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Pygmalion and Three Other Plays

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  17,233 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Pygmalion and Three Other Plays, by George Bernard Shaw, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:
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Paperback, 704 pages
Published February 11th 2004 by Barnes Noble Classics
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Aug 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Read Pygmalion in high school and because it is the source of "My Fair Lady" - i absolutely love this book. "My Fair Lady" was my first musical in which the movie, a record and eventually a CD was purchased - oh the memories! George Bernard Shaw named it after the Greek mythological story because the concept of 'making someone' was how this play recreated Eliza Doolittle.

The storyline is sort of like "The Princess Diaries" in modern times...(which is funny since Julie Andrews, the original Lond
Sania Yasin
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was twelve, turning thirteen when I was taught this in english literature by a fabulous teacher.
I've always liked work that portrays social conflicts and stigmas. Because it moves the readers foward, even if in the tiniest ways but irreversibly.
I also like plots that are simple but they hold meaning.
Eliza was a normal girl, outclassed on the hands of a professor. Outclassed because she became unable to fit in the upper class, or the upper middle class, middle class or the lower class and all
Charles Puskas
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Read Pygmalion before a trip to London. My comments on the review follow. It follows the adventures of phonetics professor Henry Higgins as he attempts to transform cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle (great depiction!) into a refined lady. The scene in which Eliza appears in high society with the correct accent but no notion of polite conversation is considered one of the funniest in English drama (I agree). Like most of Shaw’s work, Pygmalion wins over audiences with wit, a taut morality, and ...more
Brian Weidert
Sep 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I must admit that I have read only a handful of plays but I have loved each of them. (A Man for All Seasons is highly recommended.) Pygmalion is wonderfully paced, with memorable characters, and some of the sharpest, witty writing I have ever read. I laughed out loud on several occasions. I was delighted to Pygmalion and I imagine you will be too.
Jackie Daggers
Apr 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shaw is cynical, bite-y, and subtly crude; his plays are dynamite. Pygmalion is one of my favorite works.
Dec 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: girls
Recommended to Monica by: school...
choclits and taxis and gold and diamonds!!!

i'm a good girl i am!!
Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: literature, plays
Being a big fan of My Fair Lady, I was eager to read the original play on which the musical is based. But while I enjoyed the clever lines, I walked away understanding that for GBS, Higgins is the hero of the story. Frankly, I have a hard time swallowing that as I think Higgins's faults actually outweight his merits.

Also, the author's preface, and a long sort of epilogue he wrote after the last stage action of the play were both somewhat bewildering. It may come down to the tremendous ambiguity
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it

This is the original play that the very famous and popular "My fair Lady" is based on, except that was more of a sweet version, and this retains the original English, perhaps British or even Irish, taste - not sweet, not sour, not bitter or hot, but a little salt and some of that sixth taste that is called "kasaila" or "kashaaya" which means tea in the old medicinal sense.

Here at the end there is a very well written epilogue that explains why the professor does not propose to any wom
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Major Barbara:-

A delightful look at various prevalent notions and hypocrisies of the times - and realities as they are. Salvation Army, church, politics as a career, ethics of business; niceties of law that might make one illegitimate in UK or at least in England but not in Australia, much less anywhere else in the world; and inheritance vs competence, when it is about running a business.

US, particularly NRA of US (as in gun lobby) seem to have adopted the creed of one of the characters in this
Todd Stockslager
Jun 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Review title: Sledgehammer

George Bernard Shaw writes with the direct impact of a sledgehammer to the side of the head. Make no mistake, these aren't cute little social comedies.

I read this collection based on the recommendation from Jacques Barzun's amazing From Dawn to Decadence, and on the strength of G.K. Chesterton's friendship with Shaw at the same time that he was diametrically, violently, exactly 180-degree opposed to Shaw's ideas. I don't often read plays and never gave much thought to w
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
Great Catherine
The Amusing GB Shaw
- “I had a wonderful time, only not this time”

Who is really funny and witty…
Only not this time ( Groucho Marx sometimes joked, when leaving a party:
- “I had a wonderful time, only not this time”
In conclusion, I would say the same thing about the Great Catherine
- great play, only not this one
This seems a farce….
Or a parody, perhaps both?
Maugham writes in The Summing Up about Shaw.
Shaw benefited from a favorable timing
Young people were rebelling against the conse
Apr 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: unfinished
this review is on Pygmalion. the book also contains three other plays.

i like Eliza's will to change and improve, and be regarded as a lady. she continuously says she's a 'good girl', and deserves the same respect as everyone else. i especially like act two where her, and Higgins interact for the first time, at his house. the way she points out to everyone that she arrived in a taxi, "did you tell them that?' she asks the housekeeper. and the way she confronts Higgins about he accepting money fo
Feb 20, 2011 added it
I have to say that as confusing and entangled as the characters in Shaw's plays were (especially in "Heartbreak House"), once I got all the characters' relationships to one another straight, I could really appreciate how Shaw sets up his conflicts. Whether it's the conflict between Salvation Army Major Barbara Undershaft and her conscience after her branch accepts money from her war profiteer father, or the conflict of conscience when Doctor Ridgeon decides to sentence the ill artist Louis Dube ...more
Jeni Enjaian
Jun 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shaw definitely missed his true calling. He should have been a philosopher or essayist rather than a playwright. He clearly preferred that. His "introductions" are far too wordy as are the openings to the plays. That much description is not necessary.
"Major Barbara" is a tight, concise, and unintelligible play.
Shaw with his closing summary in "Pygmalion" took the route of huge cop out rather than finishing the play as a play. If I had read the play first there's nothing that would motivate me t
Aug 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't find Major Barbara interesting at all and I couldn't get into the characters.

The Doctor's Dilemma was great. It is fascinating that we are still discussing the issues of national health care 100 years later.

Pygmalion was good. I am looking forward to watching it.

Heartbreak House was fantastically entertaining. The dialogue was laugh out loud funny. I can't believe there hasn't been a movie made of it. I loved Mrs Hushabye and can't wait to find this play somewhere.
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Pygmalion is fabulously written! George Bernard Shaw does a remarkable job of discussing the relation between language and society. Eliza's representation of the growing awareness of gender biases and independence is noteworthy, as is Higgins' paradoxical phrasing.

I still have not recovered from this piece, and intend to read it many times in the future. Words hardly do justice.
Sep 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Love this. I have seen My Fair Lady so many times that reading this was like watching the movie again. There were a few differences, including the ending - which I found to be better than the movie because it was much more "real." Quick read!
Dec 28, 2007 rated it it was ok
This book was disappointing. I read it knowing that it was the play for My Fair Lady, which I had liked, but I was, as I said, disappointed. There were certain elements that I strongly disliked, and the end was not satisfactory.

I wouldn't really reccommend this book to anyone.
Jun 20, 2010 rated it liked it
I only read Pygmalion, but I might read the other plays in the future.

I don't know; maybe I was comparing Pygmalion with the musical My Fair Lady. I just wish Pygmalion would get into more detail of the events and with the personal characters like it does in My Fair Lady. Overall, a good play!
Jun 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I got more than I bargained for with this book. I bought it thinking it was just Pygmalion, not realizing there were four plays total. Not only was I able to discover four wonderful plays (see individual title for review) but I discovered a great classic author that is now a new favorite.
James Biser
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Pygmaleon is a fairly good play, but the tale is already well-known and has been copied repeatedly in Popular entertainment. I guess that is what, again, makes it a classic. It should be read and/or seen to experience the original story.
Jeffrey Deitz
Jul 27, 2009 added it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes dialog
Shelves: drama
Great dialog from a subversive mind and relentless critic of the British aristocracy. Shaw had to have been influenced by Mark Twain. If Shaw had been born first Mark Twain's Huck Finn might well have been a play.

The symbolism in Major Barbara is an inspiration to all writers.
Bob G
Jul 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
These plays were witty and engaging. I liked Heartbreak House the best.
Aaron Crofut
Feb 24, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
I tried reading this once. None of the plays even remotely caught my interest.
Oct 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is my favorite work of George Bernard Shaw's.

Pygmalion is a classic work that has been recreated time and time again, but they are never as real and raw as the original.
May 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shaw is among my favorite playwrights - can't go wrong.
Misako Yamazaki
well, i didnt really see the point of it...oh well.
Greg McConeghy
Dec 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Pygmalion, Major Barbara, The Doctor's Dilemma, Heartbreak House
Terence Manleigh
Sep 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shaw's best-known (thanks to Lerner and Loewe) and best -loved play, a wonderful fable about "class". Very funny. Required reading!
Oct 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I skipped the neverending, meandering intros from Shaw before the plays. Edited versions would've been enough, really.

Gave up on Heartbreak house. Boring as fuck.
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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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