The experiment of Professor Higgins

The experiment of Professor Higgins


You play with the doll, but it’s alive.

B. Shaw. Pygmalion

The comedy “Pygmalion” – one of the most famous in the work of B. Shaw. At the heart of her story is the ancient myth about the sculptor Pygmalion and his creation – the marble sculpture Galatee. Struck by the beauty and perfection of his creation, Pygmalion asked Aphrodite to revive the sculpture, and Galatea became the wife of the sculptor.

B. Shaw ironically reinterpreted this ancient myth and managed to paradoxically transform his images in his play. In the role of Pygmalion, the professor of phonetics Henry Higgins, who offers his friend a wonderful experiment in his opinion, turns out to be a brilliant, vulgar, flattering girl, the flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, in a real lady, with decent manners and speech, capable of captivating even the most sophisticated audience.

For six months, the experiment lasts, and throughout this time Eliza lived in Higgins’ house on a full board. Clever and talented, she quickly learned new things, mastering not only secular manners, speech culture, but also the ability to play the piano, to understand issues of politics, economics, and art. Henry Higgins won a bet with his friend, because after a stipulated period at a high society reception, Eliza was really mistaken for an aristocrat, everyone was delighted with her intelligence, beauty, manner of holding and talking.

However, the successful completion of the experiment, on the other hand, was a tragedy for Eliza herself, because the harsh, selfish, ignorant professor of phonetics Higgins cares least about the future of the girl, who not only secured his winnings, but herself radically changed internally. Henry is not fit for the role of Pygmalion, because in his heart there is not a single gram of simple human love and even respect for Eliza, which he certainly did not create, but only awakened her natural giftedness, creating convenient conditions for it. However, along with amazing musicality, acting skills and remarkable hearing, the girl woke up bright, original personality, which Higgins did not want to see or acknowledge. Therefore the rebellion of Eliza,

The play by B. Shaw brings us to the idea of ​​the responsibility of man for his actions, teaches us to respect any manifestations of a stranger’s personality. Unwillingness to recognize the rights of others to individuality only restricts one’s own development, because he himself closes his way to grasp the new and the unknown.



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The experiment of Professor Higgins