Exploring Significant Themes and Social Issues in Education Rita and Pygmalion

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Both Educating Rita and Pygmalion explore significant themes and social issues, how effectively do you think these two playwrights dramatise these issues.

'Educating Rita': A play written by Willy Russell in the eighties and
'Pygmalion': A play written by Bernard Shaw in 1914 both effectively explore significant social issues and relate to significant themes. To successfully answer the question of how effectively the playwrights dramatise the issues raised, the use of settings, dramatic devices and characterisation will have to be taken into consideration.

Using the technique of inter-textual referencing, when the audience recognizes that one play is referring to another is a way for an author to condense more meaning into
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Even though both Rita and Eliza are strong characters before they begin their education, and keep their strength. Higgins can do without
Eliza; it is questionable whether Frank will survive. It is also interesting to notice that Frank is looking for love from Rita at the end, while in 'Pygmalion' it is only Eliza who wants affection.

Higgins never asks for anything from Eliza; Frank is asking for more and more from Rita as the play develops. Considering this as a genuine issue would suggest that Frank is a slight insecure whereas Higgins tends to be more supercilious and thinks that he has no use for anyone else and he can cope perfectly fine on his own - 'I can do without anybody. I have my own soul: my own spark of divine fire.'

As well as looking at how the characters are similar and dissimilar to one another, it is necessary to look also at the themes and morals entwined within the plots of both plays.

For the main part both plays are largely concerned with the nature of class. Each character has their own unique opinion of class:

Higgins has a fairly shallow understanding of class, because he refuses to see how it applies to himself. He claims to be classless and to treat everyone as equals. He also has no doubt about the value of being middle class. While Rita shares these feelings initially,
Russell suggests finally that she has found a different

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