Mike Polizzi's Reviews > Life of Galileo

Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht
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's review
Jan 17, 11

Read in January, 2011

** spoiler alert ** "The millennium of faith has ended...This is the millennium of doubt."
Brecht uses Galileo's life as a means of studying Paternalism and capitulation.
The truth is frightening for those in power, in this case the notion that the Earth goes around the sun, because it destabilizes the Christian canon and suddenly the peasants no longer work for the good of god, but work for themselves. Brecht uses heliocentrism to talk about man losing his place in the center of god's universe, losing religious order. He shows the ways in which science and industry move together and how religious dogma can hobble both, but his main interest is the truth, those who are capable of changing the way the world is perceived and those who are interested in maintaining the status quo.
The figure of Galileo is interesting. Where the world expects its martyrs, Galileo instead remains a man, afraid of death and capable of making the pragmatic choice in the face of the Inquisition. His truth is not ecstatic, but reasonable. He counts on the human instinct for truth to preserve him.

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