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Pygmalion

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  68,631 Ratings  ·  1,391 Reviews
"Pygmalion" is considered to be one of George Bernard Shaw's greatest works. It is the story of how the arrogant phonetics professor Henry Higgins teaches the lowly flower girl Eliza Doolittle to lose her cockney accent and speak like a lady. "Pygmalion" is a witty comedic play that examines the artificiality of social class distinctions and shows that it takes more than j ...more
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Published January 1st 2011 by Neeland Media LLC (first published October 16th 1913)
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Nataliya


"Eliza has no use for the foolish romantic tradition that all women love to be mastered, if not actually bullied and beaten," says G.B.Shaw in the afterword to his famous play.
By the way, I think this quote should be memorized and repeated on the daily basis by the contemporary authors, especially in the YA genre, who attempt to create female characters. Really. Maybe I can start a campaign encouraging authors' awareness of this quote. Hmmmm...
This was one of the first plays I've ever read, and
...more
Brina
Mar 30, 2016 Brina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
On a night where I am book keeping, I am writing this review to honor my grandmother who recently passed away. I lost track of the number of times we listened to the soundtrack of My Fair Lady either in her car, her apartment, or my house growing up. To me Eliza Doolittle, Henry Higgins, and Colonel Pickering are as much the actors who played them as they are are the memories I created with my grandmother and great aunt while watching the movie or listening to its timeless songs.
By the time I f
...more
Dave Hill
Mar 31, 2012 Dave Hill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is fun to read out loud in crazy English accents while stomping around your apartment. The neighbors might not like it but screw 'em.
Manny
If you happen to be the Wayans Brothers and are stuck for ideas about where your next racist, sexist, gratuituously offensive comedy is going to come from, have you considered doing a gender- and color-reversed version of Pygmalion? I feel it has real potential. My first thought is to reunite Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher from Guess Who. Mac, in drag, plays Henrietta, a black linguist who bets her friend Picky (Oprah) that she can turn preppy white-boy Kutcher into a bro' within six weeks. Here' ...more
Jonathan
Dec 31, 2012 Jonathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jonathan by: The musical - My Fair Lady - sort of

This is the last book I will finish in 2012 as there are only 6 hours remaining in my day. It is certainly a fitting book (or rather play inside a book) to end the year on. For Pygmalion is a story about new beginnings and about transformation. What better book to symbolise the changing of the year, I say!

The classic musical My Fair Lady is perhaps my favourite musical film that I have seen. The acting is superb, the plotting excellent and all the music serves to add to the humorous feel of the
...more
Duane
My vision of Eliza Doolittle will always be Audrey Hepburn from the 1964 movie My Fair Lady. But eight years earlier (1956) Julie Andrews nailed her portrayal of Eliza in the Broadway production of the musical. Of course both of these award winning productions were based on George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion. In the first London stage production Eliza was performed by Mrs. Patrick Campbell, Shaw having written it with her in mind because of their unrequited love affair. I enjoyed reading the p ...more
Bruce
Jan 30, 2014 Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of George Bernard Shaw’s most beloved plays, Pygmalion is the work on which the subsequent musical comedy, My Fair Lady, is based. But the two works have important differences. Shaw’s work is far less sentimental and is throughout more ambiguous, especially in its ending. Furthermore, in order that it might be readable, the accents of the various characters are not attempted in the text, except at the very beginning (primarily to show that it would be unreadable if attempted). Those readers ...more
Yani
Jan 23, 2015 Yani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teatro
Una lectura que no tenía planeada en estos días. Por suerte, el desvío de los planes salió genial. Pigmalión es una obra de teatro distinta, que hace foco en un tema que no se aborda en estos días y que se lee rapidísimo porque divierte. Así de sencillo.

Cuento un poco el argumento, aunque ya muchos deben conocerlo por las versiones cinematográficas: un especialista en fonética (Henry Higgins) se encuentra casualmente con una vendedora de flores (Eliza Doolittle) cuya boca es, sin más ni menos
...more
Sera
Apr 05, 2008 Sera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sera by: RGBC
Shelves: classics, own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sabrina Bay
Apr 19, 2016 Sabrina Bay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


I loved this play. I loved everything about it. When you start reading it, you can expect the ending. Pygmalion is an ancient greek myth about a sculptor named Pygmalion who just didn't like women and who decided to sculpt a ''perfect'' woman. Slowly, he started to fall in love with the sculpture and asked Venus to transform it into a living being. Then, he married the now-woman and had a child with her.

BUT

Shaw's story isn't about love. It questions whether a man really is superior to women. Ob
...more
Is Mini
Feb 04, 2015 Is Mini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really don't know why Pygmalion is still called a romance. I mean, Shaw himself was very dissapointed at the fact that his socialistic drama became a success as a romance. Shaw wanted to liberate his play from the traditional conventions of a romance, that's why he reversed the romantic story by giving a different end, marking Eliza's emancipation and independence. If this was a typical love story, the two protagonists would have been married at the end. But Shaw implies that Mr. Higgings wil ...more
Lisa N
Mar 16, 2011 Lisa N rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“My Fair Lady” is one of my very favorite musicals. I have avoided reading anything by GBS because I don’t care for his political views and because he was critical of Shakespeare. I actually enjoyed reading this play. It was very close to the “My Fair Lady” script, probably because Shaw also wrote the screenplay. (He was the first person to win both a Nobel Prize and an Academy Award.) The ending of “My Fair Lady” has always been a little unsettling for me. The mythical Pygmalion was a sculptor ...more
Katsumi
Jul 21, 2012 Katsumi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, classics
George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion is a story based on two completely different people and their primary wants. Eliza Doolittle is a flower girl, who has always wanted to be accepted in society and be loved. Henry Higgins is a linguistics professor, who has no respect for women and his main goal is to prove his knowledge to others and make them aware of his existence. Henry Higgins takes Eliza off the streets in order to give her what it is she wants; teaching her the English language and ways ...more
Paula
Apr 19, 2016 Paula rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel betrayed. YOU LIED TO ME!!! I'm talking to you, Julie Andrews and Audrey Hepburn. And to all the people who came after you in the movies modeled after My Fair Lady: Pretty Woman, Can't Buy Me Love, She's All That, and squintillions of other movies. You go to hell. YOU GO TO HELL AND YOU DIE!!

Because this is the original ending, and this is the correct ending. I can't tell you how many times I watched the musical or the movie version of My Fair Lady and got so pissed off at the ending. It
...more
Anupama Ma
Jan 04, 2015 Anupama Ma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is difficult to read a play without doing the voices. Having watched My Fair Lady, I think I did a great Eliza in my head. But other than the bad grammar, the Garns and the Aaa woo oo oh sound, there wasn't much of an accent. No Rain in Spain or Just you wait 'Enry 'Iggins. Still, it was a delightful read. Henry Higgins' unapologetic rudeness was shocking and totally unacceptable, but it was so much fun. I was supposed to get angry at the way he treated the poor girl, calling her names, talki ...more
Azra Šabovic
Mar 25, 2014 Azra Šabovic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is absolutely one of my favorite plays.
In the Pygmalion, Shaw uses symbols of slippers with the shifts in characterization to show how Eliza grows from being in different class than Higgins to being in the same class as him.
In the beginning of the play, Higgins finds Eliza on street treating her like dirt. She comes to him for phonetic lessons, in order to become a middle class women. Throughout the play, Higgins is always asking his maid and Eliza to bring him his slippers, where it indica
...more
David Sarkies
Apr 04, 2014 David Sarkies rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: English Teachers
Recommended to David by: Indirectly my English Teacher
Shelves: modernist
Shaw's Masterpiece
16 April 2010

Pygmalion, in my opinion, is Shaw's piece de resistance (if that is how you spell it). It is a masterpiece. While I can simply leave it at that I am compelled to say a lot more about this play, but first, the plot.
Two English gentlemen (and when I read this book I wondered if it was implied that they were homosexual) bet as to whether they can take a street urchin and turn her into a lady by teaching her how to speak proper English. They do and the experiment is
...more
Samyogita
Jul 12, 2012 Samyogita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'Read it!!!' is all I can say.
You may think that you know what it's about because you've seen My Fair Lady or read an adaptation or just heard the story somehow, but trust me, you don't.
This is a timeless piece of writing and all other adaptations and interpretations - charming as they may be - fade in comparison because Pygmalion is about bigger things.

I did, sort of, keep picturing Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison as Eliza and Higgins throughout because I adore My Fair Lady (except for the end
...more
Deborah Pickstone
5.5 stars

I just love GBS and this was a very entertaining play. I read my way through his complete works at age 16 and am now returning for a review of some. What a pleasure - and what a clever and witty man he was.
Eduard
Feb 24, 2015 Eduard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“If you can’t appreciate what you’ve got, you’d better get what you can appreciate.”




I thought the ending was fantastic. Nevertheless, people in all directions have assumed, for no other reason than that she became the heroine of a romance, that she must have married the hero of it. You go, Eliza!


There is only one rendition of Pygmalion that does Bernard Show justice. And that's Anthony Asquith's movie.
Mariam Abood
I'm first going to start off by saying I think the title is very misleading, because this play is not a romance. In fact, George Bernard Shaw was so irritated by interpreting Eliza and Higgins' relationship as a romantic relationship, that he added an appendix at the end of the play, explaining what happened to Eliza after she left Higgins, and lived a happy life without him. And do you know what, I have massive admiration for Shaw doing this, because I think the thought of Eliza having an affai ...more
Anirudh
May 30, 2014 Anirudh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Having never read a play before except as a part of a curriculum and having heard so much about Shaw, I ordered this book with great expectations. I was not disappointed.

Despite being only a bit shy of a hundred pages this play is wonderfully written. The plot itself intrigued me very much. To turn a flower girl from the street to a duchess by changing the way she speaks and dresses. I wonder if Shaw was trying to tell us that social status is not achieved by who you really are but by how you d
...more
Ekaterina
Oct 17, 2011 Ekaterina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
That is a beautifully written play. I have watched this play recently in the theater, and I thought it was magnificent. Eliza was simply adorable and Henry Higgins made me laugh so hard. I will not spoil the book by blabbering about its content and the flow of events, but I just wanted to comment and give my opinion about the ending. I love endings like the one in this story. It is like the author is giving you the chance to create your own ending, thus letting you develop your imagination. I us ...more
Leslie
Here is the plot as explained by Henry Higgins, who is such a satisfying and hilarious brute.

"There! Thats all you get out of Eliza. Ah-ah-ow-oo! No use explaining. As a military man you ought to know that. Give her her orders: thats what she wants. Eliza: you are to live here for the next six months, learning how to speak beautifully, like a lady in a florist's shop. If you're good and do whatever you're told, you shall sleep in a proper bedroom, and have lots to eat, and money to buy chocolat
...more
Mandy
Oct 10, 2014 Mandy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pygmalion is a story that’s been adapted time and time again in various forms. Of course we have My Fair Lady, both the stage and screen versions. There’s Pretty Woman and She’s All That and a few other obscure film and television installments. I’ve always loved Pretty Woman and My Fair Lady is such a classic that when I saw the original play at a local used book sale, I knew I had to have it. This story has some sentimental meaning to me as well: my best friend played Henry Higgins in our high ...more
Susan
Jan 30, 2015 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved reading the original version of this story, which I had previously only known in the form of the popular movie starring Audrey Hepburn.
The film is wonderful, but the book was, for me, even better.....the brilliant characters invented by George Bernard Shaw were captivating, and somehow more human, and the story, while being clever and witty is also a very perceptive look at the attitudes of the different social classes of the time towards each other.
My only complaint is that it wasn't lo
...more
Versha
Sep 08, 2013 Versha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
Pygmalion was satirical and a quick read could not put it down once I started. I must say I despise Mr. Henry Higgins‘s character, he was the most unkind, unemotional, disgusting man who thinks women as his puppet! Eliza served him right choosing Freddy as her life partner and being indifferent towards Henry in the end. But her secret desire of getting him alone in a desert made me laugh so much! I am so curios to watch the movie now!
Susan Victoria
Jan 20, 2016 Susan Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Happy is the man who can make a living by his hobby

I shall always be a flower girl to Professor Higgins, because he always treats me as a flower girl, and always will; but I know I can be a lady to you, because you always treat me as a lady, and always will.


One of the items in my reading list this year was to read a play, so I chose Pygmalion. The play is named after a greek Mythological character who falls in love with one of his sculptures, which then comes to life. The characters in the p
...more
Dawayr
Jan 09, 2013 Dawayr marked it as كتاب_مفتوح  ·  review of another edition

تعتبر من أشهر مسرحيات جورج برنارد شو و تعتبر أيضا السبب الأساسى فى أنه الوحيد الحاصل على جائزة نوبل فى الأدب و أوسكار فى نفس الوقت . تدور أحداث القصة فى بريطانيا حيث يعيش أحد أشهر أساتذة الفونتيكس فى العالم ، الأستاذ هنرى هيجينز . و تبدأ أحداث القصة بوقوفه صامتا وسط مجموعة من الناس فى محاولة أن بدون ملاحظات عن طريقة نطقهم للكلام حينما تأاى اليزا بائعة الورود فى محاولة منها أ تبيع له و للواقفين بعض الورود . و كان ضمن الواقفين الكولونيل بيكرنح أستاذ الفونتيكس الذى أتى من الهند الى بريطانيا فقط ليق
...more
The Goon
Jan 06, 2013 The Goon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: enjoyed, classics, plays
A professor of phonetics named Henry Higgins is so confident of his abilities to teach proper English, that he offers to turn a "draggle-tailed guttersnipe" into a duchess.

What I mean is, he makes a bet that he can train a flower selling, low class, dirty street urchin by the name of Eliza Doolittle to speak so well that she can be passed off as a duchess.

Because I’m an American, I feel as though this story is not at all outlandish. I was raised to believe that anyone can receive an education
...more
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George Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright, socialist, and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama. Over the course of his life he wrote more than 60 plays. Nearly all his plays address prevailing social problems, but ...more
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