Mother Courage Essay

765 words - 4 pages

Epic theatre is a genre of theatre that reflects the author’s point of view on social issues of the time period. Epic theatre originated with the purpose to influence the morals and ideas of the audience. Brecht was the leading advocate and playwright for epic theatre. In his most famous play, Mother Courage and her Children, Brecht uses the play as a critique of war. Brecht used his plays to illustrate political and social situations, and apply the traits of epic theatre to the play so the audience will have a reaction. Social structures would dictate the morals of society.
The techniques of epic theatre were used to make the audience question the environment of their society and the ...view middle of the document...

“Brecht wrote that he wanted to show that ‘war, which is a continuation of business by other means, makes the human virtues fatal to their possessors’” (Worthen, 521). The main issue that Brecht wanted to address was obviously how war was seen as a business. “War as a business” is the reason for all the fighting and corruption. The environment is what causes the war, thus affecting the morals of society. In the final scene of Mother Courage, after she lost her daughter she goes on pulling her wagon will she says, “Hope I can pull cart all right by meself. Be all right, now’t much inside it. Got to get back in business again” (Worthen, 547). Even though Mother Courage is against war, she realizes in the end how it works. War is a business, and even though her children are dead, she understands that if she wants to survive she still has to do her job. The play ends with soldiers singing a song as she pulls her wagon around the stage.
Brecht would use the expression “Gesamtkunstwerk” which translates to “integrated works of art” (Willett, 37). Some elements of epic theatre included direct addresses to the audience and music. In each...

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