Pygmalion

Compare and contrast the character of Eliza with the statue in the original Pygmalion myth.

  • How is each described by the author?
  • What is their relationship to the other main character in the story?
  • In what ways are they similar and different?
  • In what ways are they passive and acted upon, and in what ways are they the source of action?

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Last updated by Freya P #992726
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Of all Shaw's plays, Pygmalion has the most references to Greek and Roman mythology. Higgins represents Pygmalion, a Greek sculptor who lived alone because he hated women. Pygmalion created a sculpture of a perfect woman and fell in love with it; after he prayed, Aphrodite brought it to life for him. This statue is named Galatea, and it is represented in Shaw's play by Liza. Unlike the myth, Shaw's play does not end in a marriage between the pair, and Liza is infuriated with Higgins's suggestion that her success is his success and that he has made her what she is. She has worked to recreate her identity as well.

This is an interesting story about a bet that helped to find love. I doubt that the author expected such popularity. This book is studied in schools and universities. Such resources contribute to discussions. Students write essays and philosophical dissertations about the hidden meaning or the fate of the main characters.

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