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20th Century Drama

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Introduction

20th Century Drama One of the major social issues facing people in the early 20th century was the build up to World War One. This posed more of a threat to the lower class because if war had broken out they would have been the first to die in the trenches. This would have led to the lower class becoming dissatisfied with the entire class system. This social instability is shown by the conflict between people from different classes in George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. By showing conflict between the classes in his play, George Bernard Shaw is trying to show how pointless the class system is in the 20th century because of the advancements in social welfare. Another important issue was the disparity between the number of educated and non-educated people living at the time. Really, it was only the middle classes who were educated because the upper classes could not be bothered. ...read more.

Middle

The only way she can make money is to sell the few flowers she can afford to buy from the market. Her dream is to work behind the counter and maybe even own a flower shop. "I want to be a lady in a flower shop stead of sellin at the corner..." In modern times, people do not acquire flowers from the market and do not make an actual living by selling these flowers in street corners. In modern times Eliza's education would have been a lot better without a doubt. The education she would receive today would have been sufficient to put her behind the counter in a flower shop and it would have been sufficient for her to start her own business running a flower shop. This means that her ambitions would have to change if a 20th century audience were to fully understand and sympathise with Eliza. The fact that Eliza is lower class in the play would be a a hard problem for a woman director to overcome as the ...read more.

Conclusion

Another change in society means that the director would have another problem. In the play, Higgins is one of the best, if not only, educated characters. In today's society this just would not happen. Since everyone now has an education, Higgins' education might not be superior to that of someone in Eliza's position. It definitely would not be superior in comparison with the Eyensford Hill family, as they have copious amounts of money and could afford the education. This would devalue Higgins' character in that the other characters would not have the same respect for him and his intelligence that they have in the play. Therefore, Higgins' character would be devalued if the play were modernised. These are problems a modern director would face in making Pygmalion relevant to a 20th century audience. Small things in the play that are quite important to its success would have to be changed which would make the characters hard to sympathise with. Higgins and Eliza would be very difficult for a modern director to adapt for a modern audience. ...read more.

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