William Shaw 's Pygmalion On The Myth Of Pygmalion And Galatea

1236 Words Jun 15th, 2016 5 Pages
At the end of Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, Eliza finds herself as a new and empowered woman. Women in the 20th century are looked down upon. This is what happened to Eliza Doolittle. When Eliza meets a man named Higgins, he makes assumptions about her intelligence based on her speech. Higgins is wrong and fails to see that Eliza is one of the most intelligent characters in the play. Eliza’s ability to pick up speech and learn is high which is unusual for a woman of her social standing. In some cases, Eliza is better at picking up speech patterns and learning than Higgins. This is rare based on the fact that Eliza raised herself with no parental figures and no one to teach her. Eliza’s empowerment comes from the ignorance of the higher classes about the lower classes intelligence.
Bernard Shaw bases his play Pygmalion on the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea. In the original Pygmalion myth, a sculptor creates a sculpture named Galatea, the two fall in love. In the first four acts, we see Shaw follow this structure. A girl transforms from a flower girl to a lady and we get shown a male lead who seems to fit the part of Pygmalion. The audience would expect the two to get to together.
Although Shaw follows this pattern, he ends the play in the complete opposite of our expectations. This heightens Eliza’s triumph and could frustrate the audience. With minor changes into the final scene, Pygmalion can get turned into a romance. Instead, Eliza has asserted her independence and walks out…
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