Pygmalion

The anti-romantic elements in Shaw's "Pygmalion". 12th Grade

The play Pygmalion can be viewed through the lens of an anti romantic play. From the beginning itself Shaw creates a notion on the reader’s mind that, the play will end up in the union of Professor Higgins and flower girl Eliza. But what happened was quiet opposite of the expectation. It is the title Pygmalion which sows the seeds of this notion in the readers mind, for they are familiar with the story of Pygmalion from the Greek classic. In the Greek classic the Pygmalion, the sculptor, who vows never to marry, but he falls in love with a girl’s statue that he has made, as the answer to the prayer of Pygmalion, God infuses the statue with life, and Pygmalion marries that girl called Galatea. Since Shaw’s play has the title Pygmalion, readers expect the same repetition of Greek classic here in Shaw’s play.

In Shaw’s play, Professor Higgins is the Pygmalion, who determined to polish the flower girl Eliza’s appearance and attitude and make her a lady. Eliza is the Galatea here. But she doesn’t get the affection and love from Higgins like Galatea experienced from Pygmalion. To Professor Higgins, Eliza was a tool for his experiment. His attempt to transform the flower girl Eliza to a charming beauty becomes a massive success when...

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