Quote of the Day: George Bernard Shaw
“You have no idea how frightfully interesting it is to take a human being and change her into a quite different human being by creating a new speech for her. It’s filling up the deepest gulf that separates class from class and soul from soul” (Shaw, Pygmalion).
I was so inspired by the musical I saw tonight that I decided to take a quote from the play Pygmalion. I am sorry I am not posting about the Tempest tonight, but I promise I will post about it eventually, hopefully. Tonight I saw My Fair Lady, which is based on the play Pygmalion, which is based on the Greek myth of Pygmalion. The tale of Pygmalion can be found in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. In this tale a sculpture made a statue of the perfect woman and fell in love with it. He went to the temple of Venus and prayed she would make his statue real. When he came home and kissed the statue he found its lips were warm and that his wish had been granted. His perfect statue had become a real woman. The play, Pygmalion, and the musical, My Fair Lady, are like this Greek myth.
Professor Higgins, a professor of phonetics, bragged that he could turn Eliza Doolittle, a common flower girl, into a Duchess. She considered this offer and went to his residence to ask him for lessons. He accepted when him and his new friend, Colonel Pickering, made a bet over whether Higgins could get Eliza to speak properly in six months. This idea is like the Greek myth because Professor Higgins is, in a way, recreating Eliza. He is giving her new life and shapes the new lady she becomes in the end. The creator falls in love with his creation. However, in the play and musical, Eliza becomes defensive when Professor Higgins does not give the credit to Eliza. She put in the hard work, but Higgins attributed the success to himself.
Q: Do you see similarities between the Greek myth and the musical/play? Do you see any differences? Do you think there is such thing as the “perfect woman?”
Thanks for reading! Please post your comments below!
- G. B. Shaw’s Pygmalion (xingu2.wordpress.com)
- Friday Flashback: My Fair Lady (1964) (magiclanternfilm.wordpress.com)