Shaw, the larger-than-life playwright who called himself “a bit of an actor,” was often preoccupied with role-playing. In “Acting, by One Who Does Not Believe in It,” a paper delivered at a Fabian meeting in 1889, Shaw asserted that acting—often denounced as shamming—can actually be an avenue to “metaphysical self-realization.” Employing a metadramatic approach to Pygmalion, the following article finds connections between Shaw's career as a dramatist and the mixed outcomes of Henry and Eliza's journeys into “metaphysical self-realization.”

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