Existence of Galileo

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Brecht’s progress epic movie theater challenged many aspects of the well-known conventions of naturalism and expressionism that were prevalent during his rise to prominence in the 1920s. In The Lifestyle of Galileo, elements of impressive theatre such as the use of track and verse, and, most notably, the display of arguments and thinking as opposed to emotion and sense, would have disconcerted an audience mainly exposed to naturalistic concepts. The main reason for this is the radically different way in which one must watch and respond to the theatre. In this dissertation, I will assess the profound variances between the conventional naturalistic or perhaps ‘dramatic’ movie theater, and the fresh ‘epic’ theater formulated by Brecht.

Brecht fantastic contemporaries had been exposed to the naturalistic crisis of playwrights such as Gerhardt Hauptmann, prior to the development of Brecht’s own practice of epic theatre. Viewers expectation included the principle of the suspension of disbelief, whereby the group would neglect they are viewing a play and become complicit in the actions. Characters had been explored and developed comprehensive in order to hook up the audience on a sympathetic level, the morals, sympathies and judgments were handed right to the audience instead of suggested. It was true of expressionist movie theater, which was also popular at this point. Esslin provides criticised this form of theatre, while, in his thoughts and opinions, it attempts to create ‘the maximum impression of emotional intensity simply by indulgence in hysterical outbursts and paroxysms of uncontrolled roaring and inarticulate anguish’ and included ‘orgies of vocal excessive and apoplectic breast beating’ (Esslin 70: 88). Indeed, Brecht located such remarkable theatre being lacking in intellectual provocation, and thus wanted to develop a style of movie theater which required more, emotionally, from the target audience. Rorrison records that ‘from the beginning of his career Brecht had fought a jogging battle resistant to the conventional cinema of his day which will he ignored as ‘culinary’, since, like expert preparing food, it delighted the feelings without impinging on the mind’ (Rorrison: xxxiv). Indeed, Brecht went on to develop a type of theater that solicited the audience to generate informed and subjective judgments about the difficulties presented. He questioned: ‘how can theater be entertaining and at the same time helpful? How can it be taken¦from a place of illusion into a place of insight? ‘ (Brecht 1939).

In The Existence of Galileo, Brecht shows a scientific debate about the universe, the group is not really expected to understand the heroes, as they are in naturalistic cinema. Indeed, Galileo is a essentially non-heroic leading part, in that we are not privy to his thought processes as one may be in one a Shakespearean character’s soliloquy, and Brecht invites the audience to make conclusions on the technological debate and never to feel catharsis or perhaps sympathy with characters. This could be a major challenge for those used to making use of their accord rather than their very own reason with their experience of episode.

In contrast to the ‘fourth wall’ meeting of naturalistic theatre, Brecht used the verfremdungseffekt or perhaps ‘alienation technique’ to ensure that the group was not influenced by their feelings and could make subjective results about the historical account. Certainly, inside the Life of Galileo, the characters are rarely explored or presented in a way that would suggest obvious spectator compassion, as the scenes comprise almost totally of academic discourses and demonstrations, the scenes are representational of historic events (presented for didactic purposes), which usually differs from naturalistic drama that shows action to get happening in the present, right before the eyes with the spectators (indented to produce an emotional response).

Brecht’s development of the principle of gestus also helps to advise the audience the actors are not the heroes themselves, and they are merely accounting for a previous event. Unlike the strategy expected by Brecht’s modern day audience, whereby the acting professional works to recognize with their persona, gestus is definitely the concept of representing a basic social attitude in a stylized method, which helps to make a point rather than exploiting, by using an emotional level, the actor-audience relationship. As an example, The Initially Secretary replies ‘(mechanically)’ (Brecht 1980: 61), the characterisation is representational of a form of role, as opposed to a life-like impersonation. In Brecht’s productions, ‘no psychological faking was tolerated’ (Volker 1979: 72) and actors were asked to almost narrate the characters’ actions and actions rather than turning out to be the character. Cruz notes that, ‘by means of gestus, legendary theatre draws the spectator away from the high quality play, with its closed varieties and buyer ideologies, breaking the play’s events open to view and leaving them available at the play’s conclusion. Gestus attempts to energize the viewer to continue the written text outside the theatre’ (Smith: 493). Brecht’s intentions are indeed to allow his market to make their particular conclusions in the information they’ve been presented, the ‘naturalist’ audience would have been more knowledgeable about being spoon-fed a decisive moral or feeling.

Brecht initial developed gestus to satirise fascists, although also ‘probably sensed¦that issues facing females, as estranged and voiceless members of society, would articulate his own views’ (Smith: 491). In picture 3, Galileo dismisses Virginia’s interest in the telescope, saying ‘it’s not just a toy’ (Brecht 1980: 31), when the girl asks to have a look. He can then ‘Talking past his daughter to Sagredo’ (Brecht 1980: 33). This demonstrates how Brecht undermines his characters for making us preserve a critical detachment, his inclusion of these kinds of obvious sexism (acknowledged in the stage directions) illustrates how Brecht’s Marxist beliefs motivate the audience to challenge the status quo. As a result, here Brecht demonstrates the injustices of the privileged toward those with fewer power. Absolutely, ‘the achievement of gestus depends on the production’s sensitivity to context and audience’ (Smith: 494). Consequently , by using this guide, Brecht is suggesting the value of cultural change through his epic principles. Though unsettling, this sort of issues elevated in this perform were of relevance to the contemporary market. Indeed, throughout the satirical characteristics of gestus, the audience can be exposed even more explicitly for the themes and purpose of the play compared to the conventional naturalistic theatre.

In Landscape 6, the stage directions describe the atmosphere because ‘extremely hilarious’ (Brecht 80: 50). Solennité may be expected in this picture as, in naturalistic cinema, the tension while Galileo awaits the benefits of his case can be created so the audience may sympathise together with the character. However , giving it a ‘hilarious’ atmosphere (with the monks comically mocking Galileo) steers away from this kind of so that the target audience may make their particular judgments about the actions without being designed to feel a certain emotion. This will have been a peculiar transform for the spectators accustomed to the building of suspense and tension that articulates the way the audience should certainly feel. Through this, Brecht does not enforce a specific feelings on the observers, so that they may make independent decision of the actions.

In The Life of Galileo, Brecht uses imagery as rhetoric devices, which is further a sign of a story in place of a dramatic story, exploring significantly less into figure and more into the issue in the tale. For instance, in scene 7, Galileo gives the example of when he was fresh: ‘When I was so high¦I stood on a ship and called away ‘The banks is moving away. ‘ Today I realise the shore was standing continue to and the ship moving away’ (Brecht 80: 57) This simple, but effective, image that this individual uses to clarify the realization of new theories and discoveries in the world of research serves as a rhetorical gadget, aiding Brecht’s argument, rather than the audience’s romance with the protagonist. It also really helps to shift the perspectives with the audience and challenge their particular fundamental assumptions. This is likewise true in the example of the oyster and the pearl that Galileo uses to describe the importance of reason over trust (Brecht 80: 66), which will would think, to the market, more like a stylistic disagreement than realistic dialogue. Brecht outlines the between remarkable and epic theatre as being concerned with reason rather than sense. Indeed, these types of images happen to be fluently sent rhetoric, and so less naturalistic, and more associated with an ‘argument’ compared to a ‘suggestion’, ‘epic theatre was going to tell a story in a way that asked the audience to consider the poker site seizures involved after which to make their particular assessment of them’ (Rorrison: xxxvi) In scene several, Brecht uses Lorenzo dalam Medici’s popular poem: ‘this lovely early spring cannot last/ So pluck your tulips before Might is past’ (Brecht 1980: 60). This reference to Galileo’s limited timespan in which to research his ideas portrays the info the audience needs in a stylized way, so that they are getting given details of the story rather than learning more about the thought procedures of the personas, which could cause improved audience sympathy and take away from a subjective evaluation of events.

In addition , scenes 15 and 12-15 include the tracks and role-play with sock puppets. The tracks are more obviously ‘gestic’ than the dialogue (much like the ‘epic’ demonstrations of fundamental theories presented in comic and infantile ways, such as the apple or the couch demonstrations of the rotation of the earth surrounding the sun) which will would have recently been more disturbing for an audience accustomed to viewing realistic action. It is, yet , of particular importance to portray these ‘epic’ moments as the whole play is based on the disputes for and against Galileo’s theories, therefore must be understood by the target audience even if it seems like less naturalistic, the emphasis, in Brecht’s productions, was on the audience’s own up to date judgement and less on showing a realistic history. The Life of Galileo, especially, is anti-emotionalist because the theme of the play asks the audience to use this kind of independent view rather than sympathy, Galileo’s theories of reason over faith directly reflection Brecht’s hypotheses of the significance of personal reflection over determined catharsis.

Slide predictions and music aid the verfremdungseffekt by commenting around the action itself, so that ‘the audience may take pleasure in taking problem with the comments. Slides and music, i want to say, make a kind of meta-representation of events’ (Stewart and Nicholls: 60) or ‘anti-illusionistic devices to reduce suspense’ (Rorrison: xxxviii)- for example , when, in scene several Galileo’s letter appears on a curtain. A group used to naturalist theatre will find this unsettling because of the way it draws focus on the optical illusion being presented. However , ‘to suggest that scenic headings are devices which destroy puzzle is like saying newspaper headlines make browsing the reports unnecessary’ (Needle: 201). Indeed, in legendary theatre, we should know the end result, and with anti-naturalistic cinema we are even more engaged while using consciously unnatural process rather than the dramatic quality. By choosing a well known historical narrative with a famous outcome, Brecht was still left free to try out presentation that was much less expected by audience.

Unlike most naturalistic plays of the twenties, Brecht’s plays, including The Lifestyle of Galileo, were provided using a fairly neutral and bare stage, with minimal and representation stage sets and set. ‘The bareness with the stage subjected the action in a amazing, unatmospheric space which was intended to counterbalance the relative lack of epic contact form in the writing’ (Rorrison: xl). Indeed, Galileo, unlike the majority of Brecht’s work, includes a thready plot without narrator or third party comments, making it, relatively, more accessible to get an audience with all the expectation of any naturalistic style. However , this unrealistic, representational set makes the audience to acknowledge they are facing the problems presented inside the play, instead of being linked to a stage-world through a 4th wall, which would be a radically different technique of viewing just for this audience.

Ultimately, when dramatic theory is based on Aristotelian aesthetics that influence the audience to accept issues as they are, the Church likewise wishes to preserve the traditional philosophy of the world. In this sense, Brecht is definitely challenging the two Aristotle and the Church together with his epic drama and his portrayal of Galileo’s theories, which will both try to initiate cultural change. Consequently , Brecht find the subject matter intentionally as consonant with his theme of reason above emotion. This would have undoubtedly unsettled the expectations of your audience used to naturalism, principally because of the way it requires a didactic instead of an psychological investment inside the story.


Brecht, Bertolt (1964) Brecht in Theatre: The Development of an Cosmetic, ed. John Willett, Ny: Hill and Wang

Brecht, Bertolt About Experimental Theatre (1939) offered in Hugh Rorrison’s comments (1986) from the Life of Galileo, Birmingham: Methuen Birmingham Ltd. p xxxv

Esslin, Martin (1970) Brief Chronicles, London: Temple Smith, l 80

Filling device, Jan and Peter Thomson (1980), Brecht, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, s 201)

Rorrison, Hugh discourse (1986) of The Life of Galileo, London, uk: Methuen London Ltd. pp xxxiv-xxxviii

Cruz, Iris (1991) ‘Brecht and Mothers of Epic Theatre’ in Cinema Journal, The John Hopkins University Press pp. 491-493

Steward, Robert Scott and Rod Nichollas (2002) ‘Pragmatic Choices: Instructing Applied Aesthetics through Brecht’s ‘Life of Galileo” in Journal of Aesthetic Education, University of Illinois Press pp. 50-60

Volker, T (1979) Brecht: a Biography, London: Marion Boyars l 72

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