Home Analysis Mother Courage and Her Children : Brecht, Bertolt

Mother Courage and Her Children : Brecht, Bertolt

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Mother Courage and Her Children

Author

Brecht, Bertolt

Timeline

Brecht Bertolt was a German poet, playwright and theatre practitioner, influenced by his Marxist thought. He was born on 19th February 1898, in Augsburg, Germany and died on 14th August 1956 in Mitte, Berlin, Germany.

Synopsis

For personal survival a canteen woman with nickname Mother Courage has to depend on war. Her profiteering doesn’t get interrupted by her three children’s death, one by one. Even under enemy fire, she safeguards her merchandise hence she is nicknamed ‘Mother Courage’.

During the 30 years war in Europe in the 17th century, the Sergeant and Recruiting Officer find difficulty in recruiting soldiers. In the attempt to make profit from the war, Mother Courage trades with soldiers and pulls the cart with, Swiss Cheese, Kattrin and Eilif, her three children. Eilif is led off by the Recruiting Officer with a promise to her of a transaction, praised for stealing cattle and slaughtering peasants. Mother Courage berates her son for Mother Courage and Her Childrenstupidly risking his life.  Swiss Cheese is taken away 3 years later for a regiment paymaster’s job but is later captured in an attempt to return the paybox to the General, during a Catholic attack.  Mother Courage tries using money and mortgages her cart to bargain with the soldiers, but they shoot Swiss Cheese. When his body is bought, Mother Courage refuses to identify him and the body is thrown in a pit. When the Protestant town of Halle is besieged by the Catholics, Mother Courage is away trading, while Kattrin climbs the roof, beats the drum in an effort to awaken people of the town so that they anticipate the siege. People in the town awaken, however she is shot when the soldiers return.  The following morning Mother Courage sits near her daughter’s corpse sings a lullaby and pays peasants to bury her. In her cart now, there is so little left to sell. She easily pulls the cart and rolls back into action again.

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