The Art of Speech in the Play Pygimalion Essay

686 Words 3 Pages
The interchange between language and social class can be symbolized through Shaw’s characters. The author uses different characters to portray different aspects of class divisions. England’s social class, as a major theme, was clarified greatly through the art of speech. Throughout most of civilization, people have been divided in classes. There is the rich and powerful, the middle class who are less powerful but nonetheless respected, and the incapable poor. The author cleverly bestows his characters’ their own identity, by giving each a language and speech that suits their bubble of reality: their own social class. Shaw depicts members of all social classes, the lowest being Liza, known for her London’s working class cockney accent. Furthermore, the middle class (Doolittle after his inheritance) to the genteel poor (the Eynsford Hills) to the upper class (Pickering and the Higgins’ family). Those who were classified in the upper class, where known for their proper articulation for the English language. Even though the articulation was proper, it did not need to reach perfection. The author reflects this through Mr. Higgins, who was rich and well articulated, but his manners when speaking where not genteel as it was naturally supposed to be. Nevertheless, Shaw symbolizes the idea of language being intertwined with speech through our very own Pygmalion Mr. Higgins, a professor of speech and phonetics. Higgins was marvelous at his job and hobby, that he was capable of…