Brecht Reflective Statement

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5/17/12 Word Count: 391 Question: How was your understanding of cultural and contextual considerations of the work developed through the interactive oral? Work used: Mother Courage and her Children written by Bertolt Brecht Mother Courage is a revolutionary play written by the 20th century German playwright Bertolt Brecht for the sole purpose of opposing the rise of Fascism in Nazi Germany. Through this interactive oral, I learned about Brecht’s contributions to modern theatre, such as the concept of epic theatre, also known as the V-effect, as well as the concept of the alienation effect. I discovered that Brecht was a strong follower of Marxism, and as such, the concept of Marxism was prevalent throughout many of his plays. Due to this, Brecht created the concept of epic theatre, where the individual character is less important than a social or political message put forth by the author. The invention of the concept of epic theatre was revolutionary, as most theatres made use of the theme of naturalism, which was conventional, and the norm. I learned that Ibsen believed that naturalism was a ‘slavish imitation of life,’ and he sought to liberate modern theatre from this kind of concept by using the concept of detachment; he felt as though the audience would not truly understand the message he was trying to convey through the play if they did not feel as though they were detached from it. I learned that the detachment effect is known as the alienation effect, or as the Verfremdungseffekt (V-effect), and that it is used primarily to distance the audience from emotion so that they do not lose themselves in the character that the author created, and instead become conscious and detached critics of the play who are not swayed by the character’s emotions. Mother Courage’s character in his play “Mother Courage and her Children” makes use of the alienation effect

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