What are some techniques used by Shaw in Pygmalion?

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sagetrieb | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Traditionally (at Shaw’s time) plays ended with a clear resolution to the conflict. Pygmalion, however, does not have a clear resolution. As the enotes commentary on the play indicates, Shaw does not provide a tidy conclusion in order to allow “the audience to reflect upon character and theme, rather than simply entertaining them with a neatly-resolved conclusion.”  Another device of Shaw, in this play and all his plays, is to rely less on dramatic tension (action) than on dramatic dialogue to reveal the themes of the play.  Thus, there is much discussion among the characters concerning ideas and not much suspense and tension.  Shaw was quite clear that his plays had ideological purposes:  he intended them to force the audience to think about important ideas of the day, especially class and different forms of social injustice.

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