George Bernard Shaw Writing Styles in Pygmalion

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Plotting with a Purpose

In Pygmalion's plot, Higgins, a phonetics expert, makes a friendly bet with his colleague Colonel Pickering that he can transform the speech and manners of Liza, a common flower girl, and present her as a lady to fashionable society. He succeeds, but Liza gains independence m the process, and leaves her former tutor because he is incapable of responding to her needs.

Pygmalion has a tightly-constructed plot, rising conflict, and other qualities of the "well-made play," a popular form at the time. Shaw, however, revolutionized the English stage by disposing of other conventions of the well-made play; he discarded its theatrical dependence on prolonging and then resolving conflict in a sometimes contrived manner for a theater of ideas grounded in realism. Shaw was greatly influenced by Henrik Ibsen, who he claimed as a forerunner to his theatre of discussion or ideas. Ibsen's A Doll House...

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This section contains 570 words
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Buy the Pygmalion Study Guide
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Pygmalion from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.