How Do You Respond to the Presentation of Professor Henry Higgins in ‘Pygmalion’?

Topics: My Fair Lady, George Bernard Shaw, Pygmalion Pages: 2 (653 words) Published: December 13, 2010
How do you respond to the presentation of Professor Henry Higgins in ‘Pygmalion’?

Professor Henry Higgins is one of the main characters in Pygmalion, written by Bernard Shaw. Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins meet one rainy night in Covent Garden. We soon find out that Eliza Doolittle is a common flower girl by the way she speaks, ‘Garn. Oh do buy a flower off me Captain.‘(very cockney dialect) and the man who is taking notes of very thing she says is Professor Henry Higgins. He teaches Eliza Doolittle, a common flower girl, to speak like a duchess and she is passing a bet made between Professor Higgins and Colonel Pickering, who is also a main character in the story. He can be a disliked character due to the way he treats women in the story (mostly Eliza) but can also be liked for his childlike behaviour and his humorousness.

Many of the things we like about him revolve around his expertise for the English language and knowledge of phonetics. He is very passionate about his expertise and we respect this knowledge. We can admire him, but we excuse some of his manners and bad language towards Eliza. When he says that’s she is a ‘squashed cabbage leaf’ even when we do not know exactly what his profession is, we do not react in a way we usually would, as we know that this man is of great knowledge. Henry Higgins looks as if he hides behind his profession; we do not know the real him. Somehow, this can make Higgins an even more interesting character as we want to find out what the real him is and if this real him is ever revealed in the book.

Professor Henry Higgins does not usually think about Eliza’s feelings as he sometimes talks about her as if she is not there and also, when he is talking to her, he pushes her far past her comfort zone. An example of this is when Higgins is teaching her how to speak properly and she pleases him by saying the word ‘cup’ correctly he continues to say ‘tea’. Eliza starts weeping about the fact that she simply cannot say...
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