is a play by George Bernard Shaw, named after a Greek mythological figure. Pygmalion
tells love story between an artist and his women sculpture. The idea of his
play was such a popular subject of Victorian Era English playwrights. For
example; Pygmalion and Galatea by
W.S. Gilbert. It also represents as Pygmalion
Reversed in 1871. “Pygmalion” is
a play, which is adapted to the present age. It tells about phonetics professor
Henry Higgins takes in a flower girl named Eliza Doolittle. He re-creates Eliza
into a lady by teaching her elocution. The play starts on the street one night,
Eliza sells flowers, and Henry meets Eliza. Henry Higgins bets Colonel
Pickering who is interested phonetics at least Higgins, that he can teach her
elocution and pass her off as a lady. After lots of objections, Eliza agrees to
their experiment. Unless Eliza turns out a lady, Henry still behave her as a
servant. After all she runs away and seeks her independence. In the following
essay, I will discuss themes of “Pygmalion”
such as, Class, Gentility and Manners, and Myths of Creation.
is a character-rich play, that Eliza Doolittle, Henry Higgins, Colonial
Pickering, Mrs. Higgins, Mrs. Pearce, Freddy, Clara, and Mrs. Eynsford Hill
take roles. Henry Higgins, a phonetics professor is forty-year-old handsome
bachelor. Higgins is violently enthusiastic about anything scientific, but he
is absolutely uncivilized in his relationships such as relation with Eliza
Doolittle. Eliza the same person as Liza a poor girl who was thrown out by her
parents as soon as she was old enough to make a living selling flowers on the
street until Henry finds her for his experiment with Colonial Pickering.
Colonial Pickering is an Englishman who had been in India and wrote about
linguistics there. He behaves Eliza with utmost kindness. Against Colonial
Pickering, Henry treats Eliza as a servant and it Mrs. Higgins, Henry’s mother
so disappointed. That is why, she takes Eliza under her wing.
“Pygmalion” by George Bernard Shaw includes several
themes and conflict inside that are Class, Gentility and Manners, and Myths of Creation.
As Class, we see a conflict between upper class Aristocrats and lower
proletariat. Henry Higgins, and his family. Colonial Pickering take roles as
upper class community. On the other side, Eliza Doolittle and her relations
represents the proletariat region. Henry’s behaviors to Eliza clarify the
discrimination of the classes. He asks his sleepers, uses her for cleaning and
market needs. At the end, Mrs. Higgins returns dressed for the wedding, and she
takes Eliza with her. Higgins asks her to run his errands for him, including
that of buying some cheese and ham. That moment, she understood that, it is
time to say bye. Then, she runs away. The class discrimination has become clear
at this stage. Gentility can improvable way of behavior, that Professor Henry
is an exemplary gentleman. Manner is a part of soul. It can’t get with
popularity, fame or wealth. At this
point, Henry’s treatments are out of ethic and manner. He could be a gentle
person, but this is not an excuse. As I mentioned before, he is absolutely
uncivilized in his relationships. Pygmalion has the most references
to Greek and Roman mythology. Higgins represents Pygmalion, a Greek sculptor. Pygmalion
created a sculpture of a perfect woman and fell in love with it; after he
prayed, Aphrodite brought it to life for him. This statue is named Galatea, and
it is represented in Shaw’s play by Eliza. Unless the play not ends with a
marriage like the myth.
“Pygmalion” mentions class differences from the
beginning to the end of the play. Eliza Doolittle is poor flower girl that
change into the lady. She has morality and manner more than the ladies. She has
to change her view only to become a real lady.
THE FLOWER GIRL. She is
no doubt as clean as she can afford to be; but compared to the ladies she is
very dirty. Her features are no worse than theirs; but their condition leaves
something to be desired; and she needs the services of a dentist. (1.29)
She becomes a
lady, and she show off why Henry choose herself. The reason is Eliza completely
perfect as Galatea. She is more than a lady, less than badness.
conclusion, “Pygmalion” is a play by
George Bernard Shaw that adapted by a myth of Pygmalion and Galatea. In the
myth, Pygmalion is a Greek sculptor. When first prostitute exist on earth, he
lost his interest to the women. Then he makes his perfect masterpiece Galatea.
In a short time, he felt into love her. One night, he sacrifices for Aphrodite.
When he comes back home, he sees that, Galatea is alive. We are much more
realist to not believe alive sculptures. That is why, Shaw adapts it to present
conditions. Henry and Eliza. They do not get marry maybe but the reader takes
all pieces of the myth. The play teaches us, man prays until he gets it, and
morality is not comes with wealth. Equality is a lie of modernity. But we still
live in hope.