The Theater


George Bernard Shaw

George Bernard Shaw serves as an inspiration for several musicals. The current paper examines the synopsis of the musical My Fair Lady that is based on Shaw’s Pygmalion. The play deals with Elisa Doolittle who takes lessons from famous professor Henry Higgins to learn to behave like a lady. Frederick Loewe is the one who created music for this musical, and lyrics were developed by Alan J. Lerner.

My Fair Lady

The play begins with the presentation of a rainy British night. Eliza runs into Freddy. In the beginning, she is very angry as her bunches of violets are spilled in the mud. However, later, she can sell it to one old gentleman. She feels very nervous when a man replies to her in her impolite style with a specific accent. He tells her that he studies phonetics and can teach her to speak like a lady within the next six months. The next day, Eliza comes to Higgins’ home and tells him that she wants to take lessons to get the desired job. Eliza’s father is satisfied that his daughter will have the opportunity to take lessons from Higgins and tries to use this situation to generate additional income.

Higgins proposes Eliza visit his mother’s box as her first public tryout. Her task was to concentrate on two subjects: the weather and other people’s health. The first impression is positive, but later, Eliza shocks others with her inappropriate manners and corresponding slang. Her final test refers to her appearance as a lady at the Embassy Ball. All people at this event admire Eliza’s manners and style. A phonetician Zoltan Karpathy tries to understand her origin through her speech. Higgins approves Zoltan’s desire to dance with Eliza to specify this issue.

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After the event, Zoltan concludes that Eliza is of royal blood due to her well-developed manners, style, and speech. Higgins expresses his pleasure as the experiment has been completed successfully, but Eliza feels abandoned. Later, Higgins insults her, and she leaves him. Freddy waits outside and tells her that he loves her. However, Eliza unfavorably replies to him that he should show his love rather than merely telling about his feelings. She does not want to spend her time with him at the moment.

Eliza’s father is very happy as he has received a large bequest and has become a middle-class man. Moreover, he is going to marry the woman he has been living with for a long time. Eliza sees no support in this environment and decides to leave with Freddy. Higgins experiences several small problems the next morning. He cannot find his files and receives tea instead of coffee. Higgins wonders the reasons for her behavior and suggests that men are much more intelligent than women. In particular, he believes that he is superior to almost all other people, especially women. Then, he sees that Eliza is having tea with her mother.

Eliza tells Higgins that he has treated her inadequately. She has become a lady only because Pickering treated her in this way. She says that she does not need Higgins anymore and wants to marry Freddy. Higgins proposes to Eliza to stay with him, but she refuses and leaves him. Higgins realizes that he experiences strong feelings towards her. He does not call it love and claims that he will not accept her if she comes back to him. He takes the recording he made during the first morning Eliza came to him. When the phonograph turns off, he hears Eliza’s real voice. It means that Eliza has returned to him. The situation moves towards the potential reconciliation, and Higgins asks her about his slippers. This is the final episode of the play. Thus, there is no explicit ending in the play, but the fact of reconciliation is implicitly assumed.

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