Mother Courage and Her Children -- dramatic elements, synopsis, analysis.

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Mother Courage and Her Children

By: Bertolt Brecht

GENRE: Epic Theatre


Episode 1: A highway near a city.

Episode 2: Two years later, the camp of the Swedish army at Wallhof, the

general's tent and kitchen nearby.

Episode 3: Three years later at an army camp.

Episode 4: Outside an officer's tent.

Episode 5: Two years later. In a devastated village.

Episode 6: Inside Mother Courage's tent.

Episode 7: On a highway, later.

Episode 8: A camp, a day later.

Episode 9: Fall, 1634, outside a half-demolished presbytery.

Episode 10: Later, on a highway.

Episode 11: January, 1636, beside a peasant house.

Episode 12: That night, same location.

THEMES: "And you go marching with the show / In step, however fast or slow / And rattle off your little song: / It won't be long. / And then the whole thing slides. / You think God provides -- / But you've got it wrong" (Mother Courage, 4).


Mother CourageSwiss Cheese, her younger son

Kattrin, her mute daughterThe Recruiter

Eilif, her eldest sonThe Sergeant

The CookAn Older Soldier

The GeneralA Peasant

The ChaplainThe Peasant's Wife

The Ordnance OfficerThe Young Man

Yvette PottierThe Old Woman

The Man With The Patch Over His EyeAnother Peasant

The Other SergeantThe Peasant Woman

The Old ColonelA Young Peasant

A ClerkThe Lieutenant

A Young SoldierSoldiers

A Voice


Episode 1: Mother Courage, a canteen wagon driver, and her children, Eilif,

Kattrin, and Swiss Cheese, approach a Recruiter and Sergeant with intent to sell

them something. The Recruiter, to Mother Courage's dismay, convinces Eilif to join the army. "If you want the war to work for you, you have to give the war its due" (Sergeant).

Episode 2: Two years later, Mother Courage finds Eilif again while she is attempting to sell a capon to...