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Mother Courage and Her Children

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3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  11,495 Ratings  ·  231 Reviews
Mother Courage and Her Children is a classic in the repertory of Western theater. Written in response to the outbreak of World War II, this "chronicle play" of the Thirty Years War follows one of Brecht's most enduring characters, Courage, as she trails the armies across Europe, selling provisions from her canteen wagon. However, Courage pays the highest price of all. One ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Penguin Classics (first published 1941)
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Baiocco
Apr 14, 2008 Baiocco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: War Mongers, Peace Mongers.
Shelves: plays
Bertolt Brecht is a mutherfucking G! and I don't mean Gangsta, I'm talking straight German! While Baal remains my favorite Brecht play, Mother Courage was one of his most daring. The story of a Mother in charge of an independent supply wagon with her two sons and one mute daughter during the 30 Years War in 17th century war in Poland. Brecht wrote MC in response to Hitler's invasion of Poland, in attempts to find a dramatic counter-act to the rise of Fascism and Nazism in Europe. Rather than co ...more
Czarny Pies
Dec 21, 2015 Czarny Pies rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Don't read this grossly overrated play. Go attend a performance of the Three penny Opera instead.
Recommended to Czarny by: It was on an undergraduate course that I took.
Shelves: german-lit
As I am writing this review, I am reading the Good Reads description above which is a stunning masterpiece of misstatement:

"Widely considered one of the great dramatic creations of the modern stage, "Mother Courage and Her Children" is Bertolt Brecht's most passionate and profound statement against war."

Now for the truth. Bertolt Brecht was a communist who wrote parodies to show the workers what is a not to be done. Mother Courage is a vile lower middle class shopkeeper whose obsession with her
...more
Bettie☯
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sookie
Apr 19, 2016 Sookie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translated, plays, 2016
War is an addiction. War is business. War is necessity.

Brecht uses various voices in this play to reiterate these slogans over and over again. Sometimes by the same character. Written during the times when Nazism and fascism was becoming prominent in Europe, Brecht uses an older European war as a setting to voice his point of view on the growing political crisis during '30s. On one hand Mother Courage is a war profiteer which isn't all that new. She finds a way to keep her family fed by peddlin
...more
Amir Mojiry
این کتاب را هم به همراه «اندوه عیسی» برای فهم تئاتر «ننه دلاور، بیرون پشت در» (به کارگردانی سجاد افشاریان) گرفتم. ناخودآگاه مدام در ذهنم بین آن اجرا و این نمایشنامه دنبال شباهت می گشتم. و با توجه به فضای نسبتن کمیک نمایش، انتظار داشتم این نمایشنامه هم طنز باشد. اما ننه دلاور، طنز نیست گرچه طنز می آفریند. موقعیت، کاملن جدی است. جنگ است و مرگ، سربازگیری است و بی رحمی، اعدام است و باج خواهی. اما وقتی شخصیت های نمایش، آن قدر با جنگ خو گرفته اند که به راحتی با آن کنار آمده و به سادگی از مصائب آن سخن ...more
Hossein
Dec 19, 2015 Hossein rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german-writers
نمايشنامه اي از برشت در مورد انسان.در اين نمايشنامه برشت باز(همانند زندگي گاليله) اين مفهوم را تم اصلي قرار داده است:انسان خودش مسئول تعيين سرنوشت خويش است.اما چگونه؟
ننه دلاور سه فرزند دارد و يك گاري كه كاسبي او است.در بحبوحه ي جنگ،او هم مي خواهد از آب گل آلود ماهي بگيرد و بازار سياه راه انداخته است.
سه فرزند يابو دارد كه به نحوي قرباني زياده خواهي هاي دلاور مي شوند.
هربار ننه دلاور مي تواند دست از شغل خود بكشد و جلوي زيان بيش تر را بگيرد اما عطش كسب پول بيش تر و ترس از فلاكت و فقر راه را بر او سد
...more
Laura
From BBC Radio 4 Extra:
Mother Courage follows warring armies with her travelling canteen - selling provisions - but at what cost? Sheila Hancock stars as Anna Fierling, nicknamed "Mother Courage".

One of the great plays of the 20th century, written just before the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, it was penned as a warning to those who sought to profit from war. As Bertolt Brecht was to do often, he took one era to stand for another, setting Mother Courage during the Thirty Year War.

The
...more
michelle
Nov 05, 2016 michelle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
No. Just no.
Jan-Maat
Having escaped from being a background character in Schillers Wallenstein, Mother Courage comes into her own as a true herald of free enterprise. In the middle of the thirty years war (1618-1648) she travels confidently with her wagon full of goods to sell, family and hangers-on. Everybody needs her goods. She can sell intoxicating beverages (view spoiler)to both the Imperial and Protestant soldiers. She is certain that she can always make money and profit from ...more
Sonia M
May 04, 2016 Sonia M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theatre
H Μάνα Κουράγιο, μαυραγορίτισσα κατά τη διάρκεια πολέμου, είναι το πορτρέτο μικροαστής που προσπαθεί να επωφεληθεί από τις χειρότερες καταστάσεις. Προσεύχεται να συνεχιστεί ο πόλεμος για να γυροφέρνει με τον αραμπά της και να μοσχοπουλάει στους στρατιώτες αγαθά συνηθισμένα αλλά δυσεύρετα λόγω της κατάστασης. Όταν όμως ζητούν να στρατολογήσουν το γιο της, αντιδράει. Να πάρουν τα παιδιά των άλλων στρατιώτες, λέει ορθά κοφτά, όχι το δικό της.
Γραμμένο την εποχή της ανόδου του ναζισμού στη Γερμανία,
...more
➸ Gwen de Sade
I read a lot of books this year with the same message: war is absurd, war destroys everything and afterwards, no one knows exactly what they were fighting for. I don't even know why I read so many books on the subject, I usually really don't like WWII or generally war literature, it just makes me deeply uncomfortable and depressive. I've been avoiding Anne Frank for the last 5 years for example, although it is patiently sitting on my shelf.

However, once again, Brecht is different, different than
...more
Akemi
Dec 13, 2008 Akemi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
Soon after I finished reading this for class, I saw a documentary on a production of Mother Courage in Central Park using a translation done by Tony Kushner. Apparently Kushner read Mother Courage in college and loved it. Can't say I had quite the same reaction. Maybe it's more effective on stage, but I wasn't really moved by this play. Perhaps because it is so repetitive in its theme of Mother Courage's relentless business sense over family. I don't know. It has its funny moments, one of the ch ...more
Dorottya
Sep 11, 2015 Dorottya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
As much as I love theatre, there is a rare occasion when a written play gets to my heart in that extent. Now, this one wasone of them. I loved how multi-faceted and multi-tiered it was. I don't even know if it could be turned into a perfect performance in my eye, especially because of the variedness of interpretations.
I loved how it dealt with the effect of war on people, like having to make heartbreaking decisions to survive and being surprised that what was acceptable or even heroic to do in t
...more
Draganf
Prvi susret sa epskom dramom, ispod očekivanja, ali ipak solidno.
Ovu dramu, kao i većinu ostalih, Breht je pisao u inostranstvu (Danskoj, Švedskoj, Americi), jer u nacističkoj Nemačkoj za vreme vladavine Hitlera nije bio siguran. Drama je smeštena u Tridesetogodišnji rat, ali motivi koji se provlače kroz istu predstavljaju motive klasične za svaki rat- prevare, izdaje, prognanstva, besmisao rata, gubitak bližnjih, izopačenost itd.
Majka Hrabrost (glavni lik) zarađuje preprodavajući robu, te joj j
...more
F
May 26, 2013 F rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this 40 years ago or more. Coming back to it, I realised how much I had missed the first time round, and how powerful a play it is. Written by Brecht in exile just before the Second World War, and given its first performance in Germany in the late 1940s, his attempt to tackle questions such as 'mitmachen'/collaboration and 'war as business' entertain his audience/reader as well as stimulating them to profound reflection. He does not give clear answers. I think his intention is not to prov ...more
Valentina
A book I had to read for school, but by the time I realized it was due on Monday, it was Sunday evening and I couldn't find the book anywhere so I found it in on the Internet in English. Interesting experience.

The book itself was also engaging because of its simple yet interesting writing. I especially liked the inserted songs, so different from the typical choir in the famed antique works.
Rhys
Jan 02, 2016 Rhys rated it really liked it
A play of devastating power and unbearable structural symmetry, as Mother Courage, a small time war profiteer fails to learn anything from a sequence of tragedies and continues onwards hoping to find business opportunities, whereas in fact it's only the rich who can make a profit from such misery. Morality and politics and truth are all identical in this magnificent work.
Elly About Elly
Apr 29, 2016 Elly About Elly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
و هرچه از جنگ بنویسند باز هم کم است و باز هم دل را به درد می آورد .. اجرای تئاتر این نمایشنامه را هم به کارگردانی امیر دژاکام دیدم و اشک ریختم برای تنهایی ننه دلاور .. برای بی کسیِ کاترین .. برای تمام قربانیان جنگ
Anna Serene
I legitimately don't know how to feel about this book. So I'm giving it 2.5 stars because I just don't know.
Ahmad Sharabiani
Feb 27, 2015 Ahmad Sharabiani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: plays
عنوان: ننه دلاور و فرزندان او؛ نویسنده: برتولت برشت؛ مترجم: مصطفی رحیمی
Dayton Shanahan
Mother courage and her children is a book that takes place in 1624, during a time of war.
In the beginning of the book, mother courage pulls up to a sergeant and recruiting officer who are trying to recruit soldiers into the swedish army because they are campaigning in Poland. Mother courage has a daughter, Kattrin, who is dumb, and two sons, Eilif and "Swiss Cheese". So anyways they pull up in a wagon to the recruiting officer, and he tries to recruit Eilif into the army. Mother Courage tells h
...more
Hamid Hasanzadeh
ننه دلاور و فرزندان او اثر جاودانه برتولت برشت در بحبوحه ی جنگ جهانی دوم به رشته تحریر در آمده است، و این نکته از آنجا حائز اهمیت است که در طول نمایشنامه شخصیت های آن در تعامل با این جنگ شکل می گیرند.
به ننه لقب دلاور از آن جهت داده شده که تواناست به این که تهدید جنگ را برای خود و فرزندانش به فرصتی پر سود تبدیل کند . اما ما متوجه می شویم که این لقب بی جهت به او داده شده و برای تماشاگران آواز "تسلیم بزرگ" را سر می دهد. تضاد و کشمکش های درونی انسان و برخورد اخلاقی یا غیر اخلاقی در زندگی در برخورد ب
...more
Ali
Oct 05, 2016 Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
نمایش نامه (کم و بیش) بر مبنای داستان "مادر" گورکی (1906) نوشته شده، روایتی طنزآلود از واقعیت وجودی انسان، که بازیچه ی عوامل قدرت است؛ "انسان در موقعیت". خوش بینی ساده انگارانه ای که انسان را در موقعیت مضحکی که چشم و گوش بسته در آن غرق شده، تقدیرگرا می سازد. در این موقعیت انسان ساده دل، خود را از غلبه بر ترس ناشی از سرنوشت مقدر، عاجز می بیند. در واقع ناتوانی تحمیل شده بر انسان، در مسیر سخت و طولانی برای رسیدن به رهایی. مادر به دلیل وضعیت خانواده و فرزندانش در تنگنای جنگ، تن به نتیجه ی حاصل می ده ...more
MAHYA
-به این حساب میخواهید بگویید که جنگ به این زودیها تمام نمیشود؟
+چون یک مارشال مرده جنگ تمام بشود؟ مگر بچهاید؟ فوجفوج مارشال پیدا میشود. بحمدالله قهرمان همیشه هست!
-جناب قاضی عسکر، میدانید که من الکی سؤالی نمیکنم. موضوع این است که نمیدانم آیا باید جنس خرید یا نه؟ حالا ممکن است هر جنسی را به قیمت مناسب خرید. اما اگر جنگ تمام بشود باید همهٔ چیزهایی را که خریدهام بریزم دور.
+آره آره میدانم که جدی میفرمایید. همیشه کسانی هستند که دور میگردند و میگویند: «بالاخره جنگ روزی تمام میشود..» بنده جواب میدهم: «با
...more
Keith
Mar 21, 2011 Keith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mother Courage is Brecht's anti-war play, originally written around the beginning of WWII as a warning to the German people. As such, it is a bitter, dark play. Although Brecht tries very hard to make the reader/viewer hold Mother Courage accountable for the loss of her children (because of her overzealous concern for her cart -- i.e., capitalism), it's hard not to see her children's deaths as a result of the senselessness of war.

Mother Courage is classic Brecht with all the "alienation" techni
...more
Vichy
Και ενώ η Ευρώπη ετοιμάζεται για το Β' Παγκόσμιο Πόλεμο, ο Μπρεχτ μας μεταφέρει σε έναν άλλο Ευρωπαϊκό πόλεμο, τον 30ετή, 1618-1648. Η Μάνα Κουράγιο, μια γυρολόγισσα με τα 3 παιδιά της, τη μουγγή Κατερίνα, τον Άιλιφ και το Σβάιτσεκαζ, ακολουθεί τα μισθοφορικά στρατεύματα και ζει από αυτά, πουλώντας τους φαγητό, ποτό και εμπορεύματα. Εκθειάζει τα καλά του πολέμου και τρέμει την ιδέα της ειρήνης, ακόμα κι όταν ένα ένα τα παιδιά της χάνονται από αυτόν. Τα πιο μεστά μηνύματα, ανησυχία και φόβος του ...more
Gina Lyle
Mar 29, 2015 Gina Lyle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Working on an essay on this play at the moment, but I'll not bore you. Interesting to find out that Brecht rewrote parts of the play after reviewers empathised with Mother Courage. Brecht doesnt want you to empathise with his characters; he wants you to judge them.
It's a great play pushed forwards by the conflicting demands of commerce and motherhood in wartime. There's some great information about the staging from the National Theatre for free on iTunes at the moment that's worth a look if you'
...more
Vera
Jan 09, 2016 Vera rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jobb szeretem, ha nem ennyire nyilvánvaló a tanító szándék egy műben (bár ezen valószínűleg segítettek a már meglévő aláhúzások), ennek ellenére tetszett.

*időközben ülepedett és a katarzis hiányát leszámítva nagyon tetszett. A finn belzebubot és pernahajdert, valamint az efféle kifejezéseket imádtam; Kurázsi mama gyerekeihez való ragaszkodása, meg általában az élethez való hozzáállása tiszteletre méltó.
Lisa Savage
Feb 13, 2013 Lisa Savage rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Historical fiction written as fascism was rising in 20th century Europe, it is just as much a tale of living in the heart of the U.S. empire and its perpetual wars in 2013. I first read this in college and everytime I re-read it I understand more deeply.
ZaRi
Mar 16, 2016 ZaRi added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: play
آشپز: من گمان میکردم فضیلت علامت خوبی باشد.
دلاور: نه علامت این است که یک پای کار میلنگد. وقتی که فرماندهی گاو باشد و سربازهایش را به منجلاب بکشاند، بیچاره سربازها باید سر نترس داشته باشند. اسم این نترسی را میگذارند فضیلت.
...more
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Bertolt Brecht (born Eugen Berthold Friedrich Brecht) was a German poet, playwright, and theatre director. A seminal theatre practitioner of the twentieth century, Brecht made equally significant contributions to dramaturgy and theatrical production, the latter particularly through the seismic impact of the tours undertaken by the Berliner Ensemble—the post-war theatre company operated by Brecht a ...more
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“I won't let you spoil my war for me. Destroys the weak, does it? Well, what does peace do for'em, huh? War feeds its people better.” 6 likes
“MUTTER COURAGE Mir scheint, ich hab zu lang gehandelt.” 1 likes
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