Pygmalion Summary - Summary of the play Pygmalion by Bernand Shaw (every act)
Pygmalion by Bernand Shaw
Summary of Pygmalion - Act One
The plays starts with three persons: Mother, Daughter and Freddy.
The three of them are standing in rain in London and Freddy rushes off to look for a cab. Just right after, he bumps into a girl (Flower Girl) apologies quickly and runs off.
The flower girl has a conversation with the other two females and the flower girl talk with a very strong accent.
Later, a gentleman is added to the conversation, the note taker and some random bystanders. The flower girl feels treated quite meanly by the note taker and starts crying.
In the end, the gentleman gives the flower girl a little money and leaves. The flower girl takes a cab to get home.
Summary of Pygmalion - Act Two
The note taker visits the gentleman and they have a talk about phonetics. The note taker tells the gentleman that he can identify a person by his accent and tell where the person is from. He also teaches rich people with bad English to speak a nice English and makes a good living from it.
The flower girl comes to the two men and tells them that she wants to learn to speak a nice English without accent. The note taker, Pickering, refuses at first, because he thinks she is not worth it and that she cannot afford it anyway. The gentleman, Higgins, insists on teaching her proper English and even offers the girl to pay her lessons. And not only does he make her this nice offer, he even wants her to stay at his place as long as she is learning to speak proper English.
The houskeeper, Mrs Pearce, takes the flower girl called Liza (actually: Eliza) up to the bathroom. Liza is a bit afraid of the shower and the bathtub, because she sees something like this for the first time (she used to live in poverty).
Liza's father comes to the two gentlemen and he wants some money from Higgins. He is nothing more than an old drunkard who has to finance his drinking expenses. He also lies to Higgins in order to get 5£, what was a lot back at that time.
Eventually, Liza enters the room with new clothes on her. She wears a nice Japanese kimono and her own father does not even recognize her at first sight.
Summary of Pygmalion - Act Three
The first part of the act is in the house of Mrs Higgins. Mrs and Miss Eyensford Hill and Freddy visit Mrs Higgins and Pickering, Higgins and Eliza are there too. They have a conversation and eventually, Eliza tells the story of her aunt who was done in (killed) and that her father used to make her drink lots and lots of alcohol. When everyone parts but Pickering, Higgins and Mrs Higgins, Mrs Higgins tells them her concerns about Eliza's future. She wants to know what is to become of her, when the whole experiment is over and the two gentleman assure her that they will find something adequate for Eliza.
In the second part of act three, Higgins, Pickering and Eliza are invited to an event. There is a man called Nepommuck, who is said to be able to tell, which country a person is from. He meets Eliza and claims that she must be Hungarian and know French too, because her English is too perfect for a common English spokesman. He even thinks that she must be a princess and have royal blood.
So, the experiment was successful. The act ends with the three of them leaving the party and going somewhere to have supper.
Summary of Pygmalion - Act Four
They arrive back at Higgins' place. Liza is very angry with Higgins, because he talks of her like she was nothing worth and that he thanks god the whole thing is now over and he does not have to care of her anymore. Liza, of course, is deeply hurt by that and throws Higgins' slippers at him and Higgins realizes that she just wants to know what is to become out of her. He proposes to marry someone.
Later the same night, Eliza meets Freddy on the streets and she asks him if she really is that bad as Higgins said it before. He, of course madly in love with her, answers no and says she is the loveliest, best etc. and before he actually finishes he kisses her.
Summary of Pygmalion - Act Five
Hermann Hesse – Siddharta
Hermann Hesse – Demian
Hermann Hesse – Narcissus and Goldmund
Hermann Hesse – Glass Bead Game
Molière – The Imaginary Invalid
Vsevolod Garshin – A red flower
E.T.A Hoffmann – The Sandman
Joseph von Eichendorff – Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts
Joseph von Eichendorff – Schloss Dürande
Georg Büchner – Woyzeck
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