A Crucible for Humanism: Shaw’s Pygmalion

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Omar Khan

Business Consultant

George Bernard Shaw, Nobel Laureate, reluctant Oscar winner, was one of the greatest writers of the English language and one of the most fabled playwrights of all time. Of his many plays, none has captured popular attention more than Pygmalion, which went on to spawn My Fair Lady.

Embedded in this play is a provocative, still utterly salient, radical and quite ecumenical view of human potential: what constrains it, what liberates it, how social roles congeal, that razor’s edge between empty rebellion and meaningful freedom. All this in what Shaw wryly calls “a romance.”