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Pygmalion Critical Essay

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Critical Overview

Building upon the acclaim Pygmalion had received from German-language production and publication, the original English production of the play at His Majesty's Theatre was likewise a success, securing Shaw's reputation as a popular playwright. Still, contemporary reviews of Pygmalion are mixed, revealing the somewhat prejudicial views English critics continue to hold towards Shaw's work. For example, an unsigned review in the Westminster Gazette, reprinted in Shaw: The Critical Heritage, criticized many aspects of the production but had qualified praise for the play, "a puzzling work." Aware that Shaw usually "does not use the drama merely as a vehicle for telling stories," the critic expressed a curiosity about what "the foundation idea" of Pygmalion might be. "Curiosity, in the present instance," however, "remains unsatisfied. There are plenty of ideas, but none is predominant.

Alex M. Thompson, meanwhile, wrote in a review in the Clarion that "Britain's most famous playwright...

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This section contains 1,086 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Pygmalion Study Guide
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Pygmalion from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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