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Pygmalion | Study Guide

George Bernard Shaw

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Pygmalion | Act Summaries

See Act Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • Rainy evening, 11:15 p.m.

    Higgins boasts to Pickering that he can teach a flower girl to speak like a lady.

    Act 1
  • The next day, 11:00 a.m.

    The flower girl, Eliza, takes Higgins up on his boast and asks him to teach her to speak properly.

    Act 2
  • Later that morning

    Eliza's father, Doolittle, visits Higgins and accepts a five-pound note in exchange for Eliza.

    Act 2
  • Afternoon, months later

    Eliza visits Higgins's mother and tests—with mixed results—her ability to pass as a lady.

    Act 3
  • Later that day

    Mrs. Higgins cautions her son and Pickering to take care in this experiment with Eliza.

    Act 3
  • Midnight, months later

    Eliza's final foray into upper-class society leads Higgins to declare his experiment a triumph.

    Act 4
  • Later, same night

    Feeling unappreciated and disrespected, Eliza tells Higgins she is leaving.

    Act 4
  • 7:00 a.m. the next day

    Eliza returns by taxi to Higgins's home to pick up her things.

    Act 5
  • Later that morning

    Higgins finds Eliza staying at his mother's. He asks her to return, but it seems she may not.

    Act 5

Act Summaries Chart

Act Summary
Act 1 In Covent Garden, a district of London, a sudden torrent of rain sends people hurrying for shelter under the portico of ... Read More
Act 2 The morning after the gathering under the portico of St. Paul's Church, Pickering visits Higgins at his home and laborat... Read More
Act 3 The story moves to the drawing room at the home of Higgins's mother. Elegantly furnished, it reflects a woman of wealth ... Read More
Act 4 It's midnight, and Eliza, Higgins, and Pickering are returning to Wimpole Street after the exhausting but highly success... Read More
Act 5 The next day, Mrs. Higgins is in her drawing room when the parlor-maid announces that Higgins and Pickering are downstai... Read More
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