Bertolt Brecht's Epic Theater

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Topic B

Theater is a relatively dynamic form of art. It has been adapting and amending itself to satisfy the requirements of different eras. Over the years it has manifested itself in different forms. Arguably the most appreciable and contentious of these forms is Bertolt Brecht’s “Epic Theater”. Bertolt Brecht is revolutionary playwright and brilliant poet of the 20th century. He is notorious for exhibiting socio-economic issues through his art (Gorshein). “Theater of War” is a documentary about the reconstruction of Brecht’s play, “Mother Courage and Her Children”, as imagined by Tony Kushner. Although it manages to encapsulate the genius of Brecht as a playwright, it fails to convey Brecht’s ideas the way he intended.
The documentary does
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It is a counter response to empathy.” (Gorshein) Brecht is arguably the primary influence in the development and blooming of Epic Theater (Brecht). Professor Gorshein discussed how Epic Theater’s main purpose is neither for entertainment nor a sense of escapism, but rather, a means to display contemporary and historical issues. It is a platform to discuss social and political injustice (Gorshein). Techniques of Epic Theater are utilized in “Mother Courage and her Children”. These techniques allow Brecht to illustrate the convolutions and complexity of a common man with clarity and accuracy (Gorshein). He reveals the inherent difficulty in maintaining a moral compass while being influenced by norms and economic…show more content…
Several amendments were made to invoke a similar type of message and emotion to a more contemporary public. One of these variations is a change in the setting. Iraq, being a more easily relatable country, was where the reenactment was appeared to be situated (Theater of War). However, in attempt to make it more relevant to a contemporary audience, Kushner was unable to work within the confines of “Epic Theater”. Kushner had made the reenactment more opinionated than Brecht would have liked. Brecht believed that it was the audience’s right to observe a historical sequence of events and come up with personal conclusions. His play contained merely facts not moral judgments (Gorshein). The essence of “Mother Courage and Her Children” was messages of social, economic and political injustice. Both Kushner and Walter brought these messages to light in “Theater of War” as well (Theater of War). Naturally, any reenactment would share the basic underlying themes of the original play. Although Principles of “Epic Theater” were difficult to find in the reconstruction, few traces were still present. The “simplicity” and “attention to detail” existed within these
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