George Bernard Shaw


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“What is life but a series of inspired follies? The difficulty is to find them to do. Never lose a chance: it doesn’t come every day.”

Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw is the fascinating tale of Henry Higgins, a professor of speech and phonetics who takes on the task of teaching Eliza Doolittle, a lower-class flower seller, how to “act like a lady.” The street-smart Eliza knows how to fend for herself in many ways but wishes to become more ladylike, and Higgins claims that he can teach her to pass as a duchess simply by teaching her how to speak. The duo’s dynamic personalities clash, and the play follows their antics as Higgins imparts his book knowledge to a stubborn Eliza, who is happy to learn but reluctant to leave her old ways entirely behind. They teach one another about finding one’s place in society and embracing the colloquial as well as the formal. This play perfected the trope of two opposite personalities partnering to teach one another how their respective social circles work.
This classic play is critically acclaimed and still entrances modern audiences, and served as the basis for the popular classic musical My Fair Lady. It remains Shaw’s most well-known play, and the humorous and fascinating relationship dynamics at play make it a timeless classic that will inspire generations to come.
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