Bernard Shaw’s witty comedy of manners delighted and scandalized its first audiences in 1914.
Bernard Shaw’s witty comedy of manners both delighted and scandalized its first audiences in 1914. A brilliantly witty reworking of the classical tale of the sculptor Pygmalion, who falls in love with his perfect female statue, it is also a sharp lampoon of the rigid British class system of the day and a commentary on women’s independence, on which Shaw held very strong feminist views. In Shaw’s hands, the phoneticist Henry Higgins is the Pygmalion figure who believes he can transform Eliza Doolittle, a cockney flower girl, into a duchess at ease in polite society by teaching her to assume a veneer of gentility, the most important element of which, he believes, is impeccable speech. The one thing he overlooks is that his ‘creation’ has a mind of her own. Adapted in 1964 into the Oscar-winning musical film My Fair Lady starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison .
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