The importance of the social and historical context of Mother Courage and her Children

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The importance of the social and historical context of Mother Courage and her Children

In Brecht’s lifetime he experienced poverty and the horrors of war therefore he has strong views on both subject, these are clearly reflected in “Mother Courage and Her Children”. The play has a strong anti-war message and many of the main character are poverty stricken.

Brecht started writing “Mother Courage” at the start of World War 2; he had to go into exile because the Nazis disagreed with his political views and opinions on the war. This meant he had to travel a lot during the war just like “Mother Courage” travelled in the play. The outbreaks of World War Two also lead him to write “Mother Courage” as he wanted to warn people against getting involved in the war.

Brecht created Epic Theatre to comment on social, political and economical views and to make people think about themselves and how they could change for the better. Brecht had strong communist views which meant he wanted a stateless, classless, social organisation based on common ownership, these views are reflect in many of his plays. In “Mother Courage” the characters that are higher class like the Chaplain are shown as slimy and pompous.

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Brecht created the Verfumdungseffekt or distancing effect. This was created to stop the audience getting emotionally involved in the play, instead they were supposed to think about the issues addressed in the play. Brecht did this so the audience didn’t suspend their disbelief and would leave the theatre thinking about how they could apply the messages in the play to their own lives and not how upset they were when a character died.

Brecht set Mother Courage during the 30 years war because it had similarities to World War one, it started mainly in Germany and was between ...

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