Epic Theatres Essay Research Paper Epic Theatres
Epic Theatres Essay, Research Paper
& # 8220 ; Epic Theatre turns the witness into an perceiver, but arouses his capacity for
action, forces him to take determinations & # 8230 ; the witness stands outside, studies. & # 8221 ;
( Bertolt Brecht. Brecht on Theatre. New York: Hill & A ; Yang, 1964. p37 )
The construct of? heroic poem theater? was brought to life by German dramatist, Bertolt
Brecht. This way of theater was inspired by Brecht & # 8217 ; s Marxist political
beliefs. It was slightly of a political platform for his political orientations. Epic poem
theater is the assimilation of instruction through amusement and is the
antithesis of Stanislavsky & # 8217 ; s Realism and besides Expressionism. Brecht believed
that, unlike heroic poem theater, Expressionism and Realism were incapable of exposing
human nature and so had no educational value. He conjectured that his signifier of
theater was capable of arousing a alteration in society. Brecht & # 8217 ; s purpose was
to promote the audience to chew over, with critical withdrawal, the moral
quandary presented before them.
In order to analyze and measure the action happening on phase, Brecht believed
that the audience must non let itself to go emotionally involved in the
narrative. Rather they should, through a series of anti-illusive devices, feel
alienated from it. The consequence of this calculated exclusion makes it hard
for the audience to sympathize with the characters and their quandary. Therefore,
they could analyze the drama & # 8217 ; s societal or political message and non the existent
events being performed on phase. This procedure is called Verfremdungseffekt, or
the disaffection consequence, where alternatively of placing with the characters, the
audience is reminded that they are watching merely a portraiture of world.
Several well-known Brechtian dramas include Drums in the Night, Edward 2, The
Threepenny Opera, Rise and Fall of the Town of Mahoganny, The Life of Galileo,
The Good Person of Szechwan, Triple-A Plowed Under, One-Third of a State,
Mother Courage and her kids and the Caucasic Chalk Circle.
A drama whose dramatic construction and didactic intents epitomises heroic theater is
The Caucasic Chalk Circle ( CCC ) . The prologue of this drama transpires in a
Caucasic small town of the Soviet Union, where the people of this small town are
being presented a drama called? The Chalk Circle? . This drama is narrated by a?
Singer? and embarks on the narrative of a servant miss, Grusha, who rescues the
governor & # 8217 ; s boy when their metropolis falls under besieging. The boy, Michael, has been
left buttocks, without so much as a backward glimpse, by his flying female parent.
Grusha flights, with Michael in her weaponries, to the mountains where they live for
over a twelvemonth. Along this journey, infinite topographic points and people are encountered,
a figure that would merely happen in heroic poem theater.
In genuinely heroic manner, the drama so regresses to the beginning of the narrative and
introduces a adult male, Azdak. By opportunity this character becomes an amoral and about
absurd justice in Grusha and Michael & # 8217 ; s former metropolis. The waies of Grusha and
Azdak cross when Grusha is summoned to the test that will find who is to
hold detention of Michael. His biological female parent or the peasant Grusha who has
cared for him the yesteryear old ages? Azdak & # 8217 ; s governing consequences from the result of the?
Chalk Circle? trial. Grusha is awarded the kid and hence, though the jurisprudence has
succumbed, justness has prevailed. It is arguable that Brecht & # 8217 ; s message in this
was to the Germans, that in order to continue justness they must revolt against
Hitler & # 8217 ; s jurisprudence.
Many constituents of The CCC trade name it to be an heroic play. The Singer narrates
what is to happen at the beginning of each scene, so that the audience is
familiar with sufficiency of the secret plan in order for them to forbear from going
emotionally involved. Ideas that could merely be expressed through monologues
are besides executed by the Singer. This individual to boot allows the drama to
uninhibitedly change topographic point and clip by merely mentioning several words. The ability
of changing the state of affairs and clip is another component of heroic poem theater. The
Singer accomplishes the passage from Grusha & # 8217 ; s narrative to Azdak & # 8217 ; s and this
action aids in weakening the audience & # 8217 ; s battle with Grusha & # 8217 ; s predicament.
Brecht has calculated the character of Grusha to be one that the audience does
non wish to place with. Her redemption of Michael is non a maternal and baronial
act but more of a demoralized surrender. Throughout her on-going battle
for endurance she is non? brave & # 8217 ; but insidious. However, she does disregard
her ain involvements, seting her life in hazard, and is therefore humane. This
action could be evaluated as a farther societal directive of Brecht & # 8217 ; s, once more aimed
at the Germans. It could stand for that they can merely be humane by endeavoring to
thwart Hitler, though they would be jeopardizing their lives by making so. The
being of a societal message in this drama farther indicates that the CCC is
so an illustration of heroic poem theater.
When executing an heroic play many Brechtian disaffection techniques can be
incorporated. To exemplify these possible techniques, scene 6 of the CCC will
be briefly studied and directed. This scene begins with a narrative by the
Singer. During this speech the Singer could be completing raising the sets up
on phase, showing to the audience that the scenery and props are merely that
and non reliable. In Brecht & # 8217 ; s clip he frequently used a German theater called the
Theater am Schiffbauerdamn where the auditorium was structured in an extravagant
manner close to fantasize, while its phase was blunt and mechanical. This contrast
reminded the audience that, while they were there to be entertained, they were
besides to believe scientifically. Therefore, a theater resembling this layout could be
In Brechtian plays great attention is taken to symbolically portray what societal category
each character belongs to and so the costumes of Grusha and the governor & # 8217 ; s married woman
would greatly differ. Soldiers called? Ironshirts? appear in this scene and
these characters could talk in mechanical and non-human voices and motions.
By making this the Ironshirts would be symbolic of their characters, instead than
realistic, and so the audience would once more experience alienated.
Another popular Verfremdungseffekt consequence is to deluge the phase with a harsh,
white visible radiation. This induces the audience to retrieve that once more they are merely
watching a reenactment of world. It would hence be most profitable to
use this technique when there is the menace that the audience is going
involved. Hence, this device should be implemented at the critical minute of
the Chalk Circle trial and before Azdak announces his descision.