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Pygmalion Essay Prompt

Essay Topic 1

In the Preface to Pygmalion, Shaw says that all great art should be didactic; that is, it should teach something. What does Shaw hope his play will teach people--both about language and about how reforming it might help society? Do you think the play is successful at communicating the intended message? Write an essay about this topic, using quotations from the Preface as well as from the rest of the play.

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay describing the transformation of Liza Doolittle from common flower girl to lady.

Part 1) In what specific ways does she change, and why? Are the changes mostly superficial or deep changes?

Part 2) Consider Liza's statement at the end of the ambassador's party: "nothing can make me the same as these people." Is she now really transformed into a duchess? Why, or why not?

Part 3) When and how does Liza truly come...

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Pygmalion is one of the classic works of fiction that is definitely a must-read for everyone. Therefore, it’s not surprising to be assigned a paper on this particular work of Bernard Shaw. The problem here is the fact that the play is so popular that it’s almost impossible to write a truly unique and original essay on it.

If you really want to make an impression with your paper, you will have to get creative and try to develop a new outlook on some of the issues raised in the play. Here are a few topic suggestions that might interest you:

  • The importance of phonetics in every act.
  • Using phonetics to get his point across is one of the things that make this particular work of Shaw so outstanding. This issue has been explored by many, but you should use this chance to offer your personal insight into the matter. Study some other works that focus on the same topic in order to get more ideas.

  • What would the play be like without Alfred Doolittle?
  • What is the role and significance of this character? How many storylines will be altered without him?

  • The Eynsfod-Hill family drama.
  • Analyze the first act and determine what kind of dramatic role is played by this family. Offer your own ideas on how the story would change without them.

  • Social positions in Pygmalion.
  • Analyze the work carefully and determine the social connections and dynamics between the characters. Pay special attention to Doolittle’s change in social position and how this change affects the play.

  • Higgins and his mother: a study in relationships.
  • Analyze the relationship between these two characters. Compare it with your own experiences. Share your ideas on the subject.

  • Eliza vs. Mrs. Higgins and Mrs. Pearce.
  • How are these characters alike and how are they different?

  • Higgins and manners.
  • Identify the situations where Higgins intentionally violates etiquette. Why does this happen? What can he achieve with this behavior?

  • Marriage between Higgins and Eliza.
  • Should it be or shouldn’t it? Support your thoughts on this matter with evidence from the text. You can also use some psychology books for reference when analyzing the couple’s relationship.

  • Eliza’s transformation.
  • Study the changes in Eliza carefully and highlight the tools the author uses to show this change in the play.

  • Symbiotic relationship between Higgins and Eliza.
  • Focus this paper on how these two helped each other to achieve their goals and change into the people we see at the end of the play.

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