Free «Brecht on Theatre» Essay Sample

Playwrights have the crucial role of enlightening society about important political matters.  As Brecht put it, in order to convey the message in the most effective manner to the modern audience, the actors need to embrace the story telling and epic style.  In so doing, the actors will objectively assume the characters they intend to represent. The audience is engaged to critically review the fate of the character. Moreover, they truly empathize with the character, and this style is, therefore, useful in exposing political injustices perpetrated by an administration on the masses. The epic theatre is both entertaining and effective in relaying the intended message as opposed to the instructive theatre. The latter is highly informative but wanting in term of entertainment.

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Contrary to the critiques, the epic theatre is entertaining and is not merely a moral institution. Moral issues are passionately raised as well as solutions to solve policy and administrative problems. The audience is not bored by a sad account of social problems.  Instead, an entertaining play that provokes the emotions of the audience will be staged. The audience will be chastised for their passive nature. Ultimately, the members of the audience will be proactive in bringing about change and ending any form of injustice.

The Chinese stylistic device of alienation has been cited as a great asset to the epic theatre.  There is no barrier between the actors and the spectators. The audience does not harbor the illusion of being the unseen spectator. Thus, it is productive to the cause of the epic theatre as the audience is readily engaged by the actors. According to Brecht, this style is highly applicable in western epic theatres, “the western actor does all he can to bring his spectator in the closest proximity to the events and the character he has to portray.” 

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