Bernard Shaw 's Intentions For Pygmalion Essay

999 Words 4 Pages
Though many scholars may harshly criticize My Fair Lady for not adhering to Bernard Shaw’s intentions for Pygmalion, it is my conviction that the musical’s additions to his play should be celebrated, not castigated. The costumes, scenery, actions, and especially the songs significantly develop the characters, greatly enhance its comedic aspects, and fine tune many of Shaw’s themes; they are indispensable in gaining a full appreciation of Pygmalion.
Songs play a vital role in developing Shaw’s themes of identity, femininity, and individuality. The musical tremendously improved the play because it emphasized Eliza’s struggles, and progress. “Eliza Doolittle has plenty of songs that demonstrate she is anything but a statue” (Time). Eliza has feelings. This feeling of frustration with words (after all her tedious aural lessons) is plainly noted in the song “Just show me”. “Words, words, words! Eliza sings. “I 'm so sick of words, I get words all day through, First from him, now from you. . . don 't talk of stars, If you 're in love, show me! (Lerner). This song humanizes Eliza by articulating her exhaustion with the onerous transformation process Higgins has had her undergo. She is not a statue. Statues don 't get tired, or angry. Furthermore, the song “Wouldn 't it be Loverly” exemplifies that Eliza must have her basic needs satiated. This is why she choses to stay friends with Higgins. He will care for her and satisfy all her basic physical, intellectual and safety needs,…

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