Classical Mythology in English Literature: A Critical Anthology

By Geoffrey Miles | Go to book overview

sufficiently human to be aware of her own limitations, shuts herself down, like Gilbert's Galatea returning to her pedestal. The science-fictional and real-life possibilities of the relationship between human beings and mechanical intelligence suggest that the Pygmalion legend will continue to develop over the next century.


Notes
1
Reinhold notes that an alternative eighteenth-century name for the statue was Elissa or Elise, which possibly inspired Shaw's Eliza Doolittle. The name Galatea was borrowed from another Ovidian character, the sea-nymph unwillingly courted by the Cyclops Polyphemus in Met., 13; the two characters are occasionally confused, just as Pygmalion is sometimes confused with his namesake, the tyrannical king of Tyre in Virgil's Aeneid (Rousseau, for instance, locates his Pygmalion in Tyre rather than Cyprus).
2
Brome is alluding to a story usually told of the painter Zeuxis, that, commissioned to paint Helen of Troy, he put together a composite portrait with the eyes of one model, the forehead of another, and so on.
3
Gilbert's version was in turn parodied in the 1884 musical comedy Adonis (which despite its title is primarily a version of Pygmalion). Here the sexes are reversed, as a female sculptor creates and brings to life a statue of a handsome young man; pursued by the sculptor, her patron, and other lovelorn women, the harried Adonis finally opts to return to marble and hang a 'Hands Off' notice round his neck.

-345-

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Classical Mythology in English Literature: A Critical Anthology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xii
  • Part 1 1
  • 1 - The Myth-Kitty 3
  • Notes 19
  • 2 - A Rough Guide to the Gods 20
  • 3 - A Mythical History of the World in One Chapter 35
  • Notes 58
  • Part 2 59
  • 4 - Orpheus 61
  • Notes 74
  • 5 - Venus and Adonis 196
  • Other Versions of Venus and Adonis 329
  • 6 - Pygmalion 332
  • Notes 345
  • Bibliography 450
  • Index of Mythological Names 453
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