Clearly Defining What Brecht Meant By Epic Theatre Show How He Sort To Achieve His Aims Through His Production Methods
Brecht was reacting against the theatre of the time; this was because traditional theatre had a fantastic set, elaborate costumes, sentimental music and sloppy emotion. He thought this type of theatre was aesthetically wrong as he felt a good story had been taken and made sentimental. He also believed this type of theatre was morally wrong, as the plays did not portray a truthful picture of everyday life. For example a poor person would have rosy cheeks and look well fed, which was not the case. It was also the events of the time that also inspired Brecht to create Epic theatre and that was the nazi movement. In the rallies people became so emotionally involved that they would lose control of their bodily functions but also did not have the ability to stand back and look at it analytically to realise what was going was wrong and how to stop it.
From this Brecht wanted a change to take place in the theatre. His aims for this new type of theatre were firstly to entertain, because he knew only then could he change people's minds and in turn change society. Theatre in Brecht's view was that not only should it ente
The literary V'effekte were do with what was written into the script. However the way Brecht wrote his plays using the literary V'effekte helped the actors. The theatre forms either control feeling or reason. He wrote his plays with such a huge cast it was obvious that the actors would have to play more than one part. Brecht liked to use masks especially half masks as it made it harder for the audience to become emotionally involved with the characters as the actors had a set facial expression and so could not identify with them. Brecht liked to use real props because of the impact they had on the spectator. The singer was not meant to follow the melody blindly and Brecht believed that a bad singer was always better than a good one. The language was usually in prose and verse as it is harder to get emotionally involved as it is not used in everyday speech. Brecht believed the way to teach was to reject emotion as he said 'one mustn't congeal them in emotional jelly', although later he changed his mind. This is because I think he realised that the Epic form of theatre cannot succeed in the rejection of emotion because within the content any play there is always something that the spectator can identify with. However he later discarded this method as the spectators tended to think the lights had been left on by mistake. In Epic theatre the spectator can understand why are they are feeling the way they do unlike in Dramatic theatre where it is expected. Brecht liked to adopt new music of the time such as jazz and village and cabaret as it was cheap and simple. The house lights were usually kept on so the audience was also lit; this was so the actors could see the spectators' reaction and the spectators could see each other's reactions. In Dramatic theatre for instance the human behaviour is suggested to be unalterable as preconceptions are reinforced whereas in Epic theatre human behaviour is seen as alterable and able to alter, as change is possible in oneself and in the world.