A Play as a Mirror: Bertolt Brecht's The Life of Galileo

Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) lived in a period when Europe went through the most massive economic, political, and social changes. He witnessed the two World Wars, the revolutions in Austria, Germany, Hungary in 1917-1918, the uprising of Communism in Russia, Fascism in Italy, Nazism in Germany, and the Cold War between the United States and Russia (Geary 2). During the 1930s, the Nazi Party became more and more popular in Germany. In 1934, Adolf Hitler seized control in Germany and became the Fuhrer and Chancellor of the Reich (Gray 90). Brecht, a believer in Marxism and a socialist writer, became an obvious target of the Nazi German Government. When Adolf Hitler came into power in 1933, Brecht was exiled from Germany and his books were under a ban. During his exile from 1938 to 1945, he wrote five masterpieces that established his fame abroad: Mother Courage and Her Children (1939/1941), The Life of Galileo (1938/1943), The Good Woman of Setzuan (1940/1943), Mr. Puntila and his Servant Matti (1941), and The Caucasian Chalk Circle (1944-1945). These plays are slightly different from his earlier propagandist and anti-Nazi works, in which his Marxist views are outspoken. They display human beings' behaviors and ask the...

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