Plays Directory : Pygmalion

Welcome to The Mandy Network Plays Directory.

The information below is intended to give you a brief guide to the show and highlight some of the other The Mandy Network members who have also been involved in this show.

  • Author
    George Bernard Shaw
  • Overview
    Pygmalion is the story of a wager between a phonetics and linguistics expert (Prof. Higgins) and his friend (Colonel Pickering) that he is so proficient at languages he can take a working class, cockney-speaking flower-girl (Eliza Doolittle) and pass her off as aristocracy. He duly rises to the challenge, taking Eliza in and tutoring her in Received Pronunciation. During the process, the two develop a dysfunctional love/hate relationship. Eliza begins to rise above her origins as the world Higgins introduces her to expands her horizons. She meets a young man, Freddy, who is charmed by her proper accent coupled with improper speech. Higgins finally wins his wager at a society function, at which everybody fails to guess Eliza's true origins. The bet over, Higgins and Pickering consider this the end of the matter, unfortunately forgetting the feelings of Eliza in the process. She is feeling displaced, unable to return to the working class society from which she was plucked, and does not now know what to make of her life. After staging a running away (she is in fact hiding upstairs, protected by the housekeeper, Mrs Higgins, who has been appalled at the way Eliza has been treated), Eliza becomes a new woman in her own right when she asserts herself, threatening to leave and work with Higgins's enemy. She leaves, and the play ends on an ambiguous note; we do not know what Eliza's final decision is; whether she marries Freddy or returns to the Professor is left to the audience to decide.
  • Play
    Download the text for free from Project Gutenberg here: Pygmalion

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