Mother Courage and Her Children Themes

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Mother Courage and Her Children takes place during the Thirty Years' War, a religious war (Catholic versus Protestant) which ravaged Europe in the seventeenth century (1618-48). Every event, attitude, and emotion felt in this play is affected by the circumstances of war. Mother Courage's livelihood is based on a canteen wagon through which she sells food and various goods to soldiers. She and her children pull the wagon, following the Swedish regiments to wherever the war takes them.

Each of Mother Courage's children suffer the consequences of war and are eventually destroyed by it. Eilif is recruited when soldiers are needed for the Swedish Protestant army. He becomes a brutal soldier, losing his humanity, his sense of right and wrong, and, ultimately his life. Swiss Cheese joins the same army as a paymaster for a Protestant regiment—he takes the clerical position so that he will...

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This section contains 554 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Mother Courage and Her Children Study Guide
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Mother Courage and Her Children from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.