‘’Brecht Is Interested in Emotion He Just Doesn’t Want the Audience to Be Overpowered by It.’’ Discuss This Statement Referring to Your Study and Experience of the Play Set for Study.

Topics: Bertolt Brecht, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Epic theatre Pages: 3 (931 words) Published: December 7, 2012

‘’Brecht is interested in emotion he just doesn’t want the audience to be overpowered by it.’’ Discuss this statement referring to your study and experience of the play set for study.

Bertolt Brecht is one of the most prominent figures in 20th-century theatre. His ideas have revolutionised playwriting, production techniques and acting. Brecht identified himself as a Marxist, having an enormous impact on his plays, this being known nowadays as Epic Theatre. Brecht defined it as wherein a play should not cause the spectator to emotionally identify with the action before him or her, but should instead provoke rational self-reflection and a critical view of the actions on the stage. This is known as the “Verfremdungseffekt” or “V effekt”. Unlike dramatists who focused on the universal elements of the human situation and fate, Brecht was interested in the attitudes and behaviour people adopted toward each other in specific historical situations and strongly contradicted Stanislavsky’s teachings. He often based his plays in a different time telling a story that had parallel themes to the social ills he was hoping to illuminate in his own time. In this essay I will explore how Brecht has used these techniques throughout his play “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” to eliminate any emotion felt by the audience.

Brecht engaged in the use of techniques that remind the viewer that the play is an illustration of reality and not reality itself, which he called the Verfremdungseffekt. I believe that In Brecht’s play ‘’The Caucasian Chalk Circle’’ Brecht has successfully used this technique. In act two -‘The Flight to the Northern Mountains’, there are two ironshirts and a Corporal searching for the governess’ baby Michael. Whilst they are travelling the Corporal yells at them “you don‘t like marching. But that won’t help you. It’ll go against you. Sing!” Singing is not a usual form of entertainment for soldiers and does not reflect real life, Brecht uses it...
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