Pygmalion PR

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw is one of my more favourite pieces of literature that we have read so far. It was written in the early twentieth century and can be much more easily comprehended than the ancient Greek plays like Odysseus or Antigone. I am more used to the grammar and words used. Watching the play also helped with this as I could see the visual of what the author might be trying to portray.

At the beginning of the play, George Bernard Shaw did a great job of characterizing Eliza as an annoying egocentric flower girl. When reading the first scene, whenever I read Eliza’s line I could almost hear an annoying squeaky voice in my head. She is always creating a big fuss and always wanting the centre of attention. This is especially prevalent in beginning of act 1 when she is freaking out because she is told that a man is taking notes on how she is talking and acting. “I ain’t done nothin wrong by speaking to the gentleman. I’ve a right to sell flowers if I keep off the kerb… I’m a respectable girl…” She kept on whining and screaming and I just wanted her to stop. Watching the play was even worse for this. The voice of the actress and how she was depicting Eliza is exactly how I imagined it to be. She was extremely annoying and always seemed to have to get a word in. Mr. Higgins seems to agree with me on this as he constantly wants her to stop talking and calls her funny names like “a squashed cabbage leaf”. On page 32 Mr. Higgins is fed up with her and says something quite rude but I thought that it was humorous at the same time. “Oh shut up, shut up. Do I look like a policeman?” (p. 5), “A woman who utters such depressing and disgusting sounds has no right to be anywhere – no right to live… and don’t sit there crooning like a bilious pigeon.” This second quotation shows how Mr. Higgins is not the gentleman that he seems to think that he is. He is a rude person. When watching this part of the play I was fed up with how annoying Eliza was acting and I was happy when Mr. Higgins said that line.

This play is based off the Greek myth where Pygmalion creates Galatea, his ideal woman. This is similar to what Mr. Higgins did to Eliza Doolittle. He wanted to turn this flower girl who was not even classified as a “lady” because of her accent and how she acted, into a lady. Throughout the play he changed her whole personality into what he thought was the perfect lady. He ignores that Eliza is a person and is is prioritizing his own ego being one of the best linguists in the United Kingdom. This reminded me of the last book we read A Doll’s House where Torvald was also prioritizing his ego. Both pieces of literature show the stereotype about male egoism.

In conclusion Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw is one of my more favourite pieces of literature because it conveys a strong message while still being entertaining to watch and read.

 

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