Document Type : Original Article


1 College of Education – Makhmour - Salahaddin University

2 Department of English/ College of Languages/ Salahaddin University/ Erbil


This research paper studies George Bernard Shaw’s famous play Pygmalion (1912). It examines capitalism and industrialization, and their negative influences on British society, and specifically, on the living condition of low-class people. In addition, it focuses on Shaw’s sharp satire of the capitalist system. The study focuses on Shaw’s Socialist/Fabianist ideas which are depicted in this play through the stereotyping of the British social classes. Furthermore, it presents Shaw’s ideas and support for the feminist cause of gender equality, empowering women, and rising their position in society through education and learning.

     The study also highlights Shaw’s aesthetic techniques and anti-conventionalist philosophy in writing this play. The most prominent aesthetic techniques used in the play are: superb style, witty dialogues, dramatic symbols, unconventional plot, mythological allusion, humor and burlesque as elements of joy and pleasure, and contrast between the rich and the poor lifestyles. Unlike traditional plays, this play does not end in a wedding and its conclusion is open-ended. Moreover, the study reveals Shaw’s support for didacticism and humor rather than a pure and meaningless “art for art’s sake” work. It clarifies that Shaw’s support of didacticism is for social, economic, educational, and political reform. The research focuses on the concept of language variation and its great role in determining the social position of the individual in a class-based capitalist society. The study takes a quick look at Shaw’s use of humor and burlesque to satirize the shortcomings of British society


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