Bernard shaw
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Bernard shaw



about his play Pygmalion

about his play Pygmalion



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Bernard shaw Bernard shaw Presentation Transcript

  • Bernard Shaw
  • Outline
    Common characteristics of his work
    Characteristics of Pygmalion
    Structure and themes
  • Background
    A contemporary of Ibsen
    A political dramatist, a socialist writer
    Presented many reformist ideas about the decline of English drama
    He proposed ideas to re-establish drama as a literary form
    A controversy
  • Influences
    Marx, Nietzsche and Ibsen-political ideas
    A realist in the sense that he insisted on presenting the human being as we came to understand him. (Subjective approach)
    (A man who writes about himself and his own kind is the man who writes about all people and all the time)
    Against romanticism-practicality and realism
  • Common characteristics
    Epilogue or preface stating purpose-didactic effect
    Brevity of exposition-symbolic of background
    Social/problem plays
    Adherence to realism-manifested in denouement (How?)
  • Shaw’s Art
    Combined genres:
    Myth+ romance+ realism=Art
    Romance= inversion
    Realism=setting, character, theme
  • Myth
    Pygmalion-A Greek romantic myth
    Assignment – Write an account of the Pygmalion myth
  • Romance/Reality
    A hint of romance within a play that attempts to stay faithful to life representation
    Theme inverted
    Impersonality of realism/ no intrusions
    Characters are intensely living/complex
    Denouements that are not really denouements:
    Like life nothing begins and nothing ends
  • Structure of the play
    5 Acts
    Transfiguration-An idea
    Does the transformation of one aspect in a person lead to a complete change?
    Structure and characters express the idea and open discussion-
  • Transfiguration theme
    Close parallel of magic metamorphosis and development of the consciousness
    Poetic realism: artistic and spiritual integrity
    Spiritual growth conveyed in carefully plotted, psychologically, progressive stages symbolically strengthened by special effects of setting, lighting and timing
  • Theme
    Self Realization as a theme: A quest-from ignorance to reality
    Both stage directions/props/telling methods and dialogue should be geared towards the theme
    Act 1-The inspiration/the beginning
    Act 2-the quest and the purgation
    Act 3-the initial illumination
    Act 4-the climax
    Act 5-completing the cycle/unifying realization of spirit-personality/society
  • Close scrutiny
    Setting: The darkness of the night, the rain, and the confusion of the scene Theme: reflect the darkness and confusion on the personal and individual level-physical, social, intellectual and spiritual
    Eliza’s world of chaos, in the middle of it mystery and oblivion is suggested by lightening and church bells
  • Class confrontations scene-multiple levels of people converging on a common street
  • In-class assignment
    Read the critical explanation and work on each scene interpreting stage effect and the steps towards Eliza’s self realization.
  • Act Two
    Who is Eliza? A self and social examination
    How is she perceived?
    By herself: A proud and virtuous woman
    Higgins: baggage and an experiment
    Pickering: naïve and simple, a woman
    Mrs. Pearce: poor, ignorant but deserving of sympathy
    Her father: a good way to make money
  • Class clear from manners/money and speech
    Not knowing what to expect
  • “What we believe influences how we behave. Likewise, how we behave impacts what people think about us. In turn, this affects how others behave towards us. Ultimately, how they behave towards us reinforces what we believed about ourselves in the first place.” Discuss