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3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  4,279 ratings  ·  171 reviews
Considered by many to be one of Brecht's masterpieces, Galileo explores the question of a scientist's social and ethical responsibility, as the brilliant Galileo must choose between his life and his life's work when confronted with the demands of the Inquisition. Through the dramatic characterization of the famous physicist, Brecht examines the issues of scientific moralit ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published January 11th 1994 by Grove Press (first published 1948)
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Best German/Austrian Literature
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Riku Sayuj
Nov 07, 2013 Riku Sayuj rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Riku by: Neerja Pandey
The play explores the pivotal moment in human history, at least in western history, when man confronts for the first time the proof that his conceptions of truth were entirely wrong.

Galileo comes alive as a larger than life genius from the pages, full of witticisms and blustering energy. Even his betrayal of his own science tends to be easily forgiven by the audience because he is such a genial revolutionary.

More than the drama of science standing up to the bully called religion, I liked the in
In the comment thread to the review of Dennett's Breaking the Spell which I posted a couple of days ago, much of the discussion has turned on the concept of martyrdom. Dennett argues that religion is a self-reproducing pattern of behavior (a "meme"), and that a martyr is someone who has been taken over by a meme to the point where he is willing to sacrifice his life for his beliefs. Maybe irrational for the martyr, but perfectly rational from the meme's point of view: the history of religion sho ...more
There are many reasons why I chose to write about this in my common application to American colleges. This book has had a phenomenal influence on me. I have loved and enjoyed every part of this play. Life of Galileo is not merely another book about the enraging conflict between science and its mindless counterpart religion, but also about society and in the end life itself.

People oft forget that Bertolt Brecht was a Marxist intellectual and his plays not only reflect that but also impersonate hi
Non sono una lettrice abituale di opere teatrali, e forse questo significa che non sono in grado di cogliere le loro sfumature più sottili; in ogni caso, avendolo letto sotto costrizione del mio professore di italiano, cercherò di analizzare solo gli aspetti più evidenti di questo libro e lasciare la sua discussione pseudo-filosofica al caro Devi.
In più, sbatti.

Se c'è un vantaggio che le opere teatrali hanno su qualunque altro genere letterario è il fatto che essendo essenzialmente dialogo, e qu
In the “Life of Galileo,” Bertolt Brecht highlights the astronomer’s struggles with the Catholic Church, which opposed his work extending the theories of Copernicus and threatened him with torture. This was not an idle threat since the Church actually burned at the stake the heliocentric astronomer Giordano Bruno in 1600. It is interesting how leading clerics refused his offer to gaze through his primitive telescope, instead insisting on a philosophical dispute, preferably in Latin, about whethe ...more
One of the very many quotes that I utterly enjoyed from this play:

"SAGREDO: Galileo, I see you embarking on a frightful road. It is a disastrous night when mankind sees the truth. And a delusive hour when it believes in human reason. What kind of person is said to go into things with his eyes open? One who is going to his doom. How could the people in power give free rein to somebody who knows the truth, even if it concerns the remotest stars? Do you imagine the Pope will hear the truth when you
Robert Beveridge
Bertolt Brecht, Galileo (Grove Press, 1952)

Publishers who put out "literature" (perhaps I should capitalize the L) have felt it necessary for the past half-century or so to include long-winded dissections of the texts as a part of their editions. No mind is paid, seemingly, to whether these long-winded dissections contain major plot spoilers (they almost always do). Add Eric Bentley's interminable preface to the Grove Press edition of Brecht's Galileo to the list. Perhaps Grove assumes anyone re
Maria Nicolaou
Brecht's Galileo is one of the most realistic, fully developed characters I've experienced so far. The author does not "contaminate" his work with exaggerations, and does not hesitate to add a little humour in what might have been a tragedy. And this is why he gives heroism a new meaning; to be a hero does not mean to sacrifice one's life. It is rather the kind of heroism that sacrifices the anticipations of people likes us: people who are so eager to grant heroism a taste of feverish revolution ...more
اغلب اثار برتولد برشت به فارسی برگردانده شده؛ "سقراط مجروح" کیکاووس جهانداری / "در انبوه شهرها" عبدالرحمن صدریه / "استثناء و قاعده" محمود اعتماد زاده(م. به آذین) / "ان که گفت آری و آن که گفت نه" مصطفی رحیمی / زندگانی گالیله (گالیله ئو گالیله ئی) عبدالرحیم احمدی / "ترس و نکبت رایش سوم" شریف لنکرانی / "ننه دلاور و فرزندان او" مصطفی رحیمی / "آدم، آدم است" دو ترجمه از شریف لنکرانی و امین موید / "بچه فیل" و استنطاق لوکولوس" شریف لنکرانی / "زن نیک سچوان" دو ترجمه از فریده ی لاشایی و مهدی زمانیان / "دا ...more
A rather good play about Galileo and the struggle of science and knowledge. Personally, I would have enjoyed more from the two women characters in terms of development. The production is nicely acted and there are some wonderful uses of humor.

Crossposted at Booklikes.
Geniale opera di un drammaturgo del Novecento. Galileo esce dai libri di scuola (parlo almeno per una studentessa come me che ne ha sentito parlare solo in quel contesto) per indossare i panni di uno scienziato scorbutico, legato ai piaceri della vita e disposto persino a truffare pur di far trionfare la scienza. Un testo teatrale che fa riflettere sui rapporti che intercorrono tra la società, la scienza e la Chiesa, la paura dell'innovazione, il radicamento della tradizione come controllo del p ...more
It wasn't a work of history, nor an accurate work of science. But what it is is a discussion on truth, and the importance of a discovery that shakes and breaks apart the very foundations of what is known as truth. It is a tale of determination and passion, but also of human fallibility. (view spoiler)
"Leben des Galilei" steht auf meiner Prüfungsliste für Deutsch als Hauptlektüre. Als ich mich endlich überwunden hatte, damit anzufangen (wir wissen schließlich alle, wie "toll" von der Schule verordnete Lektüre meist ist) fand ich das Stück überraschend unterhaltsam.

Es wird sicher keins meiner Lieblingsbücher werden, aber zumindest ist es geistig anregender als der andere Mist, der uns in diesem Fach über die Jahre aufgezwungen wurde.

Das Stück ist munter, seine Darsteller farbenfroh, und auch
Katerina Whitefield
I enjoyed it more than I had imagined. But I'm glad I read the plot summary first, some parts were a little ambiguous unless you read the summary
Nilima Pisharody
Rating and explanation: Let me come clear about one thing. the fact that i gave it a 'not-so-excellent-rating' is because i found the book a little slow. however, it in no way failed to take me into a world where i would have wanted to live myself. the old world: where everything was new, and when the rate of learning was so, so much, high.

the story can be effectively summarized in a few paragraphs: Galileo is short of money because his university does not like paying mathematicians and inventor
Ahmad Sharabiani
برشت در «زندگی گالیله» به مبارزه عقل روشنگر و روشنفکر، علیه پیش داوری­های زمانه و قدرت­های گذشته می­پردازد. تم دیگر نمایشنامه، مسئولیت دانشمندان در قبال چیزی که بر عهدهء آنها گذاشته شده است می­باشد. در نمایشنامه شاهد انسانی هستیم خوشگذران، به نام گالیله، که جستجوی حقیقت و کشف حقیقت برایش مایهء لذت است. البته او هیچ هم قصد ندارد خود را قربانی حقیقت کند. ا. شربیانی
Gaia Cultrone
Tutta la forza di un uomo che, in un'epoca in cui i fatti invitavano ad arrendersi, a tacere e credere passivamente, non ha solo lottato per delle idee nuove, ma ha dimostrato di essere a conoscenza della necessità di mediare, con tutti. La storia di uno dei tanti uomini costretto a tacere perché guardava più avanti di quanto la maggioranza non facesse, un uomo che sta agli antipodi (non da solo, chiariamoci) di un percorso che ha portato - almeno parzialmente - il nostro paese a scoprire che co ...more
Life of Galileo, by Bertolt Brecht, is a lively and fascinating work about science and moral responsibility. Written less like a play and more in the vein of Socratic dialogue, Brecht offers a concise fictionalised account of the rise and fall of Galileo Galilei. What makes this play truly beautiful is that is does not try to affirm science as filled with wonder and potential, but instead employs a critical negativity to make readers re-evaluate scientific research and its potentially detrimenta ...more
Mike Polizzi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Should we trust in everything we hear or see?
Science and religion are two of the most controversial issues. They always conflict with one another. Personal views will always believe that religion should be put first and whatever is in the holy book should be believed before what science says. On the other hand science is proven and tested so many times that it’s hard to believe. Atheists, however find it much easier to believe in science than religious people. Both science and religion deserve
نمایشنامه زندگی گالیله از جمله نمایشنامه هایی است که زندگی شخصیت اصلی نمایش را در بستر جامعه اش برایمان بازگو می کند.عقاید و تفکرات متعصبانه ای در ایتالیا و بسیاری از کشورهای اروپایی رواج داشته است .تفتیش عقاید از ارکان اصلی دستگاه حاکم بوده است ،مسئله ای که حتی رشد علم را نیز زیر سوال می برد تا متفکران و دانشمندان آن جامعه را فلج کند. اما، گالیله زیرکانه به تحقیقات خود ادامه می دهد...

در رابطه با این نمایش می توان گفت بهترین دیالوگ جمله ای است که آندره آ شاگرد گالیله، زمانی که گالیله در کلیسا م
Lisa (Harmonybites)
The Foreword to one edition I read of this play (admiringly) calls Brecht's nature "cold, clinical" and tells us he consciously rejected what he called "Aristelian" drama that seeks its audience to feel empathy for the characters. Instead Brecht embraced alienation. He was also famously a Marxist and consciously sought to imbue his works with that philosophy. All things I'd ordinarily find off-putting. But then the Foreword goes on to call Galileo not just Brecht's "greatest" play but also "his ...more
Oh, prima alba del mondo!

«Nell’anno milleseicentonove
splendè chiara la luna della scienza
su una piccola casa di Padova.
Galileo Galilei accertò con i suoi calcoli
che il Sole sta fermo e la Terra si muove.

Bertolt Brecht è conosciuto universalmente come il “grande trasformatore” del teatro del ventesimo secolo e Vita di Galielo non è altro che il suo personale “testamento spirituale”; un’Opera davvero degna di nota, anche solo per il fatto che tratta le vicissitudini biografiche di uno degli scie
Mark Woodland
I was researching Galileo, since I was preparing to play him onstage (in his later life), and thought that this would be a good background piece to read, even though it's another play and not a biography. Surely Bertolt Brecht, I thought, would write a very in-depth characterization of the man. Well, he did that, and it's a very good play. It's not one of Brecht's better known works, and I'm not sure why; it's much more accessible to a general reading audience than a lot of his work. For my spec ...more
Mar 19, 2011 Carissa added it
Shelves: drama
Almost every play of Bertolt Brecht was a success as some point in his career, but what Eric Bentley does for the text is bring it more into the 20th, and 21st centuries, although he doesn't "dumb it down" for a modern audience.

Brecht essential shows the audience the life and times of Galileo as it really was, without the gloss or hero worship that many other text will lend to the story. While a pioneer to some, Galileo was what Brecht will ultimately portray as a coward.

The play is mostly abo
Lorelei Yang
I found this play mildly underwhelming. I can't quite lay my finger on why, but something about Brecht's style makes his writing feel somewhat inaccessible. And yes, I know that the Brechtian style is marked by a more cerebral approach to the dramatic art. But that doesn't mean the entire play has to feel stilted. Somehow, the host of characters in Galileo feels oddly one-dimensional. Is it because of translation? I know that the translation we read isn't the newest or most dynamic translation o ...more
This is a brilliant, complex and engaging book on a key turning point in the history of human world-views. It is also a powerful reminder of how narrow-minded institutions clinging to old beliefs can hold back technological and social advancement. Brecht does a great job reproducing the conflict between the clergy and the scientists, with all the differences in personalities and conceptions of human nature involved, and the danger of persecution.

Galileo is faced with the monumental task of deve
Mikhail Green
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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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“The aim of science is not to open the door to infinite wisdom, but to set a limit to infinite error.” 116 likes
“Nowadays, anyone who wishes to combat lies and ignorance and to write the truth must overcome at least five difficulties. He must have the courage to write the truth when truth is everywhere opposed; the keenness to recognize it, although it is everywhere concealed; the skill to manipulate it as a weapon; the judgment to select those in whose hands it will be effective; and the running to spread the truth among such persons.” 51 likes
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