Study Questions and Essay Topics
Define the Verfremdungseffekt, the alienation or "distanciation" effect. Discuss an example of this effect in Mother Courage.
Discuss the role of detail in the Brechtian theater. Illustrate your argument with an example from Mother Courage.
Discuss Brecht's staging of music in Mother Courage. What are some of its effects?
Suggested Essay Topics
Discuss the trope of maternity in Mother Courage. How do various characters conceive of motherhood? What is the role of children in the play? What is the relation between maternity and war?
Mother Courage runs her business throughout the play. Discuss one example of her business practice, for instance, the sale of the capon, the purchase of the ammunition. How does it function in the plot? What might it reveal about character? What is its relation to war?
Consider the trope of disfigurement in the play (i.e. Yvette's obesity, the One- Eyed Man, and Kattrin's wound). What does disfigurement suggest about character? What is the relation between disfigurement and war?
What is the relation between virtue and allegory in the play?
What is the role of religion in Mother Courage? Isolate two or three examples for comparison.
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