Pygmalion Study Guide

Pygmalion Study Guide

“Pygmalion” is probably one of the most famous plays by George Bernard Shaw that laid the foundation for a famous Broadway musical “My Fair Lady”. It was published in 1913 and named after a Greek myth about a sculptor who tried to make his beautiful sculpture come to life. 

Similarly to the myth, the protagonist of the play, professor Henry Higgins, spends 6 months to fuel up an ordinary girl into pretending to be a daughter of an aristocrat. The author himself admitted that the “Pygmalion” was his satirical way to demonstrate the representatives of the upper class from another perspective. 

As the experiment on Eliza Doolittle’s speaking goes on, she transforms into a lady not even recognized by her native father. More and more gentlemen fall in love with her. When the two men who started the whole thing get bored with it, Eliza’s heart is broken. Somewhere in the process, her father got immensely rich. In the end, the flower girl’s wit surprises and conquers even the readers. 

This is a brilliant play executed in the best traditions of British dramaturgy. The reader will appreciate refined irony, delicate wit, carefully selected biting words. And all of this reads so smoothly and easily, that it feels like a fresh breath of air. The bright characters are worthy of the glorious décor they are surrounded with. 

Despite the light language, the text is full of noise, dialogues, laughter and deep thoughts. It is a multidimensional love story with everybody falling in love with somebody. It is complicated; it is hard to keep track of it. The colorful characters, like the two sisters, sweet talk, chatter, throw sharp words, lie and tell the truth, all the while trying to discover who they really are in this world. Dive into this creative chaos and enjoy!

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