Discuss the play Pygmalion as a romance? Elaborate

Discuss the play Pygmalion as a romance? Elaborate.

Discuss the play Pygmalion as a romance? Elaborate The play Pygmalion as a romance Pygmalion is not a romance, as it could rightly have been called if Higgins and Eliza had fallen in love and married. It is a problem play, and the goes much deeper than the bare story told in Pygmalion. Every sets out to fight ignorance is in a similar position with regard to his pupils as Higgins was with regard to Eliza. He leads them towards a new way of life and is compelled to leave them at its threshold to go on by themselves.”

The idea for Pygmalion: A Romance in Five Acts first came to Shaw in 1897, and the play was written specifically for one of the leading actresses of the time.  The production history of Pygmalion, oddly enough, began with a German language production in 1913, followed by a New York production the following spring.  The London production opened then a month later, in April of 1914.

George Bernard Shaw use the word “Romance” in the title. He refers to something other than romantic love.  

Now the history of Eliza Doolittle, though called a romance because of the transfiguration it records seems exceedingly improbable…”   it can be related to the ideals of Romanticism, which is something different than was is popularly conceived of as “romance.”  

As the quote above demonstrates clearly, Shaw hated “romances.” George Bernard Shaw was an anti-romantic. Dirty , shabby and cockney speaking flower girl is transformed into a fascinating lady, fit enough to pass for Duchess even in  garden party of an ambassador, is romantic enough in the sense that such creations are not usual but Pygmalion cannot be regarded as a romance , because in it the Heroine Eliza , does not marry Higgins the hero.

The transformation of Eliza is  romantic enough , but the play does not have the conventional ending of a romance for the hero and the Heroine are not in love and are not happily married at the end. Rather the heroine throws the slippers of the hero into his face goes out his face in anger. After throwing his slippers at

him, she confronts Higgins with, “Whats to become of me? Whats to become of me?” Higgins interest in Eliza is merely scientific and it comes to an end as soon as he has achieved success in his experiment . He is cold and scientific and not at all a lover.


Introduction :

Bernard Shaw has called the play Pygmalion, and added a subtitle to it, “A Romance“. As is well known, Shaw was an anti-romantic and in one play after another he has punctured age-old romantic notions. The play Pygmalion as a romance? ElaborateThus in his Arms and the Man, he has shattered the romantic notion of love and war, and in his Man and Superman he has shown that it is the woman, and not the man, who is the courter and the chaser. It is the woman who chases her man relentlessly and ultimately marries him. Beauty and sex appeal of a woman are shown to be a trap to capture the man who is likely to make a suitable father and husband.

The play Pygmalion as a romance? Elaborate

The Note of Romance

However sexual love is an essential element in a romance and this element of romance is provided by the Freddy-Eliza love-story. Freddy fall deeply in love with Eliza when he meets her at the house of Mrs. Higgins is simply fascinated by her and from that day onwards he begins to how Wimpole Street where Eliza lives in Higgins’ house. Freddy keeps looking at Eliza’s room every night until the lights go out, when he says: “Good night darling, darling, darling.” Freddy thus becomes a love-lorn man.

Eliza-Freddy Love story: Its Significance

When one night, Eliza comes out of Higgins’ house because she can no longer endure his neglect and bullying, she encounters Freddy in the street and asks him what he is doing there. Freddy replies that he spends most of his nights here in this street because it is the only place where he feels happy. He then tells her that she is the loveliest, the dearest being for him; and then, losing all self-control, he smothers her with kisses. She, hungry for comfort, responds fully to his love-making; and they stand there in the street in each other’s arms till they are interrupted by a police constable.

The lovers then flee from that spot and halt at another place where again they embrace each other but are once again interrupted by another police constable. Eventually, they get into a taxi and spend the rest of the night driving about the town. Subsequently, Eliza tells Higgins that Freddy has been writing very lengthy love-letters to her and that she has decided to marry him. Now, this whole episode is romantic even though it appears only towards the end.

In the Appendix which Shaw has added to the play, he has told us that Higgins could not love and marry, because he was a scientist, and because no woman could come up to the level of his mother who was his ideal, and to whom he was deeply attached. We may say that he was the victim of “Oedipus complex” even though he lives apart from his mother. Similarly, Eliza could not love and marry Higgins because the Life Force working within her prompted her to love and marry Freddy, who is young and healthy, and so is likely to make a better father for her children. Indeed, throughout the play, there is no sexual attraction or talk of love between Eliza and Higgins. Discuss the play Pygmalion as a romance? Elaborate


Pygmalion is “one of the great English Comedies of the twentieth century–not only because of its brilliantly drawn characters, wit, satire, and subversiveness, but also for its underlying concerns of socialism, feminism and gender.” For her to stand up to him and declare her independence seems exactly right to us, and for her to return to a romantic relationship with Higgins seems absurd after being treated as she’s been, especially when his own “conversion” or “awakening” is nothing more than the fact that he’s “grown accustomed to her face.”  “An Ibsen-inspired tale of a woman’s escape from class and gender oppression to a position of economic and personal freedom.”

Eliza enters, looking coolly self-possessed, and politely greets the two men. She then thanks Pickering for always treating her well and showing her respect. "The difference between a lady and a flower girl," she explains, "is not how she behaves, but how she's treated ... I can be a lady to you, because you always treat me as a lady, and always will." Higgins's arrogant, ill-mannered reaction to this prompts Doolittle to make his presence known to Eliza. After an awkward moment, he and Eliza are guardedly reunited, and she agrees to come along to see him married. For a few moments before leaving, Eliza and Higgins are left alone. Higgins tries to convince her that he did not treat her any differently than anyone else, that he treats everybody rudely.

Then he softens a bit and tells her that he will miss her if she leaves. Knowing Higgins will never change and refusing to be trapped by sentimentality, Eliza suggests that she may marry Freddy and support them both by teaching phonetics, possibly as an assistant to Nepommuck.

Outraged, Higgins grabs her and threatens to wring her neck if she does. Yet he suddenly sees something in Eliza that he has overlooked until now: No longer a sniveling flower girl, Eliza is a woman, "a tower of strength: a consort battleship." He likes her like this. Even so, as the play closes, Eliza seems set on a path away from Higgins. In contrast, the professor remains cheerfully confident that she will return to Wimpole Street and continue to be part of his life.

Waiting for Godot from the perspective of the theatre of the Absurd

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