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Analysis of Pygmalion by Bernard Shaw

Analysis of "Pygmalion" by Bernard Shaw

Numerous times a piece of literature is changed into a movie or musical it’s plot and or theme has been changed to suit the director’s thought of what would appeal to the public. One such example is Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion. In this play Shaw’s purpose and ideas were horribly misconstrued to the point at which he was forced to write an Epilogue to try to reconcile the injustice done to his masterpiece. In the Epilogue he bluntly expressed his points and purposes so that the ignorant public could no longer discount Shaw’s theme of the play and change it in to a happy ending love story. Shaw’s outrage was set off by the director’s construction of characters and dialogue. Character’s roles were strengthened and belittled according to the director’s purpose. This was accomplished by added scenes, songs and changed dialogue accompanied with omitted scenes and minimizing other characters roles. One such character’s role that was altered and changed from Shaw’s entire purpose was Henry Higgins. The two main things that were altered in Henry Higgins character were his outlook on life and his profession accompanied closely by his relationship with Eliza.

Higgins outlook on life and profession and over all character was enhanced and did little to change the over all-purpose of Shaw. But nonetheless in multiple and added and omitted scenes accompanied by songs explaining his thought process strengthened and changed his character. One such scene was on the street corner when Higgins told the crowd their origin and dialect. This was emphasized to show Higgins profession and abilities. Also a dialogue is added to voice Higgins extremist opinion on poor grammar and speech. It is best said in the quote, not found in the play, “A woman who utters such disgusting and depressing noises has no right to be anywhere, no right to live. Remember that you’re a human being with a soul and the divine gift of articulate speech. That your nature language is the language of Shakespeare, Milton, and the Bible, don’t sit there crooning like a bilious pigeon.” This quote is followed by the song “Why can’t the English teach their children to speak. These combined immensely strengthen Higgins views and opinion on language. Later Higgins voices...

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