A Postcolonial Reading of Pygmalion: A Play of 'Mimicry'

Samira Sasani


Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion portrays the mutually complex relationship between the colonizer and the colonized.  Pygmalion, a mimicry play, shows how the mimicry strategy, proposed by Homi K. Bhabha, paradoxically functions as both resemblance and menace in the hands of the colonizer and the Other.  Based on Homi K. Bhabha's theories, the Other employs the mimicry strategy either too perfectly or imperfectly as a sign of resistance to servitude; on the other hand, employing the colonial mimicry strategy, the colonizer desires a reformed recognizable Other as a subject of difference that is almost the same, but not quite. This paper tries to show how Higgins, the colonizer, and Eliza, the colonized enter the Third Space in which no party has priority over the other; in which power relationships are reciprocal and their identities are mutually constructed.  Pygmalion depicts an untenable situation in which both the colonizer and the colonized are entrapped. 



Identity construction, power relations, colonial mimicry strategy, Third Space

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.4n.2p.238


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