From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.



by George Bernard Shaw

Pygmalion Identity Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue.

Quote #1

THE MOTHER. Now tell me how you know that young gentleman's name.
THE MOTHER. I heard you call him by it. Don't try to deceive me.
THE FLOWER GIRL [protesting] Who's trying to deceive you? I called him Freddy or Charlie same as you might yourself if you was talking to a stranger and wished to be pleasant. [She sits down beside her basket]. (1.41-44)

Even the things we do to establish a connection with unfamiliar people and things – like using slang or nicknames – can end up causing confusion and cases of mistaken identity.

Quote #2

THE FLOWER GIRL [springing up terrified] I ain't done nothing wrong by speaking to the gentleman. I've a right to sell flowers if I keep off the kerb. [Hysterically] I'm a respectable girl: so help me, I never spoke to him except to ask him to buy a flower off me […] They'll take away my character and drive me on the streets for speaking to gentlemen. They— (1.59)

Eliza seems extremely insecure about her own identity and character. She fears that even the smallest offense will lead people to look at her and treat her differently.

Quote #3

THE BYSTANDER. It's all right: he's a gentleman: look at his boots. [Explaining to the note taker] She thought you was a copper's nark, sir. (1.61)

We see here that identity can be determined by something as small as a pair of boots.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...