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Pygmalion By George Shaw Essay

1051 words - 5 pages

Pygmalion by George ShawShaw "the second greatest English playwright, behind only Shakespeare"Title- Shaw called Pygmalion a potboiler and subtitled it "A Romance." Thus the play's main thematic concern is romantic in the literary use of the term. It is a play that has a highly improbable plot. Professor Henry Higgins transforms a common flower girl into a graceful lady, like the legendary Greek sculptor Pygmalion carved an exquisite female statue out of a shapeless piece of ivory.Preface- Of all of Shaw's plays, Pygmalion is without the doubt the most beloved and popularly received, if not the most significant in literary terms. Several film versions have been made of the play, and it has ...view middle of the document...

-Shaw is too consummate a performer and too smooth in his self- presentation for us to neatly dissect his sexual background; these lean biographical facts, however, do support the belief that Shaw would have an interest in exploding the typical structures of standard fairy tales.Genre: Anti-romantic maybe FeministPoint of View: 3rd personStyle: Formal, suited for mature audiences (probably English) that know about relationships and used a mixture of comedy and satire to achieve purpose and convey themes.Themes: Pygmalion may also be read as a modern-day Cinderella story. The miserably poor, dirty and ill treated but exquisitely beautiful maid who is magically raised to a high level in society is common to both Shaw's play and the popular fairy tale.-Shaw called Pygmalion a potboiler and subtitled it "A Romance." Thus the play's main thematic concern is romantic in the literary use of the term. It is a play that has a highly improbable plot. Professor Henry Higgins transforms a common flower girl into a graceful lady, like the legendary Greek sculptor Pygmalion carved an exquisite female statue out of a shapeless piece of ivory. Higgins achieves this incredible transformation by teaching Eliza to speak correctly. While this is nothing more than a scientific experiment to him, he is amazed to find that Eliza has fallen in love with him. Hence while Shaw's avowed intention is to make "the public aware that there are such people as phoneticians, and that they are among the most important people in England at present," the play turns out to be an education in the incalculability of the human heart.-Other minor themes...

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