Mother Courage and Her Children Essay

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In this 1963 essay, Brustein examines Brecht's political motivations in creating Mother Courage and Her Children. Finding the play to be a prime example of the playwright's pacifist views, the critic asserts that the work is a "Marxist indictment of the economic motives behind international aggression."

Brecht's masterly chronicle of the Thirty Years War, Mother Courage and Her Children, is often interpreted as a straightforward pacifist document, but it is not simply that. It is also a relentless Marxist indictment of the economic motives behind international aggression. If property is theft in The Threepenny Opera, it is rape, pillage, and murder in Mother Courage—war, in short, is an extension not of diplomacy but of free enterprise. As for the financier, he is no longer a gangster, like Macheath. He is now a cynical warlord—like the Swedish King Gustavus, who pretends to be animated by religious zeal but...

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This section contains 1,236 words
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