This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Medea And Mother C Ourage Essay

1283 words - 5 pages


Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Emile Zola’s Therese Raquin are both works with characters that possess maternal instinct. There is not a definite explanation for maternal instinct because it can be viewed differently. Although this is true, there is often a stereotype woman with the ‘right’ qualities of maternal instinct. This often articulates unrealistic images in people’s minds. Instinct means “an imposed set of values, imposed by the society” and the way they think a mother should naturally act by. Realistically, the instinct depends on the mother’s disposition, the way she wants to behave depends on her emotions, which cannot be articulated. Therefore, it is not possible to impose a definite set of values for how a mother should act for it varies from one mother to another.

Mother Courage is a mother who fights for a living so that her three children can survive the war. War to her is a necessity because she needs the business from the soldiers in order to survive, but on the other hand, war is her ultimate enemy. She is doing everything to keep her and her children from being involved with the war. It was her husband’s death that lead to her natural defenses for her children and the war which in turn resulted in expressing her strong maternal instinct.
Also, Mother Courage is forced to make decisions and puts a lot of effort into trying to stay with her children. For example, when the Cook proposes to Mother Courage, Kattrin realizes that the Cook thinks she is a burden and does not like her. Therefore, she decides to leave, but Mother Courage chooses to leave the Cook and follow Kattrin instead. Here, Mother Courage has sacrificed her potential welfare in order to ‘protect’ her only child left.
“[Mother Courage] We’ll go off in t’other direction, and we’ll throw cook’s stuff out so he finds it, silly man.”
But just by looking at this protection towards her children, one cannot readily
Assume that she is a ‘good mother’. Through various sacrifices made by her children, Brecht portrayed traits of human selfishness. For example, when the Recruiter took her bravest son, Eilif away:
“[Recruiter to Eilif] …Got your bounty money here, come along. Eilif stands undecided.”
“[Mother Courage] Half a florin it is.”
Mother Courage, who had always distasted war, loses her most valuable thing, her bravest son to war whilst bargaining the price of a best with the Sergeant. Here, Brecht uses situational irony as an example of how Mother Courage did not ‘meet the criteria’ of a stereotyped maternal instinct. Brecht gave Mother Courage an unconventional response to losing her son, where she is very unsentimental when she realizes her son is lost.
     In a similar situation, when a loving mother realizes her son or daughter is missing, she is most likely to have a much more dramatic and concerned attitude when compared to Mother Courage. Despite the loss of her child, Mother Courage seems to have the opposite of this....

Find Another Essay On Medea And Mother COurage

Empathy in Brecht's The Good Person of Szechwan and Mother Courage and Her Children

2419 words - 10 pages Little Empathy in Brecht's The Good Person of Szechwan and Mother Courage and Her Children Brecht is very successful in creating a form of drama where empathy plays little part. In The Good Person of Szechwan it would seem that every action and word is an attempt to alienate us and halt any identification one may chance to make. The indiscernible use of names for characters exaggerating the oriental sound of them is immediately noticeable

As a designer in a production of Bertolt Brecht's 'Mother Courage and Her Children': "The anti-illusionistic devices in my play arouse curiosity and create understanding."

929 words - 4 pages It is absolutely essential that, as a designer, I have clear decisions about the impact of the theatrical devices I use and what I want to accomplish through my design. By using anti-illusionistic devices in Mother Courage and her Children, specifically by using alienation techniques, I hope to awaken the critical thinking of the audience. I want to encourage the audience to move out of their comfort-zone. I want to encourage the audience to

Delineating the Role of Women in Euripides' Medea

1339 words - 5 pages . Housework and bearing children were their main obligations. They were basically no better than slaves. In the ancient Greek society, Medea would not fit well among fellow Greek women. Her role as a woman in the play was downtrodden. However, her determination and courage caused people to fear her. She was a woman who turned her back on her family and killed her own brother in order to help her husband. Medea had a mind of her own. Since she came

One of the Three Greatest Tragedians of Classical Athens

1499 words - 6 pages ?” (p. 28). After Jason betrayal, she will be exiled with no one to turn to as she already deceived her family for Jason. The children also make Medea seem much more dismal as a mother and her children are much more pitiable than a woman who defies society and causes havoc in her wake. Another aspect of Medea’s personality, which is portrayed by the minor character, is her attitude shift through the play. In the beginning she does not desire the

The Role of Minor Characters in Medea

1524 words - 6 pages skillfully uses the Chorus, the Nurse, and the children to help the audience feel compassionate, relate and understand her. Although these characters are presented separately, in the end they support each other for the most part, although they represent different side of views at others. Euripides by using these characters transforms the play into a representative symbol of freedom and power. Instead of Medea appearing as a heartless mother who only

"Medea" by Euripides, the Embodiment of the New Female in Greek Society

1263 words - 5 pages In Euripides' Medea, the protagonist, portrayed as the main character, abandoned the gender roles of ancient Greek society. As a result of this, Euripides invented a new version of the gender "female." Medea defied perceptions of gender by exhibiting "male" characteristics while existing in the bounds of the "female" mentality. Medea brings a sense of manly courage to woman's gender by slaying Creon and Creusa. She brings power and hubris

Gender Roles in Medea

1352 words - 5 pages rights. Housework and bearing children were their main obligations. They were basically no better than slaves. In the ancient Greek society, Medea would not fit well among fellow Greek women. Her role as a woman in the play was downtrodden. However, her determination and courage caused people to fear her. She was a woman who turned her back on her family and killed her own brother in order to help her husband. Medea had a mind of her own. Since

"Manly Medea" An analysis of Euripides' "The Medea"

1254 words - 5 pages still, all Jason could do was cry to his gods in mourning.Despite the fact that murder is more often associated with men, Medea commits multiple murders. Medea brutally murders her brother, King Creon, the King's daughter Glauke, and finally her own children. Any loss of life is tragic, but Medea crosses another line when she kills her children. "In your grief, too, I weep, mother of little children, you who will murder your own, in vengeance for

Medea- Explain how Medeas hate for Jsaon and Glause motivate her actions and lead to her eventual downfall

585 words - 2 pages so much that she committed one of the most inhumane acts that a mother can do, kill their children. Clearly, Medea's actions being affected by her hate for Jason and Glause transforms Medea into a work of startling depth and power.

The Value and Consequences of Women as Property

1118 words - 5 pages woman and Medea goes above and beyond outrage. Her spite overrides her maternal instinct to protect her children from harm which results in their murders. The chorus pleads with Medea to change her mind, “Where will you find it, / the awful courage? / The terrible nerve – how can you? ” (Euripides 38.871-73). She does not respond, but in the last lines of the play she tells Jason, “The pain is good, as long as you’re not laughing” (Euripides

Medea: Euripides' Tragic Hero

1511 words - 6 pages , / Friends, when I saw that bright look in the children's eyes. / I cannot bear to do it" (1016-1018). Medea loves her children like every mother should; yet she also hates her unfaithful husband with a passion. Thus, Medea' s emotions are torn in agony. Although she carries out the dreadful deed ofher children's murders, and her actions may be unjustifiable, her poor emotional state is understood Euripides' portrayal ofMedea's internal struggles

Similar Essays

Mother Courage And Capitulation Essay

531 words - 2 pages Mother Courage and Capitulation Brecht tells the reader that capitulation is not just an idea but a feeling and the reader's objection to the world is not as strong as it once was. He tells the reader this through Mother Courage's refusal to capitulate through out the entire work. In today's world, people like Mother Courage cannot relate to capitulation as a feeling because of the regulations that today's world has that Mother Courage's

Mother Courage And Her Children By Bertolt Brecht

1317 words - 6 pages Practice WiT- Mother Courage and her Children Topic: Analysis of war as a business in the play mother courage and her children In Brecht’s play “Mother Courage and her Children” he makes it clear that he thinks that war is a “continuation of business by other means”. To him war is not an unnatural occurrence or even a mistake made by society however it is one of societies many preconditions and is an unavoidable occurrence. Given that this is

Context In Mother Courage And Her Children By Brecht

798 words - 3 pages Context in Mother Courage and her Children by Brecht There are many different contexts to the play and they are all influenced by social, cultural and historical implications. The context of the play itself and how it was written and performed for the first time and now were all influenced by events that occurred in Brecht’s life. The play itself discusses the thirty year war but is a clear reflection of the Second World War. Brecht

Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler And Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage And Her Children

1192 words - 5 pages Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler and Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler and Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children present two strongly defined female heroines whose actions not only adversely affect the other characters’ lives but also suggest a fundamental problem with their societies. Both playwrights establish the macroscopic view of society’s ills in the microscopic, individual