Pygmalion: George Bernard Shaw and Play

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George Bernard show

Pygmalion as a problem play

Problem play: defined and explained

A problem play is a play in which a number of problems are presented and analyzed thoroughly but no solutions to those problems are provided by the dramatist. Such a play serves as a great irritant to the thought. It is though provoking. the readers are provoked to think over the problem presented in the play and work out their own solutions to those problems. Pygmalion is a problem play in this sense. A number of problems have been presented and discussed; the discussion is thought – provoking; the readers are expected to think for themselves, and work out their own solutions. Problems created by education

The most important problem presented in the play is the problem of education. Eliza Doolittle’s education in phonetics is a difficult problem, but Higgins successfully overcomes the difficulties so much that within six months Eliza can easily pass as foreign princess at an ambassador’s garden party. But her education creates problems for Eliza .she has become a lady and has lost her earlier identity. This problem, this dilemma, this predicament, was foreseen by Mrs. Pearce in the very act I of the play, and it is foreseen by Mrs. Higgins in act iii of the play. Eliza is confronted with the problem of loss of identity, and alienation, and she must search for belongingness in the new social environment to which she has been raised by her education. She poignantly puts her own problems in the following words: “what am I fit for? What have you left me fit for? Where am I to go? What am I to do? What’s to become of me?” A word problem

As A.C word puts it, “the problem in Pygmalion, therefore, is like the world – problem of education. to educate is to give (or at least to offer ) new life to those who receive the education , and that new life produces discontent with existing circumstances and creates the desire for a different kind of world . in places...
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