Pygmalion Coursework Essay

Submitted By safiafatima081
Words: 476
Pages: 2

Comedy often includes ridiculous characters. Discuss using examples from Pygmalion. ‘Pygmalion’ written by Bernard Shaw doesn’t keep to the traditional conventions of a play; the theme of ridiculous characters has played a part in most plays and comedies. Aristotle’s literature executes the theme of ridiculous characters perfectly, ridiculing characters comes from the more superior class and they have this hold over the lower class. This ‘superiority theory1’ presented by Aristotle ridicules the inferior and ‘ugly’ individuals. This analogy has mutual findings within the play Pygmalion, Higgins’s ridicules Eliza because of her inadequate language, and Higgins has this bizarre control over Eliza because he feels joy at being superior. 2 Ridiculous characters often play a part in comedies typically typescripts will invite mockery upon themselves. Characters are traditionally ridiculed by their social class, appearance, mannerisms and attitudes. ‘Pygmalion’ challenges this norm and allows characters from different social classes, varying from lower class to higher class to be mocked in this controversial play.
Shaw introduces the character Higgins’s in Act 1, the first description we get of him is in the stage directions, ‘except one man with his back turned to the rest’3, at this instance we can see from the offset of the play that this ‘character’ as we have not been introduced by his name thus far is somewhat an outcast in society. ‘His back turned to the rest’ shows that he ignores society and doesn’t socialise with those within this scene. Further on we discover this ‘note taker’ goes by the name Henry Higgins, Higgins’s is a Professor of Phonetics, the essence of his job is to correct and define the parameters of the English language. Higgins’s has this obsession with accents and sounds, he picks Eliza…