"Pygmalion" Monologues and Scenes

George Bernard Shaw's Classic Comedy

Among the scores of plays written by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw, "Pygmalion" is his most beloved comedy. First performed in 1913, it went on to become an Oscar winning film in 1938. Nearly two decades later it was adapted into a hugely successful musical by the songwriting team Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. They changed the title of the original stage play and created a spectacular success known as "My Fair Lady."

The following are some of the wittiest monologues and scenes from the original play.

Prof. Higgins Taunts Miss Doolittle

In Act Two of George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion," Henry Higgins and his fellow linguistic scholar Col. Pickering make an unusual wager. Higgins believes he can transform Liza Doolittle into a refined, well-spoken woman.

Read this callous and comedic monologue.

Eliza's New Groove - Mingling with the Upper Class

In perhaps the funniest scene of the play, Liza has now been trained how to speak the “Queen’s English.” Although she pronounces things perfectly, she still chooses “lower class” words. Here, she hobnobs with two upper-class women.

Read this comedic scene for three female performers.

And as you read, keep in mind that Miss Doolittle's voice is very refined, despite her out-of-place Cockney sayings.

Prof. Higgins Discusses Eliza's Future

In the final scenes of the play, Liza is now worried about her future. She has become too prim and proper for a life on the streets. She is fascinated by Higgins and wants affection from him, but he does not share her interest. Or, at the very least, he does not reveal his interest in her. In this monologue, Prof. Higgins coldly discusses her options.

Many people believe that despite what Higgins says, he truly loves Eliza and wants to be with her. Shaw, however, felt the opposite.

Read the Professor's monologue and decide for yourself.

Eliza Doolittle's Final Monologues

In the final act of Pygmalion, Liza explains to Prof. Higgins the relationship she desired from him. It’s a tender scene that almost warms the Professor’s heart despite himself. Then, when he recoils from her friendliness, she finally stands up to him.

Discover the two different natures of Eliza Doolittle.

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Bradford, Wade. ""Pygmalion" Monologues and Scenes." ThoughtCo, Jan. 29, 2020, thoughtco.com/pygmalion-monologues-and-scenes-2713652. Bradford, Wade. (2020, January 29). "Pygmalion" Monologues and Scenes. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/pygmalion-monologues-and-scenes-2713652 Bradford, Wade. ""Pygmalion" Monologues and Scenes." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/pygmalion-monologues-and-scenes-2713652 (accessed June 3, 2023).