Gender Transformations of the Pygmalion Motif (Olena Pchilka, Lesia Ukrainka, B. Shaw)
Using the comparative method of research, the article deals with the basic myth of Pygmalion and its literary interpretations. The focus is placed on the gender transformation of the Pygmalion motif as seen in the works of Olena Pchilka, Lesia Ukrainka, and Bernard Shaw. Olena Pchilka in her work «Pygmalion» uses hypertextuality, which works to completely discredit the character for whom the striving towards the aesthetic, ethical, social and national ideal of a woman was only a pretense. In
... y a pretense. In her work, Lesia Urainka demonstrates only allusive references to the Pygmalion motif. The drama «Stone Owner» depicts the idea of the Commander statue coming to life, and offers a controversial rethinking of Don Juan's image. The character's spiritual petrification happens due to the gradual abandonment of his personal worldviews as a result of Anna's influence. In the relationship between Anna and Don Juan, the gender roles are reversed – it is Anna, who takes the role of Pygmalion, seeking to transform Don Juan according to her ideal. Lesia Ukrainka's drama «In the wilderness» («U Pushchi») delves into the idea of it being possible/impossible to fully realize the artistic intent of the sculptor to create the perfect work of art, and the influence of the viewer on such possibility. The English playwright B. Shaw created an intellectual drama in which he paradoxically reworked the mythological proto-text. The play depicts an experiment of a sort, and is, therefore, considered from an angle of a psychological phenomenon – the Pygmalion effect.