Pygmalion, written by George Bernard Shaw, is often referred to as a romance. This is because the play carries elements of improbability that make it a romantic story. In the Afterward to Pygmalion, Shaw mentions that the play is a romance “because of the transfiguration it records seems exceedingly improbable.”
The story of Pygmalion follows the transformation of Eliza Doolittle, a poor flower girl, into a refined and educated woman. Eliza is taken in by Professor Henry Higgins, a professor of phonetics, who agrees to teach her to speak and act like a proper lady. Through his instruction, Eliza is able to pass as a member of the upper class, and she is eventually accepted into high society.
Though the transformation of Eliza is a common occurrence in literature, Shaw’s version of the story provides a romantic spin. The improbability of Eliza’s transformation is what makes the story so romantic. Eliza’s transformation is a testament to the power of love and the strength of the human spirit.
Shaw’s use of improbability in Pygmalion makes it a romantic story. Eliza’s transformation is a testament to the power of love and the strength of the human spirit. It is this improbability that makes Pygmalion a romance.