miércoles, 7 de enero de 2009


Pygmalion is a legendary figure of Cyprus. In Ovid's narrative, Pygmalion is a Cypriot sculptor who carves a woman out of ivory. But his statue is so realistic that he falls in love with it.Venus takes pity on him and brings the statue to life. They marry and have a son.

‘’Pygmalion Effect’’

Pygmalion effect is more or less saying that “not treat people by what appear to be but what they can become”

Ovidio says about the myth in the book of X Metamorphoses, "Pygmalion went to the statue and, to touch her, he thought he was hot, that the ivory was softening and that, laying down his toughness, assigned to the fingers gently, as the wax of Mount Himeto is to soften the rays of the sun and let it handle with his fingers, taking various shapes and becoming more docile and soft handling. To see him, Pygmalion was filled with great joy mix of fear, believing it was deceived. He returned to play the statue again, and ascertained that it was a flexible body and the veins gave their keystrokes to explore them with his fingers. “

When he woke up in place of the statue was Aphrodite, who told him "You deserve happiness, a happiness that you've captured. Here's the queen you've searched. Defend her love and protect her from the evil." Galatea was thus transformed into a real woman.

This story gives its name to the "Pygmalion Effect."


Ovid's Pygmalion has inspired several works of literature, including

• Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion
• Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein
• Isaac Asimov's novel "The Positronic Man"

Stage plays

W. S. Gilbert's stage version, 1871
There have also been successful stage-plays based upon the work, such as W. S. Gilbert's Pygmalion and Galatea (1871).

George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion (1912, staged 1914) owes something to both the Greek Pygmalion and the legend of "King Cophetua and the beggar maid"; in which a King lacks interest in women, but one day falls in love with a young beggar-girl, later educating her to be his Queen.

Pygmalion tells the story of Henry Higgins, a professor of phonetics, who makes a bet with his friend Colonel Pickering that he can successfully pass off a Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, as a refined society lady by teaching her how to speak with an upper class accent and training her in etiquette. In the process, Higgins and Doolittle grow close, but she ultimately rejects his domineering ways and declares she will marry Freddy Eynsford-Hill – a young, poor, gentleman.
Shaw's comedy of manners in turn was the basis for the Broadway musical My Fair Lady (1956)


Notable 20th century feature films are My Fair Lady (1964, based on the stage play); Mighty Aphrodite by director Woody Allen; Weird Science directed by John Hughes; and the 1987 film Mannequin, a remake of the 1948 classic One Touch of Venus, as well as S1m0ne (featuring a computer-generated artificial intelligence as the love object); Many films have dealt collaterally with this theme.: Vertigo, and more recently Lars and the Real Girl, depicting an introverted man who falls in love with a plastic sex doll.
The popular horror genre in film has also had an interest in 'bringing to life' waxwork figures and show-room dummies (see: Waxworks: A Cultural Obsession by Michelle Bloom). Many horror films deviate considerably from the original story; for example, in The Stepford Wives (1975) the creators turn their living wives into inanimate (robotic, compliant) wives. Likewise, the legend serves as the inspiration for one of the Lineages, the Galatea, that appears in the White Wolf role-playing game Promethean: The Created.


• The American TV series My Living Doll portrayed a female robot whose creators attempted to transform her into a "perfect woman".
• The Aerosmith music video for Hole in My Soul features a nerdy college student who tries to find the girl of his dreams by creating one in a lab only to have her leave him.
• The Japanese anime series Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040 includes a character named Galatea, an artificial life form designed to be the next evolution of the human race.
• In Justice League Unlimited, Emile Hamilton creates a clone of Supergirl, that he names Galatea.
• In Philippine TV series Love Spell presents: Barbie-cute features a teenage boy who falls in love with a mannequin who comes to life when lightning strikes it.
• In the music video for This Time by K-pop group Wonder Girls,a designer falls in love with his mannequin, and she comes to life.She runs away,leaving the designer to chase after her.

Re-interpretations of Pygmalion

The basic Pygmalion story has been widely transmitted and re-presented in the arts through the centuries. In the Middle Ages Pygmalion was held up as an example of the excesses of idolatry, probably spurred by Clement of Alexandria's suggestion that Pygmalion had carved an image of Aphrodite herself. Although, by the 18th century it was a highly influential love-story, seen as such in Rousseau's musical play of the story. By the 19th century, the story often becomes one in which the awakened beloved rejects Pygmalion; although she comes alive, she is initially cold and unattainable.

William Shakespeare has a version of the legend in The Winter's Tale when Hermione is seen as a lifelike statue in the final scene.

A twist on this theme can also be seen in the story of Pinocchio where a wooden puppet is transformed into a real boy, though in this case the puppet possesses sentience prior to its transformation, and it is the puppet and not the woodcarver (sculptor) who beseeches the miracle.

Information and pictures taken from:



By Catalina, Laura and Lidia

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