Brecht 's Influence On The World Of The Musical Miss Saigon Essay

1774 Words Nov 1st, 2016 8 Pages
The topic of war is one that has been discussed thoroughly in plays and musicals; some use it as a dramatic device to move the plot forward and others use it to make a political statement, but often it does both jobs either way. One playwright who used war in his work to make a political statement was Bertolt Brecht and besides having strong views on war he also had strong views on theatre. Brecht believed that theatre was more effective if it distanced the audience from the world of the play, thereby forcing the audience to think clearly and critically about the play. This was the basis of Brecht’s ‘Alienation Effect’ which he then used in his play Mother Courage and Her Children to express his opinions about the dangers of war on society. The question now is whether or not Brecht’s alienation effect is, indeed, effective. To answer this question this paper will compare Mother Courage and Her Children to the musical Miss Saigon, which, rather than alienating the audience from the world of the play, brings the audience further in with an emotionally charged plot. To determine whether eliciting an emotional response from the audience or a critical examination is better one can start by examining what effect war has had on the surrounding environment within the world of the play. In Mother Courage and Her Children the world in which Mother Courage lives has been torn by war for many years everything is in some state of disrepair, including the people. Since Mother Courage’s…

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