CBSE Class 8 English Literature Drama Eliza George Bernard Shaw

Drama: Eliza  By George Bernard Shaw

About the author

George Bernard Shaw (26 July 1856 – 2 November 1950), known at his insistence simply as Bernard Shaw, was an Irish playwright, critic, and polemicist whose influence on Western theatre, culture, and politics extended from the 1880s to his death and beyond. He wrote more than sixty plays, including major works such as Man and Superman (1903), Pygmalion (1913), and Saint Joan (1923). With a range incorporating both contemporary satire and historical allegory, Shaw became the leading dramatist of his generation, and in 1925 was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

SUMMARY

Eliza Doolittle is a flower girl with a severe Cockney accent trying to get by in Edwardian London when she encounters Henry Higgins, a famous expert on accents who is immediately disgusted by Eliza's voice. He offers to tutor her, which gains the attention of bystander Colonel Pickering, an amateur student of Indian languages. Pickering and Henry excitedly introduce themselves to one another, and Higgins invites Pickering to stay with him during his time in London.

. In his cruel and mocking lessons with Eliza, Henry eventually teaches her proper speech. Unknown to Eliza, Henry bets Colonel Pickering that he will be able to introduce Eliza at an embassy ball with no one the wiser to her common roots.

Henry  takes her to meet his mother at the Ascot races. Unfortunately, Eliza relapses into her Cockney slang, disgusting many, but gaining the affection of a man she originally sold flowers to, named Freddy.

However, Eliza's slang disappears in the days leading up to the embassy ball, and Henry passes her off as a perfect lady, befooling the language expert, Naponmuck. She is among the most charming ladies at the ball and is proclaimed to be so refined as to be of originally royal blood.

EXERCISES

Ques.1 Answer with reference to context:

a) ‘ Mother, I know, I know. But I have come here on purpose .I have got a job for you!

(i) Identify the lesson and speaker.

(ii) What was the job he had in mind for his/her mother?

(iii) How did she react?

b) ‘Do you think she will make it?’

(i) Identify the speaker and addressee.

(ii) Who does ‘she’ refer to?

(iii) Which difficult task is being referred to here?

c) ‘But Dolittle is a typical English name- but she is no English woman.’

(i) Identify the speaker and addressee.

(ii) Who was Dolittle?

(iii) Who did the speaker think she was?

II.  Answer the following questions briefly:

a) What was the wager/challenge taken up by Prof. Higgins?

b) Why had he chosen Eliza Dolittle for this challenge?

c) What kind of person was Prof. Higgins ?

d) Who was Neponmuck? What according to him was his great achievement?

III.  Choose the correct answer from the options given below:

a) Eliza Dolittle was actually a

(i)  Princess of Norway

(ii) Duchess

(iii) Flower girl

(iv) beggar

b) Prof. Higgins wanted to

(i) help Eliza

(ii) use her to prove his own talent

(iii) marry her

(iv) make a lot of money by training her

c) Neponmuck was arrogant and overconfident as

(i) he had mastery over many languages

(ii) he could read faces

(iii) he could predict the future

(iv) he belonged to a royal family.

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