Studying The George Bernard Shaw Poem Pygmalion
The setting in the play in Act 1 is The Portico of St. Paul's Church and the Convent Garden at 11:15p.m. In Act 2, the play took place at Professor Higgins's Phonetic Laboratory, Wimpole Street and 11 a.m. on the next day. Act 3 took place in the drawing room in Mrs Higgins's Flat on Chelsea Embankment and several months later described as at home day.
While in Act 4, the play took place at the same place as Act 2 and several months later in the midnight and Act 5 took place at the same place as Act 3 and the following morning.This 5-act play started when two old gentlemen meet in the rain one night at Covent Garden. Professor Higgins is a scientist of phonetics, and Colonel Pickering is a linguist of Indian dialects. With his knowledge of phonetics, he convince high London society that he has the ability to transform a cockney speaking Covent Garden flower girl, Eliza into a woman as poised and well-spoken as a duchess in a matter of months.The next morning, the girl appears at his laboratory on Wimpole Street to ask for speech lessons, offering to pay a shilling, so that she may speak properly enough to work in a flower shop.
Higgins makes merciless fun of her, but is seduced by the idea of working his magic on her. Pickering goads him on by agreeing to cover the costs of the experiment if Higgins can pass Eliza off as a duchess at an ambassador's garden party. The challenge is taken, and Higgins starts by having his housekeeper bathe Eliza and give her new clothes.
Then Eliza's father Alfred Doolittle comes to demand the return of his daughter, though his real intention is to hit Higgins up for some money. The professor, amused by Doolittle's unusual rhetoric, gives him five pounds. On his way out, the dustman fails to recognize the now clean, pretty flower girl as his daughter.For a number of months, Eliza was trained by Higgins to speak in a proper manner.
Two trials for Eliza follow. The first occurs at Higgins' mother's home, where Eliza is introduced to the Eynsford Hills, a trio of mother, daughter, and son. Freddy, the son is very attracted to Eliza and become deep in lovesick to her. Mrs. Higgins worries that the experiment will create problems once it is ended because Higgins and Pickering are too absorbed in their game to take heed.A second trial, which takes place some months later at an ambassador's party is a success.
The wager definitely won. Higgins and Pickering are now bored with the experiment which causes Eliza to be hurt. She throws Higgins' slippers at him in a rage because she does not know what is to become of her, thereby bewildering him. He suggests her to marry somebody. She returns him the hired jewellery and he accuses her for being ungrateful.The following morning, Higgins rushes to his mother, in a panic because Eliza has run away.
On his tail is Eliza's father, now unhappily rich from the trust of a deceased millionaire who took to heart Higgins' recommendation that Doolittle was England's "most original moralist." Mrs. Higgins, who has been hiding Eliza upstairs all along, chides the two of them for playing with the girl's affections. When she enters, Eliza thanks Pickering for always treating her like a lady, but threatens Higgins that she will go work with his rival phonetician, Nepommuck. The outraged Higgins cannot help but start to admire her.
As Eliza leaves for her father's wedding, Higgins shouts out a few errands for her to run, assuming that she will return to him at Wimpole Street. Eliza, who has a lovelorn sweetheart in Freddy, and the wherewithal to pass as a duchess, never makes it clear whether she will or not.Shaw's showed his style of relentless and humorous honesty humanizes these archetypes, and in the process brings drama and art itself to a more contemporarily relevant and human level.Top of FormHe did the plotting with a purpose. In Pygmalion's plot, Higgins, a phonetics expert, makes a friendly bet with his colleague Colonel Pickering that he can transform the speech and manners of Liza, a common flower girl, and present her as a lady to fashionable society.
He succeeds, but Liza gains independence in the process, and leaves her former tutor because he is incapable of responding to her needs.Pygmalion remains Shaw's most popular play. The play's widest audiences know it as the inspiration for the highly romanticized 1956 musical and 1964 film. Ironically, Pygmalion has transcended cultural and language barriers since its first production. The British Museum contains "images of the Polish production...; a series of shots of a wonderfully Gallicised Higgins and Eliza in the first French production in Paris in 1923; a fascinating set for a Russian production of the 1930s.
There was no country which didn't have its own 'take' on the subjects of class division and social mobility, and it's as enjoyable to view these subtle differences in settings and costumes as it is to imagine translators wracking their brains for their own equivalent of 'Not bloody likely'.The main theme of this play is appearances and reality. Pygmalion examines this theme primarily through the character of Liza, and the issue of personal identity (as perceived by oneself or by others). Social roles in the Victorian era were viewed as natural and largely fixed: there was perceived to be something inherently, fundamentally unique about a noble versus an unskilled labourer and vice versa.
Liza's ability to fool society about her "real" identity raises questions about appearances. The importance of appearance and reality to the theme of Pygmalion is suggested by Liza's famous observation: "You see, really and truly, apart from the things anyone can pick up, between a lady and a flower girl the difference is not how she behaves but is how she is treated."
Article name: Studying The George Bernard Shaw Poem Pygmalion essay, research paper, dissertation