Explain the mix of genres in Pygmalion.

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The Shavian play Pygmalion belongs to popular theatrical genre of the time known as the "well-made play." This means that it contained a strong plot complete with a solid main story that it follows directly, without allowing the theatrics to alter the message of independence and social unfairness that the play intends to convey.

However, aside from being a well-made play, it also contains several elements of Romantic literature in that the situations that are shown in the play are realistic, not adorned, and quite relevant in social terms. Here we have a woman whose cockney accent is a problem for her potential future. This shows the real silly social discrimination issues taking place in a growing Victorian England, where snobbery and haughtiness was the daily bread of the new middle classes.

Additionally, the potential romance between the two main characters is not resolved. This is another aspect of the play that makes it mix with Romanticism: The fact that the romance does not come to a full circle. After all, do all romances come to a happy ending in real life? It is this use of realism what gives Pygmalion its unique, Shavian taste.

In contrast to many other plays of his time, we also see a lack of flowery-overused language, and we find roughness and toughness when necessary. Yet, we can also experience the touch of sarcasm that was used by many other dramatists for comedies of manners.

In all, we can conclude that Pygmalion can be both a comedy of social issues as well as a romance where we witness journey into the hearts of Liza and Higgings. It is, in all, a play that shows the social, the emotional, the psychological, and the comedic aspects of human reality.

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Comment on the mingling of genres in Pygmalion.

The genre of this play is something that has been debated by critics. There seem to be so many aspects to this play with an obvious classical allusion (that Shaw used to set up false expectations playfully with his audience) and a biting social commentary.

It is interesting that Shaw himself called his play a "Romance". Shaw was thus referencing a well-known literary form to which his play does not actually comply. For example, if Pygmalion were a romance his audience would expect there to be a romantic element in the relationship of Liza and Higgins. However, Romance also refers back to a literary form that was separate from more realistic forms through exaggerated and magical narratives. By calling his play a "romance" Shaw is perhaps pointing us towards the amazing transformations in the play (just like the original "Pygmalion" by Ovid) and also the idealised characteristics which the characters try to achieve. Most would agree however, that this play would fit into "A Comedy of Manners" - a type of comedy that pokes fun at the conventions of society and normally explores the theme of how appearance is more important than moral character. However, as with all of Shaw's plays, it is hard to pigeonhole his work into any one category.

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Comment on the mingling of genres in Pygmalion.

It is interesting that Shaw himself called his play a "Romance". Shaw was thus referencing a well-known literary form to which his play does not actually comply. For example, if Pygmalion were a romance his audience would expect there to be a romantic element in the relationship of Liza and Higgins. However, Romance also refers back to a literary form that was separate from more realistic forms through exaggerated and magical narratives. By calling his play a "romance" Shaw is perhaps pointing us towards the amazing transformations in the play (just like the original "Pygmalion" by Ovid) and also the idealised characteristics which the characters try to achieve.

Most would agree however, that this play would fit into "A Comedy of Manners" - a type of comedy that pokes fun at the conventions of society and normally explores the theme of how appearance is more important than moral character. However, as with all of Shaw's plays, it is hard to pigeonhole his work into any one category.

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Comment on the mingling of genres in Pygmalion.

"Pygmalion" is most obviously a play since it is written to be performed on stage, and its most popular version is the musical known as "My Fair Lady," also produced as a film. (Most of the songs were added on later!) It is, more concretely, a comedy of manners in that it portrays confrontation between the social classes (and derives most of its humour from this). Perhaps there is something else you are looking for, but these aspects are the most evident.

It is not really a love story per se, in spite of a certain domestic battle of the sexes going on between Eliza and Higgins. Neither is it a fairy tale with the traditional 'happily ever after' denouement. There is no prince, no chateau, and a would-be "princess" (Eliza) with no place to go...

Some critics criticize the fact that the musical and film versions tinker with the ending to make it 'fit' better with these genres and the public's expectation for a Hollywoodian ending.

The title, incidentally, is an allusion to a Greek myth in which a young sculptor chisels a statue of a woman so perfect that he falls in love with it. He pleads favour with Aphrodite (Goddess of Love) to make it come alive, and his wish is granted. This of course corresponds to the transformation of Eliza under Higgins' care, but the analogy pretty much stops there.

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Comment on the mingling of genres in Pygmalion.

If this question was given to you by a teacher you should go back and ask her/him to clarify it. 'Pygmalion' is a play, a drama to be enacted on stage and is thus an example of one genre. Apart from Shaw's idiosyncrasies, notably his elaborate stage directions, it is fairly conventional as a stage drama and there is no significant mingling of genres in it.

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Can you explain the mingling of genres in "Pygmalion"?

I"m really not sure what you are asking, but there is a mingling of genres in this play.  In addition, it is the catalyst for yet another genre, the musical ("My Fair Lady," starring Natalie Wood, was inpsired by the play "Pygmalion"). 

It is a play in five acts, but it also has many of the aspects of a romance (Higgins, Eliza, Freddy, Eliza's father and his marriage all help with this).  Shaw mixes in the intellectual play (along with Higgins and his professor friends endeavors to prove the points they want with phonetics and the study of language) and entertainment (silliness, mistakes, culture shock, romance) for the sake of the audience's enjoyment.

If you have a more specific question, I would be glad to address it.  Check out the link below for more help.  Thank you for using enotes!

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