Saturday, 31 October 2015

Pigmalion (play ) by George Bernard Shaw

Pygmalion

                              George Bernard Shaw
Answer the following questions in not more than three sentences each:
1.      Why didn’t Freddy get a taxi?
Freddy searched for a taxi everywhere from Charing Cross to Ludgate Circus, but he could not get it because everyone was in a hurry to get a taxi home.  The summer rain was so sudden and heavy and it was unexpected.
2.      What does the bystander mean by “ a copper’s nark”?
By a copper’s nark, the bystander means a police spy
3.      According to Prof.Higgins, how is there a living in phonetics?
According to Prof.Higgins, the upstarts who began with a small business in Kentish town become millionaires in Parklane. But when they open their mouth, they speak low English accent and people don’t respect them. So they come to Prof.Higgins to improve their English accent and he teaches them phonetics and makes money.
4.      Why does the flower girl decide to home in a taxi?
When Feddy brought taxi, his mother and sister had gone home and the flower girl used the taxi to go home
Professor Higgins had thrown a handful of money into the flower girl’s basket and this unexpected wealth helped her to go home in a taxi
5.      Why did Eliza ask the taximan to take her to Buckingham Palace?
When Freddy came back with a taxi, his mother and sister had gone home. So Liza used the taxi to go home. But she did not want Freddy to know where she lived. In order to make Freddy a fool, she asked the taximan to go to Buckingham Palace.
6.      Why does Professor Higgins ask Mrs.Pearce to call the young girl in?
Being a great phonetician, Professor Higgins thinks that the arrival of the flower girl is an opportunity for him to show Colonel Pickering, how records are made. Higgins would make the girl speak and that will be recorded in phonetic script as well as on the phonograph.
7.      Why does the flower girl come to Higgins?
The flower girl tells Colonel Pickering that she wants to be a lady in a flowershop instead of selling at the corner of Tottenham Court Road. The previous evening she had heard the claim of Higgins that he could make her a duchess. So the girl has come to improve her English accent.
8.      How much Eliza would pay Higgins for teaching her good English? What is her reason?
Eliza says that her ladyfriend learns French lessons for eighteen pence an hour. But Eliza would pay Higgins only a shilling because English is her mothertongue.
9.      Why does Higgins exclaim that Eliza’s offer of one shilling is the biggest offer he ever had?
Higgins compares Eliza’s income to a millionaire’s income and says that Eliza’s offer of one shilling is two fifths of her day’s income. Two fifths of a millionaire’s income for a day would be about sixty pounds. So Eliza’s offer of a shilling is the biggest offer.
10.  What does Colonel Pickering bet if Higgins succeeds in presenting the girl for the ambassador’s garden party?        -     Pickering bet Higgins that if Higgins succeeds in the experiment, he will pay all the expenses for the lessons.
11.  Why does Eliza hesitate to eat the chocolate that Higgins gave her?
Higgins has been rude to Eliza. So she cannot trust him and she is not sure whether it is meant for drugging her.
12.  What is Higgin’s attitude to women ?
Woman wants to live her own life and man his own. Each tries to drag the other on to the wrong track. Finally both of them have no peace of mind. That is why Higgins is a chronic bachelor.
13.  What does Higgins propose to do with Eliza’s old straw hat?
Higgins does not want Mrs.Pearce to burn it. He wants the hat should be kept as a curiosity.
Annotations:
1.      He aint a tec.  He’s a blooming busy body; that’s what he is. I tell you, look at his boots.
This passage is taken from George Bernard Shaw’s famous play titled Pygmalion. The bystander in the portico of St. Paul’s church in Convent Garden speaks these words in the opening Act of the play. The bystander warns the note taker not to take the poor girl to police station.  Thy bystander says that the note taker is not a detective. ‘Tec’ is a slang abbreviation for detective. It is an old joke that policemen’s feet are always unusually large because they had to make long walks.
2.      “That is my profession: also my hobby.  Happy is the man who can make a living by his hobby!”
This passage is taken from George Bernard Shaw’s famous play titled Pygmalion.  Profession Higgins, the note taker speaks these words to Colonel Pickering in the opening Act of the play.

In the unexpected summer rain, they took shelter in the portico of St. Paul’s church in London. Colonel Pickering, the famous author of spoken Sanskrit asks the note taker how he can tell people of their native places. Professor Higgins replies that being a great phonetician, he is able to trace people’s native places from their English accents.  Phonetics, the science of speech is Higgin’s profession and hobby because he enjoys his profession. He earns his living by teaching upstarts proper English pronunciation.  He goes about the streets and market places to pick up the different English dialects. He has a laboratory where different English dialects are recorded for experiments.
3.      “They want to drop Kentish Town; but they give themselves away every time they open their mouth”
This passage is taken from………Pygmalion. These words are said by Professor Higgins to Colonel Pickering while they were waiting in the portico of St. Paul’s church in London.  They took shelter there when unexpected summer rain lashed in the city.
Colonel Pickering asked the note taker if he could earn his living by phonetics.  The note taker says that he can earn a lot of money in his profession of Phonetics. It is not only his profession but also hobby.
Upstarts who want to drop their Kentish town dialect are ready to give him any amount of money in order to speak Park Lane language. Professor Higgins teaches them to speak good English.
Kentish Town is a slum district in North West London. Park Lane is an aristocratic are where millionairs and nobles live.
4.      “ I could even get her a place as Lady’s maid or shop assistant, which requires better English”
This passage is taken from….Pygmalion.  These words are spoken by the note taker at the portico of St. Paul’s church in London. It occurs in the opening Act of the play. He is angry at the vulgar English pronunciation of the flower girl.
The note taker is Professor Higgins, the famous phonetician and he is talking to Colonel Pickering, the famous author of Spoken Sanskrit.  Higgins tells the gentleman that the flower girl’s English is Kerbstone English, which will keep her to the gutter throughout her life. But he can teach her better English and he can pass her off as a duchess at an ambassador’s garden party.
A duchess is the wife of a duke.  Garden party is a social gathering usually held on a lawn outside.
5. “Yes, you squashed cabbage leaf, you disgrace to the noble architecture of these columns, you incarnate insult to the English language: I could pass you off as the Queen of Sheba
This passage is taken from……..Pygmalion.  These words are said by Professor Higgins to the flower girl whom he met at the portico of St.Paul’s church, Covent Garden, London.
 Being a great phonetician, Higgins is angry at the vulgar English accent of the flower girl. He tells her that she is a disgrace to the noble architecture of the church and noble English language. But Higgins is proud of his phonetic teaching skill and he calaims that he can pass her off as the Queen of Sheba.
The column of the church is the amazing model of the engineering skill of 17th century.  The Queen of Sheba was the queen who visited King Solomon to study his wisdom. Professor Higgins promises the flower girl that he can raise her to the level of the Queen by teaching her good English.
“Don’t you know where it is?  In the Green Park, where the king lives?
This passage is taken from……………Pygmalion.  These words are said by the flower girl, Eliza Doolittle to the taximan.
Eliza got unexpected amount of money from Higgins and she thought of her as a lady of aristocratic origin. When Freddy came with a taxi, her mother and sister had gone home. So Eliza took the opportunity to shine herself. She got into the taxi and asked the taxi man to go to Park Lane where Buckingham Palace is situated. Eliza does not want Freddy to know her miserable lodging in Angel Court, Drury Lane which is a slum area in London.
This scene shows us that Eliza is ambitious and wants to become a lady of aristocratic origin.
Paragraph questions:
1) How far does Bernard Shaw succeed in creating a suitable atmosphere in the opening scene of his play “Pygmalion  OR Comment on the selection of Covent Garden as the opening scene of the play Pygmalion.
            Pygamlion is a play different from all other conventional plays. It is a problem play. George Bernard Shaw introduces the problem of education on the stage. The English have no respect for their language and Shaw is irritated by the vulgar accent of many people in England. According to Bernard Shaw, the villain is English spelling, which does not suit to pronunciation of words. Shaw wanted to reform English spelling to suit pronunciation of words. He wants to introduce a number of different dialects to be presented on the stage. The portico of St. Paul’s church in Covent Garden is an ideal location for the purpose. The time is 11.15 p.m. and an unexpected summer heavy rain lashed the city and all types of cockney speakers took shelter in the portico. All are in a hurry to reach home. It is a golden opportunity for Professor Higgins, the famous phonetician to write down the different dialects (cockney speeches). The note taker shows his professional skill and efficiency by locating the native places of every man and woman who took shelter in the portico of the church. Thus the theme of the play is very effectively introduced in the opening scene.
 Among them, there is a poor flower girl, a gentleman who is the author of Spoken Sanskrit,  Freddy, Clara and their mother. The note taker is busy recording the dialects. But the crowd suspects him to be a detective who interferes with the freedom of common people. The bystanders remark that the note taker is a “copper’s nark”.  The note taker shows his professional efficiency by telling them their native places from their pronunciation of English words. The opening scene is a turning point in the life of Eliza Doolittle, the poor flower girl because Higgins is angry at her cockney speech and tells Colonel Pickering that he will pass her off as a duchess at an ambassador’s garden party. Colonel Pickering, author of spoken Sanskrit who has come all the way from India to meet Professor Higgins is also introduced in the opening scene of the play. Thus all the main characters of the play are introduced in the opening scene and the audience gets a deep insight into the character of each person.

Drafted, typed and circulated by Thomas K.J. of St. Thomas Academy, Ranni for his students dated 14th Aug.2006

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