The Resource For Musicals



My Fair Lady Forum


Reply to topic  [ 49 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
My Fair Lady *IS* a love story! mwahaha! 
Author Message
Fresh Face
Fresh Face

Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 11:38 am
Posts: 13
Location: Sweden
Post 
what_the_heck013 wrote:
This was no question. Both Shaw's Pygmalion and My Fair Lady are love storys although Eliza and Higgins aren't in love.


I agree with you up to the point that their relationsship is not the standard melodramatic musical stuff. It is a little bit more complicated than that. Let's take a look at it, from start:

1) Roman guy Ovid writes a poetry about Pygmalion; who was this sculpturer not particullary intrested in women, until he eventually managed to create an ivory statue of such realism that he fell in love with it. The "pygmalion motive" in literature is consequently the idea of someone falling in love with their own creation.

2) Shaw writes a play out of the pygmalion motive (with the obvious title), also adding a certain amount of class-problematics. This would emphasize the gag that Higgins actually seems to see Eliza (later on) more as a creation of himself, than a developing person. Higgins, a man of great self-believing, loves everything he has created, and therefore comes to love Eliza, or the Eliza he has created, by the end of the play, without really understanding it. The problem here would be the mere fact that Eliza isn't this marionette, no matter her accent, and therefore has to leave Higgins and live her own life.

Even that would be a quite simple outline to grasp. But it's not even as simple as that. The real knock-turn of this plot occurs when Eliza and Higgins start to like each other on a human level, regardless of class and phonetic values. This happens, but it's impossible tell to which degree; they have this extremely complicated relationsship, because that's what the play's all about! To deny this would be stupid. Loewe and Lerner knew it too, since actually 2 out of Elizas 5 solo songs, and 2 of Higgins is devoted solely to their relationsship (Just you wait, Without you, I'm an ordinary man and I've grown accustomed..).

It's obvious that even if they actually did love each other, the story could not have ended with them two becoming a couple, since the class conflict will always act as a wall between them. This was Shaws conclution as well, and he promptly ended they play with Eliza going away with Freddy, and a disilliussioned Higgins. Unfortunately the audience were not so glad to be spoiled their fine, romantic ending, and in the following years the one attempt followed the other to find a way out of the sad conclution "yes, but eliza must have returned when she heard the way people talked in NY", and so on. This annoyed Shaw to the point that he wrote an extra epilogue to the script, stating unconditionally that Eliza did marry Freddy, and did not return. He didn't state anything about the emotional life of his characters, thought.

In the movie version of Pygmalion, the producers choiced to ignore his wishes anyway, and end the story with Eliza returning, and the famous line... Some productions of My Fair Lady have followed suite, including the film, which I think is rather sad. Of course this is what would happen if Eliza had chosen to return, the class (and Higgins stubborness) wall is still there, and this will not change. Of course. The problem is that Eliza is actually an intelligent girl, and she will know this. To let her return anyway is sort of insulting her character. Will she always accept the dominantic rule of Higgins, which is is unavoidable if they are going to lead a life together? That's a sad ending.

To close curtain on this disillussional, raged proffessor all alone is the definate preference here I think, plus this adds much more sense to "I've grown accustomed": It actually becomes a very sad song.

Thus: The love motive, between the two main caracthers is central in My Fair Lady. It might not be very physical or even mentioned, but it's there. And it's complicated.

_________________
Image


Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:38 pm
Profile
Chorus Member
Chorus Member

Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2002 8:59 pm
Posts: 92
Location: Somewhere in New Jersey
Post 
The thing is, though, as I said in another, long-ago thread...even if she doesn't end up with Higgins, don't you think she deserves better than Upperclass Twit Of The Year?

It seemed to me that she would only have been settling for Freddy because she felt she had no other options. She says, "Freddy loves me", but never once says that she feels anything for him. If she didn't end up with Higgins (at least not right away), I'd rather see her stay with Mrs. Higgins for a while, as a guest, or perhaps a paid companion, until she found someone she could have real feelings for (or until Higgins learned to show her a little more respect). Young ladies of that age often accompanied rich ladies on travels, read to them when the older ladies' eyesight grew dim, that sort of thing. That's how the heroine of DuMaurier's Rebecca started out.

Besides...how genuine is Freddy's feeling for Eliza? He loves the idealized Miss Doolittle, not the flower girl he ran into at the beginning of the show. More to the point, what kind of real relationship could they have when Eliza could never be honest with him about her past? Imagine Freddy's shock to ever find out that his angel was once a flower girl! That she's (as it's hinted) illegitimate, giving her "tainted" blood! He'd drop her like a hot potato...such blood must never be brought into the Eynsford-Hill family. So what kind of relationship could it be, based on a falsehood?

_________________
For out of what we live and we believe...
Our lives become the stories that we weave.
-- "Once On This Island"


Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:35 pm
Profile WWW
Tony Winner
Tony Winner

Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2002 9:15 pm
Posts: 269
Location: Canada
Post 
Jennifer Lynn wrote:
Besides...how genuine is Freddy's feeling for Eliza? He loves the idealized Miss Doolittle, not the flower girl he ran into at the beginning of the show. More to the point, what kind of real relationship could they have when Eliza could never be honest with him about her past? Imagine Freddy's shock to ever find out that his angel was once a flower girl! That she's (as it's hinted) illegitimate, giving her "tainted" blood! He'd drop her like a hot potato...such blood must never be brought into the Eynsford-Hill family. So what kind of relationship could it be, based on a falsehood?


That happened near the beginning, as the theater was letting out and Freddy bumped into Eliza, knocking over her flowers, followed by this exchange with his mother:

ELIZA: Oh, e's your son, is e? Well if you'd done your duty by him as a mother should, you wouldn't let him spoil a poor girl's flowers and then run away without payin'.
MRS. EYNSFORD-HILL [Coldly] Go on about your business, my girl!


Sun May 14, 2006 8:46 am
Profile
Supporting Player
Supporting Player
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2006 6:45 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Michigan
Post 
Either way I think it's dumb that Eliza goes back to Dr. Higgins, she never really showed she was in love. Plus with her new class she could do lots of things but she goes back to the old fart and practically becomes his servant, talk about reverse feminism!


Mon Dec 25, 2006 4:01 pm
Profile
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2003 11:07 pm
Posts: 11297
Main Role: Performer
Post 
actually its far from reverse feminisim. the idea of her returning indicates that she has become a female version of Higgins. neither of them need romatic love. both will live together as confirmed bachelors . Liza is just as strong as Higgins.

_________________
Image[/quote]


Tue Dec 26, 2006 6:25 am
Profile WWW
Supporting Player
Supporting Player
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2006 6:45 pm
Posts: 100
Location: Michigan
Post 
Oh, that is much more agreeable. Thank you Salome for your wonderful insight. I never thought of it like that, I thought they were going to get married and was like "HE'S OLD!"


Tue Dec 26, 2006 11:35 am
Profile
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2003 11:07 pm
Posts: 11297
Main Role: Performer
Post 
jimbothecrab wrote:
Oh, that is much more agreeable. Thank you Salome for your wonderful insight. I never thought of it like that, I thought they were going to get married and was like "HE'S OLD!"


but higgins isnt old. he's in his 40s..but no, its not al ove story.

_________________
Image[/quote]


Wed Dec 27, 2006 7:58 am
Profile WWW
Tony Winner
Tony Winner

Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2006 10:25 pm
Posts: 298
Post 
Salome wrote:
actually its far from reverse feminisim. the idea of her returning indicates that she has become a female version of Higgins. neither of them need romatic love. both will live together as confirmed bachelors . Liza is just as strong as Higgins.


Nice way to put it . However, couldn't you also say they will be confirmed bachelors, but both just afraid of love and they willneed each other to make it (atleast Eliza does) I like the idea of equals at the end but w/ Higgins where are my slippers it is not equals it is still master and servant


Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:41 pm
Profile
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
User avatar

Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2003 11:07 pm
Posts: 11297
Main Role: Performer
Post 
shadowdancer wrote:
Salome wrote:
actually its far from reverse feminisim. the idea of her returning indicates that she has become a female version of Higgins. neither of them need romatic love. both will live together as confirmed bachelors . Liza is just as strong as Higgins.


Nice way to put it . However, couldn't you also say they will be confirmed bachelors, but both just afraid of love and they willneed each other to make it (atleast Eliza does) I like the idea of equals at the end but w/ Higgins where are my slippers it is not equals it is still master and servant


its not.

look at how Rex deliver's it. he sits up..delighted to hear her voice..then he supresses his emotions realizing he has revealed too much of his personal feelins..he tosses off the slippers line..and pulls his hat over his head. so she cant see his joy. she smiles knowingly.

_________________
Image[/quote]


Thu Dec 28, 2006 10:47 pm
Profile WWW
Young Hoofer
Young Hoofer
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 3:58 pm
Posts: 35
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Post 
Salome wrote:
actually its far from reverse feminisim. the idea of her returning indicates that she has become a female version of Higgins. neither of them need romatic love. both will live together as confirmed bachelors . Liza is just as strong as Higgins.


=D>

When I first saw the film (I must have been about ten or eleven), my mother asked me "So, do you think they got married? I always thought they were in love." I was like "What?!?! She would NEVER marry him."

Being a little older and having seen the movie (never had the chance to see it on stage :() about six or seven times again since then, I do of course see the more complex relationship now - but even if they had certain feelings for one another (I'm talking more about mutual friendship than romantic love...), they would never have gone to the extent of expressing these feelings or even thinking about marriage... It would be a contradiction to both of their characters. Yes, they share a very special bond, and I can see where the romantic idea comes from - but no, it wouldn't work out. Just imagine Eliza Doolittle as Eliza Higgins! It even SOUNDS wrong to me ;) .

_________________
Image
BecauseOfUS.com + SRK-Kajol.net + Paper-Wing.com


Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:32 pm
Profile YIM WWW
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2003 10:27 am
Posts: 2434
Location: Here
Post 
For the record...I heart Lena! LOL!

(Even though she IS a Wicked fan! :wink:)

_________________
The lovely RobinFlamingo made this for me! :)
May she rest in peace...I miss you, you big beautiful bird, you!
Image


Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:43 pm
Profile
Young Hoofer
Young Hoofer
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 3:58 pm
Posts: 35
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Post 
Awwww :oops: ! \:D/

(And I still don't know whether I'm a Wicked-fan, but I definitely am a Wicked-soundtrack-and-novel-fan... LOL)

_________________
Image
BecauseOfUS.com + SRK-Kajol.net + Paper-Wing.com


Tue Feb 20, 2007 1:01 pm
Profile YIM WWW
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 49 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.