Saturday, February 7, 2009 ♥ 0

"I know. I am not blaming him. It is his way, isn't it? ...You see, really and truly, apart from the things anyone can pick up (the dressing and the proper way of speaking, and so on) the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she is treated."

-Eliza Doolittle to Colonel Pickering,

Act V, Pygmalion

I had the opportunity to study this witty, insightful play written in 1912 by George Bernard Shaw, a Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature, a couple of years ago, as well as watch it come to life on stage when My Fair Lady came to KL. Pygmalion tells of how phonetics professor Henry Higgins and true-gentleman Colonel Pickering team up in attempt to transform Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney-accented street girl who sells flowers, into a well-spoken duchess - a lady of the upper class. Throughout this process, the men see Eliza has a mere project. However, Eliza takes the lessons of etiquette and language to heart, and does not only transform into a woman of fine beauty, but matures in her mind - realising why she can never marry Higgins, attaining self-worth, and understanding what it takes to be a true lady.

An insightful and comedic-at-the-right-places play to read and watch. I'd love to have had the opportunity to see Claire Danes play the role of Eliza Doolittle in Broadway last year.


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