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    Pygmalion (play)

    مُساهمة  Mr. Mag في الخميس نوفمبر 04, 2010 8:39 am

    Pygmalion (play)


    The story


    It is the story of Professor Henry Higgins, a professor of phonetics, who wagers that he can turn a Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, into the toast of London society merely by teaching her how to speak with an upper-class accent. In the process, he becomes fond of her and attempts to direct her future, but she rejects his domineering ways and marries a young aristocrat.
    The original stage play shocked audiences by Eliza's use of a swear word. Humour is drawn from her ability to speak well, but without an understanding of the conversation acceptable to polite society. For example, when asked whether she is walking home, she replies, 'Not bloody likely!' The actress Mrs Patrick Campbell, for whom Shaw wrote the role, was thought to risk her career by uttering the line.


    Origins of the story


    Shaw used Pygmalion from Roman mythology as the basis for his play. Shaw's play also owes something to the legend of "King Cophetua and the beggar maid"; in which a King lacks interest in women, but one day falls in love with a young beggar-girl, later educating her to be his Queen.


    The staging


    Shaw completed Pygmalion and later that same year it was translated into German. This is important because the very first performance was played by English actors in Vienna, Austria, with none other than Mrs. Patrick Campbell as Eliza Doolittle. Pygmalion opened at the Hofburg Theatre on October 16, 1913, however it was moved to England, with the same cast, and opened there, on April 11, 1914 at His Majesty's Theatre. This was the first time Shaw's Pygmalion was performed in English.


    The 1938 film version


    In 1938, a film version of the stage play was released,[1] starring Leslie Howard as Higgins, Wendy Hiller as Eliza, Wilfrid Lawson as her father Alfred Doolittle, Scott Sunderland as Colonel George Pickering, and David Tree as Freddy Eynsford-Hill. It was adapted to film by Shaw, W.P. Lipscomb, Cecil Lewis, Ian Dalrymple, and Anatole de Grunwald from the Shaw play, and directed by Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard. The movie was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.


    My Fair Lady


    The play was the basis for the musical play and film My Fair Lady.[2]
    The play, the stage musical, and the film musical have different endings. At the end of the play, Eliza leaves Higgins to marry the aristocrat Freddy Eynsford-Hill. Shaw, annoyed by the tendency of audiences, actors, and even directors to seek 'romantic' re-interpretations of his ending, later wrote an essay for inclusion with subsequent editions in which he explained precisely why it was impossible for the story to end with Higgins and Eliza getting together. In the stage musical, this is left unresolved, and the final scene is of a lonely Higgins. Both the 1938 film and the filmed version of the musical add a final scene with both of them apparently about to reconcile.


    Homages in film


    Contemporary versions of the Pygmalion motif can be found in Willy Russell's play Educating Rita (1980) and Pretty Woman. A more recent version of the Pygmalion motif can be found indirectly in many teen movies, such as Can't Buy Me Love in the 80s (with its 2000s counterpart remake) and more directly in the movie She's All That.


    Pygmalion is a fictional character from the Roman poet Ovid, found in the tenth book of his ****morphoses. Pygmalion is a sculptor who falls in love with a statue he has made.
    Pygmalion was a lonely Cypriot sculptor who carved a woman out of ivory. According to Ovid he is 'not interested in women', but his statue is so realistic that he falls in love with it. He offers the statue presents and eventually prays to Venus, the goddess of beauty and love. Venus takes pity on him and brings the statue to life. He marries, and their daughter Paphos was the product of the union between Pygmalion and his statue-wife.
    Ovid's mention of Paphos suggests he was drawing on the earlier work of Apollodorus, who also wrote about a Pygmalion. The story has its classical roots in that of Daedalus, who uses quicksilver to install a voice in his statues; and of Hephaestus who creates Talos (an artificial bronze man), and Pandora (from clay, at the behest of Zeus).



    Re-interpretations of Pygmalion


    The basic Pygmalion story has been widely transmitted and re-presented in the arts through the centuries. At an unknown date, later authors give the name of the statue as the sea-nymph Galatea or Galathea. Goethe calls her Elise, based upon the variants in the story of Dido/Elissa.
    In the Middle Ages Pygmalion was held up as an example of the excesses of idolatry, probably spurred by Clement of Alexandria's suggestion that Pygmalion had carved an image of Venus herself. But by the 18th century it was a highly influential love-story, seen as such in Rousseau's musical play of the story. By the 19th century, the story often becomes one in which the awakened beloved rejects Pygmalion; although she comes alive, she is initially cold and unattainable.
    The story has been the subject of notable paintings by Jean-Léon Gérôme, Honoré Daumier, Edward Burne-Jones (four major works from 1868-1870, then again in larger versions from 1875-1878), Auguste Rodin, Ernest Normand, Paul Delvaux, Francisco Goya, Francois Boucher, and Thomas Rowlandson, among others. There have also been numerous sculptures of the 'awakening'.
    Ovid's Pygmalion has also provided inspiration for several works of literature, including William Morris's Earthly Paradise, and Friedrich Schiller's Ideals. Both Morris and Schiller described the statue as made of marble.
    There have also been successful modern stage-plays such as: W. S. Gilbert's Pygmalion and Galatea (1871); George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion (1912, staged 1914); and My Fair Lady (1956). Shaw's play also owes something to the legend of "King Cophetua and the beggar maid"; in which a King lacks interest in women, but one day falls in love with a young beggar-girl, later educating her to be his Queen.
    Notable 20th century feature films are My Fair Lady (1964, based on the stage play); Mighty Aphrodite by director Woody Allen; and the film Mannequin, a remake of the 1948 classic One Touch of Venus.
    The popular horror genre in film has also had an interest in 'bringing to life' waxwork figures and show-room dummies (see: Waxworks: A Cultural Obsession by Michelle Bloom).


    PREFACE TO PYGMALION.


    A Professor of Phonetics.
    As will be seen later on, Pygmalion needs, not a preface, but a sequel, which I have supplied in its due place. The English have no respect for their language, and will not teach their children to speak it. They spell it so abominably that no man can teach himself what it sounds like. It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him. German and Spanish are accessible to foreigners: English is not accessible even to Englishmen. The reformer England needs today is an energetic phonetic enthusiast: that is why I have made such a one the hero of a popular play. There have been heroes of that kind crying in the wilderness for many years past. When I became interested in the subject towards the end of the eighteen-seventies, Melville Bell was dead; but Alexander J. Ellis was still a living patriarch, with an impressive head always covered by a velvet skull cap, for which he would apologize to public meetings in a very courtly manner. He and Tito Pagliardini, another phonetic veteran, were men whom it was impossible to dislike. Henry Sweet, then a young man, lacked their sweetness of character: he was about as conciliatory to conventional mortals as Ibsen or Samuel Butler. His great ability as a phonetician (he was, I think, the best of them all at his job) would have entitled him to high official recognition, and perhaps enabled him to popularize his subject, but for his Satanic contempt for all academic dignitaries and persons in general who thought more of Greek than of phonetics. Once, in the days when the Imperial Institute rose in South Kensington, and Joseph Chamberlain was booming the Empire, I induced the editor of a leading monthly review to commission an article from Sweet on the imperial importance of his subject. When it arrived, it contained nothing but a savagely derisive attack on a professor of language and literature whose chair Sweet regarded as proper to a phonetic expert only. The article, being libelous, had to be returned as impossible; and I had to renounce my dream of dragging its author into the limelight. When I met him afterwards, for the first time for many years, I found to my astonishment that he, who had been a quite tolerably presentable young man, had actually managed by sheer scorn to alter his personal appearance until he had become a sort of walking repudiation of Oxford and all its traditions. It must have been largely in his own despite that he was squeezed into something called a Readership of phonetics there. The future of phonetics rests probably with his pupils, who all swore by him; but nothing could bring the man himself into any sort of compliance with the university, to which he nevertheless clung by divine right in an intensely Oxonian way. I daresay his papers, if he has left any, include some satires that may be published without too destructive results fifty years hence. He was, I believe, not in the least an ill-natured man: very much the opposite, I should say; but he would not suffer fools gladly.


    0. Introduction (continued)
    Those who knew him will recognize in my third act the allusion to the patent Shorthand in which he used to write postcards, and which may be acquired from a four and six-penny manual published by the Clarendon Press. The postcards which Mrs. Higgins describes are such as I have received from Sweet. I would decipher a sound which a cockney would represent by zerr, and a Frenchman by seu, and then write demanding with some heat what on earth it meant. Sweet, with boundless contempt for my stupidity, would reply that it not only meant but obviously was the word Result, as no other Word containing that sound, and capable of making sense with the context, existed in any language spoken on earth. That less expert mortals should require fuller indications was beyond Sweet's patience. Therefore, though the whole point of his "Current Shorthand" is that it can express every sound in the language perfectly, vowels as well as consonants, and that your hand has to make no stroke except the easy and current ones with which you write m, n, and u, l, p, and q, scribbling them at whatever angle comes easiest to you, his unfortunate determination to make this remarkable and quite legible ****** serve also as a Shorthand reduced it in his own practice to the most inscrutable of cryptograms. His true objective was the provision of a full, accurate, legible ****** for our noble but ill-dressed language; but he was led past that by his contempt for the popular Pitman system of Shorthand, which he called the Pitfall system. The triumph of Pitman was a triumph of business organization: there was a weekly paper to persuade you to learn Pitman: there were cheap textbooks and exercise books and tran******s of speeches for you to copy, and schools where experienced teachers coached you up to the necessary proficiency. Sweet could not organize his market in that fashion. He might as well have been the Sybil who tore up the leaves of prophecy that nobody would attend to. The four and six-penny manual, mostly in his lithographed handwriting, that was never vulgarly advertized, may perhaps some day be taken up by a syndicate and pushed upon the public as The Times pushed the Encyclopaedia Britannica; but until then it will certainly not prevail against Pitman. I have bought three copies of it during my lifetime; and I am informed by the publishers that its cloistered existence is still a steady and healthy one. I actually learned the system two several times; and yet the shorthand in which I am writing these lines is Pitman's. And the reason is, that my secretary cannot transcribe Sweet, having been perforce taught in the schools of Pitman. Therefore, Sweet railed at Pitman as vainly as Thersites railed at Ajax: his raillery, however it may have eased his soul, gave no popular vogue to Current Shorthand. Pygmalion Higgins is not a portrait of Sweet, to whom the adventure of Eliza Doolittle would have been impossible; still, as will be seen, there are touches of Sweet in the play. With Higgins's physique and temperament Sweet might have set the Thames on fire. As it was, he impressed himself professionally on Europe to an extent that made his comparative personal obscurity, and the failure of Oxford to do justice to his eminence, a puzzle to foreign specialists in his subject. I do not blame Oxford, because I think Oxford is quite right in demanding a certain social amenity from its nurslings (heaven knows it is not exorbitant in its requirements!); for although I well know how hard it is for a man of genius with a seriously underrated subject to maintain serene and kindly relations with the men who underrate it, and who keep all the best places for less important subjects which they profess without originality and sometimes without much capacity for them, still, if he overwhelms them with wrath and disdain, he cannot expect them to heap honors on him.


    Of the later generations of phoneticians I know little. Among them towers the Poet Laureate, to whom perhaps Higgins may owe his Miltonic sympathies, though here again I must disclaim all portraiture. But if the play makes the public aware that there are such people as phoneticians, and that they are among the most important people in England at present, it will serve its turn.
    I wish to boast that Pygmalion has been an extremely successful play all over Europe and North America as well as at home. It is so intensely and deliberately didactic, and its subject is esteemed so dry, that I delight in throwing it at the heads of the wiseacres who repeat the parrot cry that art should never be didactic. It goes to prove my contention that art should never be anything else.
    Finally, and for the encouragement of people troubled with accents that cut them off from all high employment, I may add that the change wrought by Professor Higgins in the flower girl is neither impossible nor uncommon. The modern concierge's daughter who fulfils her ambition by playing the Queen of Spain in Ruy Blas at the Theatre Francais is only one of many thousands of men and women who have sloughed off their native dialects and acquired a new tongue. But the thing has to be done scientifically, or the last state of the aspirant may be worse than the first. An honest and natural slum dialect is more tolerable than the attempt of a phonetically untaught person to imitate the vulgar dialect of the golf club; and I am sorry to say that in spite of the efforts of our Academy of Dramatic Art, there is still too much sham golfing English on our stage, and too little of the noble English of Forbes Robertson




    Author Biography




    George Bernard Shaw was born into a poor Protestant family in Dublin, Ireland, on July 26, 1856. Despite childhood neglect (his father was an alcoholic), he became one of the most prominent writers of modern Britain. His mother introduced him to music and art at an early age and after 1876, when he moved to London to continue his self-education, she supported him for nine more years. During this period Shaw wrote five unsuccessful novels, then, in 1884, he met William Archer, the prominent journalist and drama critic, who urged him to write plays. Through Archer, Shaw became music critic for a London newspaper. With a strong background in economics and politics, Shaw rose to prominence through the socialist Fabian Society, which he helped organize in 1884. He also established himself as a persuasive orator and became well known as a critic of art, music, and literature. In 1895 he became the drama critic for the Saturday Review




    Characters:



    Professor Henry Higgins - Henry Higgins is a professor of phonetics who plays Pygmalion to Eliza Doolittle's Galatea. He is the author of Higgins' Universal Alphabet, believes in concepts like visible speech, and uses all manner of recording and photographic material to ×××××××× his phonetic subjects, reducing people and their dialects into what he sees as readily understandable units. He is an unconventional man, who goes in the opposite direction from the rest of society in most matters. Indeed, he is impatient with high society, forgetful in his public graces, and poorly considerate of normal social niceties--the only reason the world has not turned against him is because he is at heart a good and harmless man. His biggest fault is that he can be a bully.


    Eliza Doolittle - "She is not at all a romantic figure." So is she introduced in Act I. Everything about Eliza Doolittle seems to defy any conventional notions we might have about the romantic heroine. When she is transformed from a sassy, smart-mouthed kerbstone flower girl with deplorable English, to a (still sassy) regal figure fit to consort with nobility, it has less to do with her innate qualities as a heroine than with the fairy-tale aspect of the transformation myth itself. In other words, the character of Eliza Doolittle comes across as being much more instrumental than fundamental. The real (re-)making of Eliza Doolittle happens after the ambassador's party, when she decides to make a statement for her own dignity against Higgins' insensitive treatment. This is when she becomes, not a duchess, but an independent woman; and this explains why Higgins begins to see Eliza not as a mill around his neck but as a creature worthy of his admiration.


    Colonel Pickering - Colonel Pickering, the author of Spoken Sanskrit, is a match for Higgins (although somewhat less obsessive) in his passion for phonetics. But where Higgins is a boorish, careless bully, Pickering is always considerate and a genuinely gentleman. He says little of note in the play, and appears most of all to be a civilized foil to Higgins' barefoot, absentminded crazy professor. He helps in the Eliza Doolittle experiment by making a wager of it, saying he will cover the costs of the experiment if Higgins does indeed make a convincing duchess of her. However, while Higgins only manages to teach Eliza pronunciations, it is Pickering's thoughtful treatment towards Eliza that teaches her to respect herself.


    Alfred Doolittle - Alfred Doolittle is Eliza's father, an elderly but vigorous dustman who has had at least six wives and who "seems equally free from fear and conscience." When he learns that his daughter has entered the home of Henry Higgins, he immediately pursues to see if he can get some money out of the circumstance. His unique brand of rhetoric, an unembarrassed, unhypocritical advocation of drink and pleasure (at other people's expense), is amusing to Higgins. Through Higgins' joking recommendation, Doolittle becomes a richly endowed lecturer to a moral reform society, transforming him from lowly dustman to a picture of middle class morality--he becomes miserable. Throughout, Alfred is a scoundrel who is willing to sell his daughter to make a few pounds, but he is one of the few unaffected characters in the play, unmasked by appearance or language. Though scandalous, his speeches are honest. At points, it even seems that he might be Shaw's voice piece of social criticism (Alfred's proletariat status, given Shaw's socialist leanings, makes the prospect all the more likely).


    Mrs. Higgins - Professor Higgins' mother, Mrs. Higgins is a stately lady in her sixties who sees the Eliza Doolittle experiment as idiocy, and Higgins and Pickering as senseless children. She is the first and only character to have any qualms about the whole affair. When her worries prove true, it is to her that all the characters turn. Because no woman can match up to his mother, Higgins claims, he has no interest in dallying with them. To observe the mother of Pygmalion (Higgins), who completely understands all of his failings and inadequacies, is a good contrast to the mythic proportions to which Higgins builds himself in his self-estimations as a scientist of phonetics and a creator of duchesses.


    Freddy Eynsford Hill - Higgins' surmise that Freddy is a fool is probably accurate. In the opening scene he is a spineless and resourceless lackey to his mother and sister. Later, he is comically bowled over by Eliza, the half-baked duchess who still speaks cockney. He becomes lovesick for Eliza, and courts her with letters. At the play's close, Freddy serves as a young, viable marriage option for Eliza, making the possible path she will follow unclear to the reader






    Pygmalion





    Pygmalion is one of Shaw's most popular plays as well as one of his most straightforward ones. It shows Shaw's idea about his society at his time. He considers many themes such as social class, identity, self-improvement, gender role, education, feelings and relationships. This essay explains the theme of equality in Shaw's play Pygmalion, the gender role, analysis the developing of the main characters which are used as literacy device to explain ideas and belief, relationships and feeling.




    Pygmalion illustrates the difference and tension between the upper and lower class a basic belief of the period was that a person is born into a class and that no one can move from one class to another. Shaw on the contrary, believed that personality isn’t defined by birth. Instead, he thought that you can achieve social change if you really believe in yourself. As to the play, the barriers between classes aren’t natural and can be broken down.




    Eliza and Alfred Doolittle, originally living in bad conditions, represent the working class. What happens to Eliza and her father expresses show's belief that people are able to improve their lives through their own efforts. But they have to consider that their character might change as well. Thus it doesn't seem surprising that the difference between a lady and a flower girl lies rather in her treatment than in her behavior. Shaw's criticism is obvious in the paradox of Alfred's character. He is happy being poor and miserable being rich. In the same way, Doolittle shows how difficult it can be to change one's whole personality. Once he becomes wealthy, he adopts behaviors and habits of the upper class and will not mix with people who he thinks below him, in trying to impress others its effect his own character and personality.




    The upper class regards background and wealth as decisive and is keen to preserve class distinction. In the play they are represented by the Eysford Hills appearing dishonest toward themselves. They escape from reality and prefer an illusion. This can be explained by that fact that the Eysford Hills are lacking money, but refuse to go earning their own living. Clara can be seen as an exception because she makes up her mind and takes an honest realistic look to her own life.





    Gender inequality




    In Shaw's day women were subordinate to men. They were regarded as property. Therefore Eliza's fathers are a good example of this attitude "selling" Eliza to Higgins as if she was his property. This shows that inequality of the sexes is even greater than inequality between classes.




    In Pygmalion, we also find the aspect of nature selection. Yet Higgins succeeds in his experiment and consequently, Charles Darwin's theory seems to be defeated. Eliza has been made a lady, regardless of her origins. During that time, the belief prevailed that only a man turn a woman into a lady. This is illustrated in Eliza's helplessness and in the way Higgins treats her.


    The conflict reaches its climax when Higgins suggests that Eliza should marry. As to Eliza's situation, she has to decide between marrying and going out to work. This reflect the contemporary beliefs that it wad degrading of women to earn their own living. However, Eliza begins to rebel against Higgins by tossing the slippers at him. That can be seen as a way of release to the other ladies. Eliza's behavior stands for women who struggled for their rights in those days.




    Self-improvement, Character of Eliza




    Eliza Doolittle, is an uneducated, streetwise cockney flower girl, Eliza's intelligence allows her to recognize her won self-worth and the worth of others.


    Before Eliza first encountered Mr. Higgins, she was simply a dirty, During her time with both Mr., Higgins and Colonel Pickering, Eliza did change, for the first few weeks of her stay in Wimpole Street, she questioned everything that Higgins asked her to do, and generally couldn’t see how they would help her, later, Eliza begins to understand that Higgins, as harsh as he is, is trying to do his best to teach her, and therefore should be respected. Eliza's basic character remains relatively unchanged. We can still observe the old Eliza, under the upper-class persona.


    When the play opens, the audience is shown a brief glimpse of the world that Eliza occupies as a flower girl as she tries to wheedle a few coins in return for violets from the group of people seeking shelter under the Portico of St. Paul's church. She is forced by her circumstances to coax money out of prospective ******ers. Eliza however can express her feeling of wonder and fear only by crying out an indistinguishable sounding "Ah-ah-ah-ow-ow-ow-oo!" A little later when she receives a handful of coins she goes almost wild with delight and lacking the ability to express her feelings articulately can again only utter a baffling "Ah-ah-ow-ow-oo!" For Eliza, pain, wonder, fear and delight become an indiscriminate sound of vowels. At this point the audience is not aware that beneath this dirt and terrible speech lies the ability to evolve into a polished human being.


    However, even in this pathetic state Eliza is not totally depraved. She is self-sufficient and capable of earning her living by selling flowers. She exhibits cleverness and a degree of resourcefulness to get the maximum value possible for her flowers. The cab acts as the vehicle that carries her over the threshold from the shabby indigent world to the comforts of genteel life in Act Two. Wearing an ostrich feather hat and a shabby worn out coat, Eliza strikes one as a pathetic and odd figure. She haughtily demands that Higgins teach her to speak properly so that she can become a lady in a flower shop instead of selling flowers. Evidently at this stage Eliza only craves the economic security and social respectability that would come with her ability to speak correctly. She does not know that this desire for security and respectability only constitutes the second small step in her larger quest for self-realization. However she is required to purge both her body and soul before she can ascend to a higher plane of awareness. Her haughty air is soon reduced to confusion, fear, and helplessness as she bears the tyrannical outbursts of Higgins who insultingly calls her a "baggage" and "a draggle-tailed guttersnipe."


    Her soul is thus cleansed of childish pretensions as she encounters the grim real world. She undergoes a cleansing of her body at a physical level: her dirty clothes are burnt and her body purified through a hot bath. For Higgins and Pickering the ambassador's ball was a great success. Eliza, on the other hand, had fulfilled her purpose as far as Higgins was concerned, she was merely a tool used to enhance Higgins reputation in society. Having shown absolutely no appreciation toward Eliza, Higgins kept boasting about his success. And failed to acknowledge Eliza, besides the one time he did, which was simply to make clear that it was not Eliza the won his bet, but it was himself.


    Higgins did change Eliza. Originally she was a kind innocent girl trying to stay alive the gutter of London. Higgins through the introduction to high-society had altered Eliza's way of thinking. It was good for Eliza to become stronger as she did. It was good that Mr. Higgins finally had something go wrong for him. Eliza was changed by her interaction with Higgins.




    Character of Higgins




    Henry Higgins is a phonetic expert and a scientist who loves anything that can be studies as a scientific subject. His enthusiasm for the study masks his human qualities.




    Through Pygmalion Higgins is seen as a very rude man, while one may expect a well educated man such as Higgins, to be a gentleman. Higgins believes that how you treat some one is not important, as long as you treat everyone equal. The greater secret, Eliza, is not having bad manner or good manner or any other particular sort of manner, but having the same manner for all human souls.


    Higgins presents this theory to Eliza, in hope of justifying his treatment of her; this theory would be fine if Higgins himself lived by it, and however he lives by a variety of variation of this philosophy.




    Higgins could never see the "new Eliza" Higgins only saw the dirty flower girl that become his 'experiment' Much like an author never sees a work as finished, since Higgins knew where Eliza came form it was difficult for him to make her parts fit together as a masterpiece that he respect.




    Part of Higgins' problem in recognizing the "new Eliza is his immaturity. He does not sees her as what she is, he only sees her as what she was.





    Feelings and relationships




    Psychology plays a significant role in Higgins' relationship with Eliza. Although everybody wants somebody to love, they don't seem to be capable of a close relationship.




    Higgins on the one hand can be described as a rude, careless and impolite character, but at the same time likeable because of his fascination and dedication to his work. His mother holds a great fascination for him; she speaks properly, has good manners and is the only woman Higgins adores. In general, he appears small-minded and doesn't reflect about problems Eliza might be confronted with. Eliza, on the other hand, is willing to learn and does her best to please Higgins. When she becomes aware of Higgins' goals she eventually gets disappointing and angry. She feels as the subject of the experiment, while Higgins, never reflecting about her feelings, treats her in an impersonal way and can't understand her. There can't be a relationship, in which both obtain an equal position. Henry and Eliza don't fit together because of their strong characters.




    Eliza knows that she can't go back to her old life, but otherwise, she has no firm position in society. Instead of fetching Higgins's slippers, she marries Freddy who has a weaker character. Perhaps Freddy would fetch her slippers, but she is keen to work, too. Her rebellion becomes more obvious in comparison to Higgins. She shows that she is not a mere subject, but a freethinking individual. In a realistic manner, she finds Higgins' weak point and overrules his subjections. She doesn't want to be intimidated.




    So in conclusion, we can say that it was not Higgins who has created a new woman by himself. Indeed, Eliza has changed her personality through her own efforts. This is due to Higgins' treatment: he didn't consider her feelings.






    وهذه سمات الشخصيات




    Professor Henry Higgins - Henry Higgins is a professor of phonetics who plays Pygmalion to Eliza Doolittle's Galatea. He is the author of Higgins' Universal Alphabet, believes in concepts like visible speech, and uses all manner of recording and photographic material to ×××××××× his phonetic subjects, reducing people and their dialects into what he sees as readily understandable units. He is an unconventional man, who goes in the opposite direction from the rest of society in most matters. Indeed, he is impatient with high society, forgetful in his public graces, and poorly considerate of normal social niceties--the only reason the world has not turned against him is because he is at heart a good and harmless man. His biggest fault is that he can be a bully.




    Eliza Doolittle - "She is not at all a romantic figure." So is she introduced in Act I. Everything about Eliza Doolittle seems to defy any conventional notions we might have about the romantic heroine. When she is transformed from a sassy, smart-mouthed kerbstone flower girl with deplorable English, to a (still sassy) regal figure fit to consort with nobility, it has less to do with her innate qualities as a heroine than with the fairy-tale aspect of the transformation myth itself. In other words, the character of Eliza Doolittle comes across as being much more instrumental than fundamental. The real (re-)making of Eliza Doolittle happens after the ambassador's party, when she decides to make a statement for her own dignity against Higgins' insensitive treatment. This is when she becomes, not a duchess, but an independent woman; and this explains why Higgins begins to see Eliza not as a mill around his neck but as a creature worthy of his admiration.


    Colonel Pickering - Colonel Pickering, the author of Spoken Sanskrit, is a match for Higgins (although somewhat less obsessive) in his passion for phonetics. But where Higgins is a boorish, careless bully, Pickering is always considerate and a genuinely gentleman. He says little of note in the play, and appears most of all to be a civilized foil to Higgins' barefoot, absentminded crazy professor. He helps in the Eliza Doolittle experiment by making a wager of it, saying he will cover the costs of the experiment if Higgins does indeed make a convincing duchess of her. However, while Higgins only manages to teach Eliza pronunciations, it is Pickering's thoughtful treatment towards Eliza that teaches her to respect herself.


    Alfred Doolittle - Alfred Doolittle is Eliza's father, an elderly but vigorous dustman who has had at least six wives and who "seems equally free from fear and conscience." When he learns that his daughter has entered the home of Henry Higgins, he immediately pursues to see if he can get some money out of the circumstance. His unique brand of rhetoric, an unembarrassed, unhypocritical advocation of drink and pleasure (at other people's expense), is amusing to Higgins. Through Higgins' joking recommendation, Doolittle becomes a richly endowed lecturer to a moral reform society, transforming him from lowly dustman to a picture of middle class morality--he becomes miserable. Throughout, Alfred is a scoundrel who is willing to sell his daughter to make a few pounds, but he is one of the few unaffected characters in the play, unmasked by appearance or language. Though scandalous, his speeches are honest. At points, it even seems that he might be Shaw's voice piece of social criticism (Alfred's proletariat status, given Shaw's socialist leanings, makes the prospect all the more likely).


    Mrs. Higgins - Professor Higgins' mother, Mrs. Higgins is a stately lady in her sixties who sees the Eliza Doolittle experiment as idiocy, and Higgins and Pickering as senseless children. She is the first and only character to have any qualms about the whole affair. When her worries prove true, it is to her that all the characters turn. Because no woman can match up to his mother, Higgins claims, he has no interest in dallying with them. To observe the mother of Pygmalion (Higgins), who completely understands all of his failings and inadequacies, is a good contrast to the mythic proportions to which Higgins builds himself in his self-estimations as a scientist of phonetics and a creator of duchesses.


    Freddy Eynsford Hill - Higgins' surmise that Freddy is a fool is probably accurate. In the opening scene he is a spineless and resourceless lackey to his mother and sister. Later, he is comically bowled over by Eliza, the half-baked duchess who still speaks cockney. He becomes lovesick for Eliza, and courts her with letters. At the play's close, Freddy serves as a young, viable marriage option for Eliza, making the possible path she will follow unclear to the reader






    Pygmalion (1938)





    is the non-musical film version of George Bernard Shaw's 1912 stage play, a socio-economic drama based on the Cinderella story, but actually taken from the Greek myth of Pygmalion - about a sculptor who fell in love with a marble statue of his own making. The Broadway musical remake that was inspired from this film, Lerner and Loewe's 1956 production, also led to the famous film musical My Fair Lady (1962), that would walk away with eight Oscars (out of twelve), including Best Picture. This film garnered four Academy Award nominations (with one win), including Best Picture, Best Actor (Leslie Howard), and Best Actress (Wendy Hiller). Its sole award was for Best Screenplay.


    A bullying and smug bachelor, Professor Henry Higgins (Leslie Howard) of phonetics and linguistics makes a bet with Colonel George Pickering (Scott Sunderland) that he can turn an impetuous Cockney 'guttersnipe' flower girl from Convent Garden, Eliza Doolittle (Wendy Hiller in her first screen role) into a lady within six months. To do so, he must transform her thick-accented voice, by coaching her to speak proper English with elocution lessons, teaching her manners, and drilling her so that she will be educated. "We were above that in Convent Garden...I sold flowers. I didn't sell myself. Now you've made a lady of me; I'm not fit to sell anything else." "I'm a good girl, I am."


    At a tea party, in her first public testing, she blurts out, "Not bloody likely." However, she makes a spectacular debut at the Ambassador's reception, proving him right. In the process of teaching her, he falls in love with her, although she is attracted by an upper class gentleman named Freddy Eynsford-Hill (David Tree), and finds she cannot return home to Higgins.


    In the final line of the film, Henry asks Eliza, "Where the devil are my slippers, Eliza










    George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion"




    , depicts the relationships between gender and social status. It reveals the story of a young, lower class, flower girl, who wants nothing more than to become a lady.


    The character of Professor Higgins is introduced as a higher class, sexist individual. He agrees to teach the young girl, Eliza, to become a sophisticated, proper speaking lady. To Eliza, this sounds like an irresistible chance of becoming a lady. However, in Higgins eyes, he's simply teaching her enough to pass her off as a Royal Duchess, through the perfection of her English.


    This book undergoes the common theme of "the developing butterfly", with the character starting out in the gutter and integrating her way into becoming a beautiful, proper, mature speaking lady. Although Eliza progresses somewhat throughout the play, she continues to remain within the walls of the lower class status. Similarly, Henry Higgins remains consistent with his arrogant, disliked attitude.


    As the reader may not anticipate, Shaw does not follow the typical storyline of the woman and the man of the opposite lives, who end up falling in love with each other. Contrarily, Eliza remains strong, refusing to fall for any sense of false hope, and the lack of respect given by Higgins. She persists and regardless of Higgins' continuous begging, she stays with Freddy.


    The reading of this story is somewhat enjoyable and interesting, if the unpredictable, non-traditional storyline is appealing to you, as a reader. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy these types of storylines of the encountered struggles between the lower class individuals and their constant strives to be recognized as anything but lower class.




    This performance of Shaw's perceptive comedy sparkles with wit and scintillating characterizations. Outstanding performances by the entire company, especially the actors portraying major characters, contribute to the vitality of this production. As her cockney accent gradually gives way to refined, articulate sentences, Shannon Cochran makes us believe in Eliza's transformation from flower girl to cultured lady. Nicholas Rudall artfully captures the self-centered swagger and joie de vivre of Eliza's father. Nicholas Pennell intelligently portrays the egotistical Professor Higgins. Basic sound effects are all that's necessary to create a context for this drama. The adult or high-school-age listener will find this audio production the next best thing to being there. R.M. (Harper Audio offers a Caedmon full cast performance with Michael Redgrave et al.) (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.




    Midwest Book Review


    One of Shaw's best works, Pygmalion is a perceptive comedy of wit and wisdom about the unique relationship between a spunky cockney flower-girl and her irascible speech professor. The flower girl Eliza Doolittle teaches the egotistical phonetics professor Henry Higgins that to be a lady means more than just learning to speak like one. The performance by the L. A. Theatre Works is technically flawless and a world-class performance of a theatrical classic.





    Pygmalion centers on a woman who cannot speak to save her life. She is the most interesting of the three main characters but also the worst to focus on. She is boring to the point of tears. She is poor, hungry, and happy. It is a typical underdog story where two rich and powerful men who happen to be specialists in her area of need -language-happen upon her in a gloomy British rain. Surprised? I was not. Shaw cut right to the point; after all, it is a short play. I do not blame Shaw for making it short, more of Higgins and I would have put the play down.


    Should we try to pinpoint why the two men, more so Higgins, decide to tutor and to change Eliza, we come across purely selfish motives. Eliza sells flowers on the street in order to feed herself, and later goes to Higgins to learn proper English in order to become a shop-owner. Higgins wants to change her into a proper girl in order to prove that he is the greatest linguistics tutor, also, to win a bet...how egocentric. Selfish acts drive this play along.


    Here, the class struggle also comes into play as Eliza must not only refrain from using the only language she knows, but must change the way in which she holds herself in front of society. Shaw wrote Eliza's character very precisely to have individual dignity and determination to help her achieve her goals. The one thing I liked.


    The play is about adaptation and transformation. Eliza's incredible strength moves the play along more quickly despite Higgins' pompous attitude slowing it down. Then again, without the diametrically opposed characters the play would not work.


    Interesting class struggle and realistic language effort but overall, just a so-so read. Shaw has a good point: it takes effort to move up to bourgeoisie. He has all the right characters: a poor, pretty girl with a desire to learn, a snotty old Professor who is full of himself and a rich gentleman to provide the budget. Unfortunately, and perhaps due to the year I was born, the generation I grew up in and my penchant for sex and scandal, I found it rather dry. I am glad I read it, but will likely not pick it up again.




    Pygmalion, the romantic comedy written by George Bernard Shaw, shows people the various social roles and obstacles that existed in London in the early 1900's. The story unfolds with Mr. Higgins, a cunning linguist, who places a bet with his fellow comrade, Colonel Pickering, saying he would be able to transform Eliza Doolittle, a cockney speaking, street vending peasant, into a respectable young lady, fit to attend an ambassador's party and not be noticed as a person of a lower class. Eliza, personally willing to take the challenge on for her own benefit, works with Higgins over a number of weeks and is ultimately able to drop her accent and speak like a upper-class English lady.




    This story illustrates that though there is a social hierarchy in London at the time, those with the ambition and tenacity to jump social stratas have the opportunities and are able to succeed in doing so. Once in this position however, some tend to question their place in this class and whether they fit in with the mainstream doings that are found with that status. With confidence and support, Eliza's role shows that there is indeed room to grow, learn, and adapt to a new culture.




    I think this play is a great read today because it still relates to our society on a whole. People find even now, the unfortunate settings up of a class system within North America. It's easy to relate, though the reader may not be the flower seller in the street, they may be the immigrant learning to speak English to gain a job and financial security for example. The role of class structures made this play relevant in reading it in the past, at the present moment, and will continue to make it worth reading in the future.





    George Bernard Shaw's 1912 play Pygmalion is a near perfect representation of society in general. Although written nearly a full century ago, the differences in class and gender ring true even in today's modern world. Inspired by a myth of ancient Greece, Pygmalion focuses around the unique relationship between two very different individuals, Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins. Eliza is a poor, uneducated flower seller in the slums of England whereas Higgins is a renowned and quite well off professor of linguistics. The relationship between the two is initiated by each character's own desires for self betterment. Eliza wishes to become "a lady", so as to open her own flower shop and Higgins takes Eliza as a sort of project, hoping to pass her off as a royal dutchess simply by improving her English.




    A story of transformation, or at least the attempt of, Pygmalion proves to be ultimately unsatisfying, despite its sophisticated structure. The main characters of the play come off as hopelessly pathetic, Eliza in her primitive dialect and low social status, and Higgins with his sexist attitude and outspoken opinions. The professor, arguably the protagonist of the play, grows consistently harder to like as the play progresses. He willingly showcases his arrogance and disrespect not only for the opposite sex but for those lower than him. The ending of the play also leaves the reader, or viewer for that matter, with a sense of incompleteness. One naturally expects an epiphany to be had, where the players realize their faults and strive to right them. Such is not the case. Also, the relationship between Eliza and Higgins leads the reader to expect a romance to occur, although once again such is not the case. The play ends arbitrarily leaving the audience to make up their own minds. Although it is reported that Shaw ended his play like this on purpose, as a deliberate attack on the "****** cutter" endings that audiences so easily predicted, the purpose proves to be a failure as far as entertainment goes. Audiences desire a certain degree of closure where loose ends are tied up. However, the dialogue and stage business of Pygmalion is witty and clever, and the message of the play is representative of every person's inner quest for self improvement.

      الوقت/التاريخ الآن هو الإثنين ديسمبر 05, 2016 4:24 am