64 pages 2 hours read

George Bernard Shaw

Pygmalion

Fiction | Play | Adult | Published in 1913

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Introduction

Teacher Introduction

Pygmalion

  • Genre: Fiction; social commentary; romantic comedy
  • Originally Published: 1913
  • Reading Level/Interest: Grades 10-12; college/adult
  • Structure/Length: Five acts; approximately 82 pages; approximately 1 hour 37 minutes on audiobook
  • Protagonist/Central Conflict: The story centers around Professor Henry Higgins, a phonetics expert, and Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl. Higgins makes a bet that he can transform Eliza’s speech and manners to pass her off as a duchess at an ambassador’s garden party. The play explores themes of social class, transformation, and the complexities of human nature.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Contains classist remarks; gender dynamics reflective of its time; some language and themes may seem dated or controversial in a modern context

George Bernard Shaw, Author

  • Bio: Born 1856; died 1950; Irish playwright, critic, and polemicist; primarily self-educated after age 15; co-founder of the London School of Economics; a leading figure in 20th-century theatre; won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925; known for his biting wit, satire, and social commentaries
  • Other Works: Man and Superman (1903); Major Barbara (1905); The Doctor’s Dilemma (1906); Androcles and the Lion (1912); Saint Joan (1923); Back to Methuselah (1921); The Apple Cart (1929)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Guide:

  • Formal Education and Multiple Intelligences
  • The Role of Language and Phonetics in Characterization
  • Women’s Identity, Gender Roles, and Marriage

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