Published on



Pygmalion - A Summary

George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion" is a significant play that first graced the stage in 1913. This summary provides an overview of its key aspects, characters, themes, and cultural impact.


  • Title: Pygmalion
  • Author: George Bernard Shaw
  • First Presentation: 1913
  • Inspiration: Named after a Greek mythological figure, the play draws from the story of Pygmalion, who fell in love with one of his sculptures which came to life.

Key Characters

  1. Professor Henry Higgins: Inspired by British professors of phonetics.
  2. Colonel Pickering
  3. Eliza Doolittle
  4. Alfred Doolittle
  5. Mrs. Pearce
  6. Mrs. Higgins
  7. Mrs. Eynsfor Hill
  8. Clara Eynsford-Hill
  9. Freddy Eynsford-Hill

Themes and Purpose

  • Social Class and Transformation: The play focuses on the transformation of Eliza Doolittle, illustrating that differences between upper and lower classes are superficial, encompassing attire, speech, manners, and education.
  • Satire and Critique: Shaw critiques Victorian societal norms and advocates for social progress and emancipation.
  • Didactic Nature: Shaw admits to the play being deliberately educational and provocative.

Cultural Impact

  • Adaptations: The play has been adapted numerous times, most notably as the musical "My Fair Lady."
  • Social Commentary: Reflects Shaw's socialist views and critiques of the prevailing social lies and injustices.


"Pygmalion" is a timeless piece that not only provides entertainment but also serves as a critical lens through which to examine social stratifications and the potential for transformation and progress in society.