George Bernard Shaw

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Eliza Doolittle

First introduced as the flower-girl in Act One, and called variously Liza, Eliza, and Miss Doolittle, Eliza is the subject of Higgins and Pickering's experiment and bet. While not formally well-educated, she is quick-witted and… read analysis of Eliza Doolittle

Henry Higgins

Higgins is a brilliant linguist, who studies phonetics and documents different dialects and ways of speaking. He first appears in Act One as the suspicious man in the back of the crowd jotting down notes… read analysis of Henry Higgins

Colonel Pickering

A gentleman, a colonel and an academic, who studies Indian dialects. While he shares Higgins' interest in linguistics, he is not as extreme in his devotion to his intellectual pursuits. While he gives Higgins the… read analysis of Colonel Pickering

Clara Eynsford Hill

From a rather wealthy family, Clara is fed up with all of the rules of proper manners for her class. In Act Three, she enjoys Eliza's inappropriate conversation (and tells her mother that it is… read analysis of Clara Eynsford Hill

Freddy Eynsford Hill

Clara's brother, who becomes fond of Eliza in Act Three. In Act Five, we learn that he has been writing her love letters, and Eliza perhaps wants to marry him. He represents a way for… read analysis of Freddy Eynsford Hill
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Alfred Doolittle

Eliza's father, who appears at Higgins' house in Act Two, asking for money (but not too much money) in return for allowing Eliza to stay with him. Eliza doesn't trust her father, and he doesn't… read analysis of Alfred Doolittle

Mrs. Higgins

Henry Higgins' mother, who hosts the Eynsford Hills at her wealthy home in Act Three. She is initially upset by Eliza's intrusion into her polite company, but is kind to her. She tries to tell… read analysis of Mrs. Higgins

Ezra D. Wannafeller

The wealthy American who leaves money to Mr. Doolittle in his will. He stands in for the American idea of meritocratic social mobility—the belief that those who work hard can move up the social ladder—as… read analysis of Ezra D. Wannafeller
Minor Characters
Mrs. Eynsford Hill
A friend of Mrs. Higgins, Mrs. Hill first appears as the anonymous mother in Act One. Her family is wealthy, but not exceedingly upper-class. She is very concerned with social propriety, and is a bit scandalized in Act Three when Eliza talks inappropriately at Mrs. Higgins' house.
Mrs. Pearce
Higgins' housekeeper, who chastises him about how he treats Eliza and reminds him to mind his manners in front of her.
A bystander who takes cover from the rain under the church portico in act one.
Mrs. Higgins' Parlor-Maid
Mrs. Higgins' maid, who announces various visitors to her house.