Category: Drama

Dramatic Study: Pygmalion

When George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1925, he was praised for turning “his weapons against everything that he conceives of as prejudice.” This is clearly true of Pygmalion, which was premiered in German in Vienna in 1913. The play is a modern interpretation of an ancient myth, the tale of Pygmalion and Galatea. In Shaw’s rendition, Higgins, a teacher, “creates” Eliza, his pupil, by teaching her to speak like a duchess – a transformation that allows Shaw to attack the superficial class prejudices of his time.

Dramatic Study: The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice revolves around the taking of a loan from a Jewish moneylender called Shylock, one of Shakespeare’s most powerful fictional characters. Shylock agrees to lend Antonio 3,000 ducats for three months: if the loan is not repaid in time, he will demand a pound of the merchant’s flesh.