The Life and Works of Bertolt Brecht Essay

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The Life and Works of Bertolt Brecht

In this essay I will consider the life and works of Bertolt Brecht, the famous theatre practitioner who has had such a dramatic impact on our understanding of the theatre and acting. First of all I will give a biography of Brecht because it is important to know the background of his life in order to understand the motives he had for writing and producing plays in the way he did. We will see a direct correlation between events in his life and the plays and techniques that he propagated. I will then move to explore the methods and techniques that Brecht developed, looking at how they came about and who influenced his work. I will look at Brecht’s theory of Epic theatre, tracing the beginnings
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He was studying medicine but his real interests were in drama and the theatre. During the war he was posted as a nurse in an army hospital near his home thereby escaping the horrors of the front line. He was dealing with severely wounded soldiers and this shocked him to the realities of death and made him see the futility of war, something that rallied him to fight for peace through his political plays. After the war Brecht went to Munich to find work in the theatre and then on to Berlin, where he stayed. He quickly got to know the main actors and directors of the time and soon became involved in directing and performing. He gathered a group of friends who worked with him and on his behalf, thus began his habit of collaborating with others.

In the 1920’s Brecht married Helene Weigel who remained his wife for the rest of his life. He also wrote these three plays: Drums in the
Night, In The Jungle of the Cities and Baal. Each of these plays was directed by leading directors at the time and they attracted al lot of scandal because of the provoking content and new style. He also undertook his first collaboration with the composer Kurt Weill in
Mahogonny and then The Threepenny Opera, which was immensely popular and firmly established him as a leading playwright and theatre practitioner. He started to develop his