In questo post viene fornito, in lingua inglese, il riassunto de Pygmalion, l’opera di G.B. Shaw.
Possibly Shaw’s comedic masterpiece, and certainly his funniest and most popular play, is Pygmalion. It was claimed by Shaw to be a didactic drama about phonetics, and its antiheroic hero, Henry Higgins, is a phonetician. The play tells how Professor Henry Higgins, in order to win a bet, trains the Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle to behave like a duchess, largely by teaching her “to speak beautifully” in Received Standard pronunciation.
Beneath the comedy lies a satire on the superficiality of class distinctions. This is made explicit in the character of Eliza’s father, Doolittle, who calls himself one of “the undeserving poor” and is one of Shaw’s best comedy creations. Further, the scene in which Eliza Doolittle appears in high society when she has acquired a correct accent but no notion of polite conversation is one of the funniest in English drama.
It was first performed in German in Vienna in 1913, then in London in the original English in 1914, when it created a sensation because the phrase ‘not bloody likely’ occurs in Act 3. A result of this was the minced oath “not Pygmalion likely” and the use of the name to talk about swearing.
Pygmalion has been both filmed (1938), winning an Academy Award for Shaw for his screenplay, and adapted into an immensely popular musical, My Fair Lady (1956; motion-picture version, 1964).
Mrs. Patrick Campbell, whose maiden name was Beatrice Stella Tanner, is remembered today for her association with G. B. Shaw. She was an actress of great beauty and wit. In 1912 she met Shaw at whose request she originated the role of Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion.