The Obvious is Absent in Mother Courage Essay

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The Obvious is Absent in Mother Courage

Brecht's intentions when writing Mother Courage were to communicate his beliefs and make people aware of two major issues facing society: war and capitalism. According to Brecht, people deserve the wars they get if they subscribe to a political system that is unfair and favors a specific sector of society, namely capitalism, in which it is up to the individual to secure his own means of survival. In other words, if the system is unjust in any way, war and conflict is inevitable. For this to be understood, it would be essential that the audience see the play for what it is, as opposed to becoming engaged in its story. This means that they would have to be alienated from the play, and
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A banner was also used to introduce every scene, as opposed to a narrator, as was most common in dramatic performances of the day. This innovative technique appeared unusual to the audience and differed from the traditional storytelling manner. Also, as words were not being spoken to them, it was difficult to get caught up in the story, as it were to be led into an emotion by, for example, an excited tone of voice. In addition, scene changes were made in full view of the audience, reminding them of its existence as a play, again alienating them from the impression of a "true life" tale. This sense was what was intentionally put forth in other plays of the time, and one method used was to communicate the impression that a fourth wall had been cut off from the scene and that the audience was viewing incidents in the characters' lives, almost as if they were spying on them. In Brecht's play, however, this effect was dispensed with; spectators were not intended to become involved, thus the fact that it was merely a play was constantly enforced. With regards to acting, actors were not meant to "become" their characters or persuade anyone of a transformation, they were required simply to show the character's behaviour. They did not intend to evoke empathy, but to startle the audience into objective thought. Theatrical illusion was used to the most minimal extent stage machinery improved some representations of reality, but not enough to draw the audience

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