act 2 demonstrates sarcasm:
HIGGINS [tempted, looking at her] It's almost irresistible! She's so deliciously low—so horribly dirty—
LIZA [protesting extremely] . . . I ain't dirty: I washed my face and hands afore I come, I did.
PICKERING You're certainly not going to turn her head with flattery, Higgins.
Professor Higgins grows excited at the prospect of molding "a guttersnipe" into a fake "duchess." He...
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