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Pygmalion

Pygmalion

by George Bernard Shaw

Analysis: Tough-o-Meter

We've got your back. With the Tough-O-Meter, you'll know whether to bring extra layers or Swiss army knives as you summit the literary mountain. (10 = Toughest)

(4) Base Camp

As another great character of British literature once said, "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down." Shaw seems to have kept that saying in mind when writing Pygmalion. Sure, it's got a Greek name and it's about a guy who studies words for a living, but the play still manages to be sharp, funny, and quick-moving. Higgins can be a real curmudgeon, but he's always got a good quip ready, and Eliza...well, she's Eliza. Her spirit really carries the play. Sometimes, though, it's a little too easy to get carried away and ignore some of the Important Things Shaw is writing about. He packs a lot of material into a very a small space, and you need to pay close attention to the language. It is about a guy who studies words, after all.

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