Henry Higgins character sketch Character Analysis

Henry Higgins is a major character first introduced in the first act of the play Pygmalion. He is very educated and talented with dialects and language and does not have any sort of filter on what he says, but his lack of malice makes him into a likeable character despite that he can be a jerk. Higgins is also very generous, giving Elise Doolittle not only speech lessons, but a roof over her head and many of the luxuries of an upper-class woman.

Henry Higgins is overall an educated, genuinely kind-hearted and generous person, despite the jerk-sis atmosphere he puts off. As described by George Bernard Shaw himself, “His manner varies from genial bullying when he is in good humor to stormy petulance when anything goes wrong; but he is so entirely frank and void of malice that he remains likeable even in his least reasonable moments. ” Other than the author himself telling us about Higgins, Shaw directly characterizes the character by what others say to him.

For example, in the very beginning of the play, Higgins shows off his intellect by telling everybody where they came from simply based on the way they speak, sort of as a cocky street performer, and everybody surrounding him is saying how brilliant and educated he is. Indirect characterization also plays a major role in the character development of Henry Higgins. In the first act while he is doing his little street performance, the way he acts tells the audience that he s smart and arrogant, without Shaw having to directly say he is smart and arrogant.

The audience can deduce that Higgins is in the upper-middle class because the fact he has a maid, multiple extra rooms, hot and cold water on tap, and many other luxuries afforded to the wealthier side of 18th century London. All in all, the character of Henry Higgins is beautifully developed by George Bernard Shaw throughout the first and second acts of Pygmalion as a well-educated and lovable jerk.

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Henry Higgins character sketch Character Analysis. (2018, Apr 12). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/henry-higgins-character-sketch-essay/