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16 October 1913, by George Bernard Shaw
Henry Higgins, a phonetician, accepts a bet that simply by changing the speech of a Cockney flower seller he will be able, in six months, to pass her off as a duchess. Eliza undergoes grueling training. When she successfully “passes” in high society—having in the process become a lovely young woman of sensitivity and taste—Higgins dismisses her abruptly as a successfully completed experiment. Eliza, who now belongs neither to the upper class, whose mannerisms and speech she has learned, nor to the lower class, from which she came, rejects his dehumanizing attitude.
The main theme of "Pygmalion" is that social class is not something to be valued. Those of a higher social class may not be good people, and those of lower social class can have many virtues of their own.
Professor Henry Higgins, Colonel Pickering, Eliza Doolittle, Alfred Doolittle, Mrs. Pearce, Mrs. Higgins, Mrs. Eynsford-Hill, Clara Eynsford-Hill, Freddy Eynsford-Hill
Pygmalion was the most broadly appealing of all Shaw's plays. The play was well received by critics in major cities following its premieres in Vienna, London, and New York. The play became famous as a motion picture in 1938 and later as the stage musical My Fair Lady (1956), with a musical score by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. A 1964 film version of the musical featured Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn.
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