Honors English 1-2
6 May 2012
Pygmalion vs. Taming of the Shrew: Are They the Same?
Many people believe that all stories are the same in at least one way, if not more. This can be proven by comparing George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion and William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. In these two plays you can see the similarities and differences in: the two main female characters, the two main male characters, and the purposes of both plays.
The two leading women characters- Liza and Kate- are noticeably alike and unalike. “Then vail your stomachs, for it is no boot, and place your hands below your husband’s foot: In token of which duty, if he pleases, my hand is ready to do him ease,” Kate says in Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare 5.2.186-9). In contrast, at the end of Pygmalion Liza says “I don’t care how you treat me. I don’t mind your swearing at me. I shouldn’t mind a black eye: I’ve had one before this. But [standing up and facing him] I will not be passed over” (Shaw Act 5). The contrast between the two ladies is that Kate changes her personality in the end, and Liza stands up for herself and stays who she really is. The parallelism between the two women are that they want to be respected. “They call me Katherine, that do talk of me,” Kate says to Petruchio, wanting him to respect her. Liza also asks Higgins for respect and is turned down when she says,
“And I would like Professor Higgins to call me Miss Doolittle” (Shaw Act 5). These are the things that make the two leading female roles the same and different.
Also, the screenplays’ two main male characters have prominent parallelisms. “You lie, in faith you are called plain Kate” Petruchio says when Kate asks him to respect her with her formal name (Shaw Act 2). Higgins also refuses Liza’s request when he says “Miss Doolittle: I’ll see you damned first!”Both men refuse to show any equality to the women in the play, showing they both think that they...