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Bertolt Brecht
Social and Political Messages…read more

Slide 2

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German Expressionism influenced Brecht'
s earliest work, but it was his
preoccupation with Marxism and the
idea that man and society could be
intellectually analyzed that led him to
develop his theory of "epic theatre."…read more

Slide 3

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It is an economic and socio-
political worldview and method
of socio-economic inquiry that
centres upon a materialist
interpretation of history, a
dialectical view of social change,
and analysis and critique of the
development of capitalism.…read more

Slide 4

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· Although Brecht never joined the Communist party, he
began to study the works of Karl Marx in the late 1920s
and sympathized with the Communist cause.
· During the years of Hitler's rise to power, he wrote and
staged some of his major plays, in which important social
questions, motivated by contemporary events, were
raised. He drew attention to the need for class vigilance
against the danger of the war, which the Nazis were
preparing. On the eve of the Nazi dictatorship, he raised
the alarm in the play 'Round Heads and Peaked Heads',
which was the first exposure of the National Socialists
(the members of Hitler's party).…read more

Slide 5

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The Nazis
· In February 1933, Brecht's career was
suddenly and violently interrupted as
the Nazis came to power in Germany.
· After Reichstag was burned down, him
and his family fled to Prague.
· His books and plays were banned in
Germany as they opposed the Nazis
views.…read more

Slide 6

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Round Heads and Peaked
This play is described by the author as a
'horror tale' in blank verse. Though
the basic plot loosely follows that of
Shakespeare's Measure For
Measure, the play in fact is an
allegory of the rise of Hitler (Angelo
Iberin), a Roundhead who is
appointed temporary ruler when the
Regent leaves the country. Towards
the end of the play the Regent returns
and tells Angelo to prepare for war
against a threatening distant country;
the people are subdued and the
revolutionaries executed.…read more

Slide 7

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