Download PDF by Alfred D. White: Bertolt Brecht’s Great Plays

By Alfred D. White

ISBN-10: 1349032786

ISBN-13: 9781349032785

ISBN-10: 1349032808

ISBN-13: 9781349032808

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Extra resources for Bertolt Brecht’s Great Plays

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An example of an aspect of bourgeois existence consistently so treated by Brecht is the wedding. From the early one-acter The Petty Bourgeois' Wedding to The Caucasian Chalk Circle, the fine words bandied about at weddings are shown as comically unrelated to reality, which is a contract for exploitation. sex, food, money. Brecht thought sexuality in late bourgeois society comical because of the gap between ideology and reality and the fact that a different society could cure this {2, 489: Anmerkungen zur 'Dreigroschenoper').

It is the tremendous social advances in Soviet Russia that justify Brecht's serene optimism about the future despite Stalinist terror. Esslin (pp. ) claims that Brecht continually proves despite himseH that human nature is violent and bad. He forgets that for millions in Russia, and for Brecht, the liberation after 1917 from feudal restraints, exploitation and insecurity was a constant proof of the opposite. The failings of Communism, the show trials and purges under Stalin particularly, disquieted Brecht.

The language is by turns stilted, parodistic, poetic, 36 Bertolt Brecht's Great Plays vulgar, to draw attention to the incongruences of the content. 20 The language of a play need not follow a single convention, realistic or otherwise. Brecht avoids too harmonious language, just as he avoids premature resolutions of dialectical conflicts. Often he works from gesture to language, asking first how a person would move in a given situation, then how he would speak. The result is expressive and, so as to represent the true patterns of gestic speech, ungrammatical.

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Bertolt Brecht’s Great Plays by Alfred D. White


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