Brecht's infulence on Dürrenmatt: The effect of Epic Theatre in The Visit

1158 WordsJun 25, 20185 Pages
In The Visit by Friedrich Dürrenmatt you feel unattached and are constantly reminded that you are in fact watching a play, nothing else. Dürrenmatt constructs this play using Bertolt Brecht’s epic theatre, a twentieth-century theatrical movement that was a reaction against popular forms of theatre, Dürrenmatt uses epic theatre in his work, The Visit, because he wants his audience to analysis what is being said and done instead of what they see and hear. An intellectual audience member will make connections when watching an epic play. Epic plays often relate back to a fable or a historical event (McDonald). This helps the audience relate to the play because they are aware of that subject matter. Brecht wanted his theatrical…show more content…
Hitler, in the same way, never dirtied his hands and had the people commit the crime. The town of Gullen was very poverished just like Germany at the time. Early on in the play the mayor says "Gone three years ago. Sold to America. Our coffers are empty. Not a single soul pays taxes.” (Dürrenmatt 13). On the same page he also says “You won’t fine a thing in the Town Hall apart from one old typewriter.” Gullen was prosperous before they sold the factories overseas. Later in the play, on page 66, Claire says "I own those too...your lives have been a useless waste." meaning she was the buyer and she drove them to poverty. Claire is also the symbol for humankind, the schoolmaster said “Like one of the fates she made me think of an avenging Greek goddess. I suspect her of spinning destiny's webs herself.” (Dürrenmatt 26). She is repeated throughout history in different areas. She is thought of as unkillable and a force of nature. She herself on page 31 says “I’m unkillable.” She detaches any feelings the audience may have for Ill or herself by constantly bring up their circumstances, the unjust she has felt, and her vengance. The unnamed characters are constantly talking and are always present throughout the play. They push away the audience by doing unrealistic things. For example, they raise their debt and means of living by purchasing items “on account.” (Dürrenmatt 43). Another time the audience retracts from the play is when Ill

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