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By George Bernard Shaw


Title:     Pygmalion
Author: George Bernard Shaw

Table of Content

1. ACT I
5. ACT V

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Name: Afreen Haq _____ [Date: 1/11/06]
Title: A faboulas play by Bernard Shaw
Subject: review

Review/comment: This is a fantastic play everyone should read it.

Name: Antonia C _____ [Date: 2/28/06]

Review/comment: This play by George Bernard Shaw is great for many reasons. It is a social critique that explores the issues of class and love amidst a backdrop of early 20th century England. Shaw's brilliant characterisation of the arrogant and rude but highly intelligent Higgins, and the straight-forward, strong and intelligent Eliza lead the audience to love the characters and be absorbed by the story. Higgins' many insults "squashed cabbage leaf", "draggle-tailed guttersnipe" to Eliza are cruel, but the audience should not overlook his better points, such as his goal of creating a better society through knowledge and elimination of class and all the unfairness associated with the latter. Higgins, reflecting Shaw's own beliefs, believes that, by using phonetics, accents could be eliminated and therefore, with everyone speaking the same, society would become classless. Note this quote "The great secret, Eliza, is not having bad manners or good manners or any other particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human souls: in short, behaving as if you were in Heaven, where there are no third-class carriages, and one soul is as good as another." Higgins is sexist, because he lives for his subject, and cannot imagine putting anyone or anything second to his passion. He values companionship, and independence. Eliza, though, wants love - someone who cares for her and respects her. She finds this in Freddy - who is not worthy for her due to his foolish nature and blind adoration, but she accepts him anyway. Eliza has shown that education (and money) can elevate one to another class, but is this a complete transformation? It can be seen that she does not truly belong to either class - she cannot go back to being a flower girl, however she does not feel completely at ease in the middle-class, either. Alfred Doolittle is a good example of the new upwardly mobile middle class, where criterion of gentility was changing from family and background to money. Doolittle provides much comic relief throughout the play. His comments on "middle-class morality" ring true. Pickering is a good foil to Higgins, as a caring and articulate man who treats Eliza well. Shaw's ending is brilliant as it does not adhere to the usual romantic ending, where the reader would expect Eliza and Higgins (the other option to Freddy) to have a romantic relationship. The reason why is explained in the epilogue. The fact is, Higgins was Eliza's teacher and that, as he says himself at the beginning, is a sacred relationship - "You see, she'll be a pupil; and teaching would be impossible unless pupils were sacred." That cements their relationship as unequal. In addition, Higgins' passion would always be phonetics, and learning - all other people and things are second - and this is something that is converse to Eliza's values - the one she marries must love her foremost. Though they become friends, albeit ones that argue constantly, deep down, they respect each other. This line seems to sum up Higgins' thoughts of his finished Galatea -"By George, Eliza, I said Iā??d make a woman of you; and I have. I like you like this." The creation has become independent of its creator and he is glad. In conclusion, Shaw's play "Pygmalion" is a well-written play which is both a drama and social critique.

Name: _____ [Date: 12/06/07]
Title: bravo
Subject: Pygmalion

Review/comment: George Bernard Shaws delightful and endearing play is witty ,well written,and applies nicely to society today !!!Bravo Shaw !!