UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Homeric epic and Brecht’s epic theatre Rosen, Charlotte 1975

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Notice for Google Chrome users:
If you are having trouble viewing or searching the PDF with Google Chrome, please download it here instead.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-UBC_1975_A8 R68_4.pdf [ 5.25MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0093592.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0093592-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0093592-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0093592-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0093592-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0093592-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0093592-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0093592-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0093592.ris

Full Text

HOMERIC EPIC AND BRECHT'S EPIC THEATRE by CHARLOTTE ROSEN B.A. » Utah. S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y , 1972 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the programme of Comparative L i t e r a t u r e We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1975 In presenting th i s thes is in pa r t i a l fu l f i lment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the Un ivers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L ibrary sha l l make it f ree l y ava i l ab le for reference and study. I fur ther agree that permission for extensive copying of th is thes is for scho lar ly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representat ives. It is understood that copying or pub l i ca t ion of th i s thes i s fo r f i nanc ia l gain sha l l not be allowed without my wr i t ten permiss ion. Department of Hnmpg-rgfl T.I t p r f l t u r p The Un ivers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 . Date Z^^f ~2, J ?7$~^ i i ABSTRACT Brecht's use of. the term " E p i c Theatre" i n v i t e s a l i t e r a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , which In t u r n e n t a i l s an e x p l o r a t i o n of the p a r t i c u l a r elements i n h i s dramatic and t h e a t r i c a l work which may correspond to comparable elements i n e p i c . The c r i t e r i a f o r t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n are d e r i v e d from Homeric e p i c and from A r i s t o t l e ' s e p i c and dramatic models as d i s c u s s e d i n h i s P o e t i c s and other works. Homeric e p i c and Brecht's E p i c Theatre are c o n s i d e r e d w i t h r e s p e c t t o elements of both s t r u c t u r e and performance. The i n t r o d u c t i o n e x p l a i n s the reasons f o r approaching the forms from these two p e r s p e c t i v e s . The opening chapters look at the o p e r a t i o n of p a r t i c u l a r s t r u c t u r a l and performance elements i n Homeric e p i c . The e p i c performance o c c a s i o n and s t o r y m a t e r i a l are both c h a r a c t e r i z e d by e x p l i c i t l y s o c i a l r e f e r e n c e s . They a l s o encourage on the p a r t of the l i s t e n e r a g r e a t e r degree of consciousness of per-formance s k i l l s than does t r a d i t i o n a l drama. The f o l l o w i n g chapters examine Brecht's work i n the l i g h t of the Homeric c r i t e r i a p r e v i o u s l y developed. We f i n d i n Brecht's work a comparable emphasis on performance s k i l l s and an analo-gous i n f l u e n c e of the s o c i a l nature of the performance o c c a s i o n on both dramatic and t h e a t r i c a l s t r u c t u r e . The c o n c l u s i o n reviews the p a r t i c u l a r correspondences be-tween the two forms and suggests t h a t a more p a r t i c u l a r i l l understanding of the s p e c i f i c a l l y e p i c elements i n B r e c h t ' s E p i c Theatre may have a p p l i c a t i o n s I n l i t e r a r y and genre theory, as w e l l as i n p r o d u c t i o n s of the p l a y s . i v TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION page 1 PART ONE page 6 Chapter one page 6 Chapter two .page 17 PART TWO page 3^ Chapter one page 36 Chapter two . . . . . . .page 63 CONCLUSION page 8^ BIBLIOGRAPHY page 9 k 1 INTRODUCTION Through most of h i s c a r e e r , Brecht r e f e r r e d to h i s t h e a t r e as E p i c Theatre, a term which seems intended t o i n v i t e compari-son of B recht's work and e p i c . The o b j e c t of t h i s t h e s i s i s to examine the e p i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of B r e c h t ' s work w i t h p a r t i c u -l a r r e f e r e n c e to the Homeric e p i c . By d o i n g so, one may perhaps l a y the groundwork f o r a more comprehensive comparison of the two forms. By l o o k i n g at the o p e r a t i o n of performance and s t r u c t u r a l elements i n Homeric e p i c , one may hope t o d i s c o v e r some of the o r i g i n a l sources from which aspects of B r e c h t * s E p i c Theatre d e r i v e and by comparing some of these t o p a r t i c u -l a r elements of B recht's t h e a t r e and t h e o r y , a r r i v e a t a b e t t e r understanding of h i s work. Brecht h i m s e l f suggests the use of Homeric r a t h e r than some oth e r k i n d s of e p i c f o r such comparisons. He f r e q u e n t l y d e s c r i b e s E p i c Theatre as an a n t i t h e s i s t o A r i s t o t e l i a n drama, thus i n v i t i n g one t o look a t A r i s t o t l e i n terms not only of drama but of e p i c as w e l l . I n h i s P o e t i c s , A r i s t o t l e ' s i d e a s are c l e a r l y based not only on 5th century tragedy but a l s o t o a c o n s i d e r a b l e extent on the Homeric e p i c as a k i n d of dramatic model. Any comparison of B r e c h t i a n and A r i s t o t e l i a n dramatic theory thus r e q u i r e s a c o n s i d e r a t i o n of Homer. Moreover, i f elements of Homeric e p i c have s i g n i f i c a n c e i n both the A r i s -t o t e l i a n drama Br e c h t r e j e c t s and the E p i c Theatre he advocates, i t would seem to suggest a need f o r a r e - c o n s i d e r a t i o n of E p i c Theatre's r e l a t i o n s h i p to A r i s t o t e l i a n dramaturgy. 2 An e x t e n s i v e r e - c o n s i d e r a t i o n i s , n e c e s s a r i l y , beyond the scope of t h i s t h e s i s . I t would i n v o l v e the i n v e s t i g a t i o n of such t h i n g s as the sense i n which Brecht uses the term A r i s -t o t e l i a n ^ 'I as w e l l as the a r t i s t i c , h i s t o r i c a l , and p h i l o s o p h i -c a l i n f l u e n c e s on h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of A r i s t o t l e . I t would a l s o r e q u i r e a d e t a i l e d i n q u i r y I n t o the i n f l u e n c e of the many elements i n the e p i c t r a d i t i o n which c o n t r i b u t e d t o B r e c h t ' s understanding of the term "epic! 1. The aims of t h i s t h e s i s are thus more modest. I t w i l l f o c us dn some of the ways i n which elements of the Homeric e p i c operate i n B r e c h t ' s theory and p r a c t i c e . Any proposed treatment of e p i c , and i n p a r t i c u l a r Homeric e p i c , i n v o l v e s a number of b a s i c problems. To b e g i n w i t h , i t Is an o r a l l i t e r a t u r e , t r a n s m i t t e d through performance. Un-f o r t u n a t e l y , we are f o r c e d t o examine the form I n the l i t e r a r y t e x t s and thus, i n a sense, are not r e a l l y examining e p i c i n i t s o r i g i n a l form, but t r a n s c r i p t i o n s of t h a t o r a l form. Such t r a n s c r i p t i o n s cannot of course f u l l y convey the c h a r a c t e r of e p i c performances. The d i f f i c u l t y i s compounded by the f a c t t h a t l i t t l e i s known of the performance c o n d i t i o n s and conven-t i o n s of the time. While we are i n no p o s i t i o n t o a s c e r t a i n the performance c h a r a c t e r i n d e t a i l , we have t h r e e sources a v a i l a b l e which per-mit us t o draw u s e f u l I n f e r e n c e s about i t . We can f i r s t i n f e r from the g e n e r a l nature of performance i t s e l f ( i . e . the k i n d s of r e l a t i o n s h i p s which any performance i n v o l v e s ) c e r t a i n l i k e l y 3 c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Homeric e p i c performance. Second, we can d e r i v e from the Homeric e p i c i t s e l f and A r i s t o t l e ' s r e f e r e n c e s t o i t some s i g n i f i c a n t i n f o r m a t i o n about performance. T h i r d l y , we can c o n s i d e r the p a r t i c u l a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of e p i c perform-ances i n better-documented t r a d i t i o n s . As an example of t h i s method of approach, I w i l l c i t e i n s t a n c e s from Alb e r t Lord's study of modern Y u g o s l a v i a n e p i c . T h i s work i s p a r t i c u l a r l y h e l p f u l s i n c e Lord devotes much of h i s a t t e n t i o n to such f a c -t o r s as the o c c a s i o n s , audiences, and performers of e p i c . He a l s o p l a c e s p a r t i c u l a r emphasis on the s e m i - i m p r o v i s a t i o n a l c h a r a c t e r of e p i c , a f a c t which the f i x i t y of the t e x t s might l e a d us to d i s r e g a r d , y e t which i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the r e c u r -rence of a number of s t r u c t u r e s i n e p i c t e x t s . Lord d e a l s ex-t e n s i v e l y w i t h ;the s t o r e of phrases, verse s t r u c t u r e s , and themes from which the e p i c s t o r y t e l l e r draws. L i m i t e d as the a p p l i c a t i o n of h i s c o n c l u s i o n s to Homeric e p i c may be, i t i s hoped t h a t by s u g g e s t i n g the p o s s i b i l i t y of a n a l o g i e s between the Y u g o s l a v i a n and Homeric e p i c one can i n d i c a t e a method of a n a l y z i n g p e r f o r m a n c e - s t r u c t u r e r e l a t i o n s h i p s which i s worth f u r t h e r and more exhaustive study. I n a d d i t i o n t o h a v i n g to work w i t h performance m a t e r i a l t r a n s l a t e d i n t o t e x t s , we have had t o work w i t h E n g l i s h t r a n s -l a t i o n s of these t e x t s . The j u s t i f i c a t i o n o f f e r e d i s t h a t we are d e a l i n g w i t h performance and s t r u c t u r a l elements which are not s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i s t o r t e d by t r a n s l a t i o n . F o r example, an a n a l y s i s of the s t r u c t u r a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of the numerous p l o t d i g r e s s i o n s whose l e n g t h and placement a f f e c t p l o t development i n Homeric e p i c i s u n l i k e l y t o be s i g n i f i c a n t l y a l t e r e d by the t r a n s l a t i o n . S i m i l a r l y , our u n derstanding of the s t r u c t u r a l f u n c t i o n s of the numerous songs i n B r e c h t ' s p l a y s i s not l i k e l y t o be s e r i o u s l y hampered by the t r a n s l a t i o n . My d i s c u s s i o n of the r e l a t i o n s h i p s between Homeric e p i c and B r e c h t ' s t h e a t r e i s o r g a n i z e d as simply as p o s s i b l e . I w i l l f o c u s i n P a r t I on the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Homeric e p i c and i n P a r t I I on those of B r e c h t ' s E p i c Theatre, and then summarize the main p o i n t s of s i m i l a r i t y between the two forms, t r y i n g i n d o i n g so to suggest how an a p p r e c i a t i o n of the e p i c elements i n E p i c Theatre can improve our understanding of B recht's work. I n each of the two main p a r t s t h e r e a r e two c h a p t e r s , one on per-formance and one on s t r u c t u r a l or l i t e r a r y elements. I n P a r t I the performance chapter comes f i r s t , because I have operated on the premise t h a t performance came f i r s t i n Homeric epic» i . e . the t r a n s c r i p t i o n s were secondary i n the sense t h a t the per-formers were not working from the t e x t s and the t e x t s were not a c c e s s i b l e to the m a j o r i t y of the audience. I n P a r t I I a d i f -f e r e n t premise seems c a l l e d f o r , namely t h a t b a s i c a l l y perform-ance sprang from and was determined by the w r i t t e n t e x t , even t a k i n g i n t o account B r e c h t ' s c a r e f u l and e x t e n s i v e r e v i s i o n s of t e x t s on the b a s i s of r e h e a r s a l and performance. E s s e n t i a l l y , then, t h i s o r d e r i n g of the d i s c u s s i o n i s meant t o r e f l e c t the b a s i c sequence of the c r e a t i v e process I n the two forms. 5 Each chapter i s d i v i d e d i n t o f o u r s e c t i o n s . The sub-headings w i t h i n the performance chapters are ( i ) audience and o c c a s i o n , ( i i ) a c t i n g and impersonation, ( i i i ) music (and, f o r Brecht,,song), and ( i v ) s p e c t a c l e (the v i s u a l aspects of s t a g -i n g ) . The sub-headings i n the chapters on s t r u c t u r e are ( i ) p l o t ( i . e . s t o r y , argument, arrangement of I n c i d e n t s ) , ( i i ) charac-t e r , ( i i i ) thought ( i . e . thematic and d r a m a t i c ) , and ( i v ) d i c -t i o n ( i . e . language). I n choosing these major determinants of performance and s t r u c t u r e , I have been aware t h a t some o v e r l a p p i n g i s i n e v i -t a b l e . I have t r i e d t o minimize c o n f u s i o n and i n c l a r i t y by making fr e q u e n t c r o s s - r e f e r e n c e s . 6 PART I Chapter 1 1. Audience and O c c a s i o n One important determinant of the nature of e p i c perform-ance i s the o c c a s i o n . To b e g i n wit h , i t determines the l e n g t h of the r e c i t a l , i n The Odyssey, 1 f o r example,- the h a r p e r s i n g s s e v e r a l i n d i v i d u a l themesi Odysseus' and A c h i l l e s ' c l a s h , Ares' and Aphrodite's t r y s t , and the t a l e of the T r o j a n h o r s e . As an a f t e r - d i n n e r e n t e r t a i n e r , the s i n g e r r e c i t e s r e l a t i v e l y s h o r t p i e c e s , t a k i n g r e q u e sts from guests (as he does from Odysseus, V I I I , 4 8 5 f f.) and complying w i t h the request t o " s i n g upon what theme he w i l l " ( V I I I , i * - 6 f f . ) . I n o t h e r k i n d s of performance s i t u a t i o n s , rhapsodes might r e c i t e l o n g e r works over a p e r i o d of s u c c e s s i v e n i g h t s , e i t h e r t o the same audience (e.g. a t a p r i v a t e c o u r t ) or to a changing audience (e.g. a t a f e s t i v a l ) . ^ Such performances would be enhanced by the a u d i -ence's f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h the themes. Robert F i t z g e r a l d suggests another o r g a n i z a t i o n of the l o n g e r performance. He sees the a c t i o n of The Odyssey b r e a k i n g c l e a r l y i n t o s i x segments, each of which c o n s i s t s of f o u r books. The average l e n g t h of a book i s 5 0 0 - 6 0 0 l i n e s . Thus, i f the average r a t e of r e c i t a l i s 500 l i n e s per hour, then the e p i c w i l l be r e c i t e d i n s i x , f o u r t o f i v e hour perfo r m a n c e s 3 (assuming t h a t the rhapsode n e i t h e r c u t s nor expands the t e x t , or does so i n equal measure, a by 7 no means unquestionable assumption). At extended events, l i k e the Panathenaic f e s t i v a l , on the other hand, an e n t i r e Homeric e p i c was sung by a number of rhapsodes, each r e c i t i n g a p o r t i o n of the t e x t and the s t o r y b e i n g then p i c k e d up by succeeding performers.^ Using F i t z -g e r a l d ' s c a l c u l a t i o n , the e n t i r e e p i c would r e q u i r e over twenty-f o u r hours t o perform, so we must "presume some breaks i n the r e c i t a l . Even a l l o w i n g f o r these, however, such an extended performance would probably mean a f l u c t u a t i n g and o c c a s i o n a l l y even a d i s t r a c t e d audience. I t i s c l e a r , then, t h a t the o c c a s i o n a l s o determines the s i z e , composition, and even the a t t e n t i v e n e s s of the audience. The audience s i z e w i l l vary w i t h the d u r a t i o n and the s i t u a t i o n of a r e c i t a l . I n The S i n g e r of T a l e s , A l b e r t Lord d e s c r i b e s how the e p i c s i n g e r s i n Southern Y u g o s l a v i a r e c i t e d i n t a v e r n s , at p a r t i e s , o r weddings, where the audience would be c o n t i n u a l l y i n f l u x , t h e i r a t t e n t i o n probably d i v i d e d between the performance and the o t h e r people and e v e n t s . ^ The audience might a l s o be e a t i n g or d r i n k i n g d u r i n g the performance, or acknowledging who i s coming or going. I t i s not unreasonable t o assume t h a t t h e r e were e q u i v a l e n t s i t u a t i o n s i n a n c i e n t Greece. I f other a c t i v i -t i e s o c c u r r e d simultaneously a t the f e s t i v a l s where e p i c was performed, one might expect a more t r a n s i e n t audience than, say, f o r a r e c i t a l a t a banquet or p r i v a t e p a r t y where decorum ( i f not i n t e r e s t ) might demand t h a t a guest s i t i t out. I t would seem, 8 then, that most e p i c performances were probably p a r t s of l a r g e r o c c a s i o n s . While d i s t r a c t i o n s might t h e r e f o r e vary w i t h the o c c a s i o n , the g e n e r a l degree and type of c o n c e n t r a t i o n demanded by the form d i f f e r s somewhat from the k i n d t h a t i s demanded by drama, the o c c a s i o n f o r which i s (and probably was) devoted more e x c l u s i v e l y to the performance. The v a r i e t y of e p i c performance s i t u a t i o n s , then, suggests t h a t the s i z e of the audience w i l l vary both w i t h i n and between performances. The harper i n The Odyssey r e c i t e s t o an Intimate audience s i t t i n g around a d i n n e r t a b l e , whereas the rhapsode a t a p u b l i c f e s t i v a l might r e c i t e t o 'a much l a r g e r audience, p o s s i -b l y as many as 15,000 people.^ Another aspect of t h i s v a r i a t i o n of audiences i s t h e i r s o c i a l d i v e r s i t y . At the i n t i m a t e r e c i t a l i n The Odyssey, a homogeneous, a r i s t o c r a t i c audience i s present, w h i l e a t the r e c i t a l s a t p u b l i c f e s t i v a l s the audiences were of mixed age, sex, s t a t i o n , and c i t i z e n s h i p . ? Although i t would seem to be more d i f f i c u l t f o r the s t o r y -t e l l e r t o e s t a b l i s h r a p p o r t w i t h the more heterogeneous audien-ces, he can compensate f o r t h i s i n a number of ways. One of these i s t o t u r n t o h i s advantage the d i v e r s e o c c a s i o n s f o r e p i c r e c i t a l s i the banquets, c i v i c and r e l i g i o u s f e s t i v a l s , and Q games. I n a l l these s i t u a t i o n s people are gathered t o g e t h e r f o r some purpose b e s i d e s the e p i c r e c i t a l . ( I t i s worth remem-b e r i n g how r a d i c a l l y t h i s d i f f e r s from the s i t u a t i o n a t most contemporary t h e a t r i c a l performances, where the audience i s 9 gathered s o l e l y f o r the purpose of s e e i n g the performance and w i l l a f terwards d i s p e r s e . ) At e p i c r e c i t a l s t here i s some n o n - a r t i s t i c bond h o l d i n g the audience together* they may a l l be guests of a p a r t i c u l a r person o r a t a p a r t i c u l a r c o u r t ; they may a l l be worshippers of a common d e i t y ; they may be i n h a b i t -ants of the same c i t y or r e g i o n ; or they may a l l be s p e c t a t o r s of and p a r t i c i p a n t s i n an a t h l e t i c event. The audience members a t such an e p i c r e c i t a l may have engaged i n some common a c t i v i t y b e f o r e the r e c i t a l and may continue t o do so a f t e r they l e a v e the r e c i t a l . These other audience bonds are elements i n the t o t a l e p i c o c c a s i o n , elements which must be accommodated — and i f p o s s i b l e made use of — by the e p i c performer. The rhapsode may t h e r e f o r e e s t a b l i s h r a p p o r t w i t h h i s a u d i -ence by fr a m i n g the a c t i o n from the p e r s p e c t i v e of or w i t h r e -f e r e n c e t o them and t h e i r awareness of other elements of the oc c a s i o n . F o r example, he can vary h i s i n v o c a t i o n and s e l e c t i o n of m a t e r i a l i n acknowledgement of the purpose of the o c c a s i o n and the i n t e r e s t s of the p a r t i c u l a r audience. The i n v o c a t i o n might mention the o b j e c t o f the l a r g e r g a t h e r i n g , f o r example, the god or l o c a l heroes i n whose honor the f e s t i v a l i s h e l d . ^ The s t o r y t e l l e r might a l s o acknowledge c i v i c r u l e r s , v i c t o r i o u s a t h l e t e s , or, i f performing a t a p r i v a t e c o u r t , the ho s t or a s p e c i a l guest. He might a l s o s i n g of the e x p l o i t s of d e i t i e s and heroes which correspond t o the nature of the g e n e r a l occa-sions thus, rhapsodes a t a t h l e t i c c o n t e s t s might s i n g of h e r o i c 10 a t h l e t i c c o m p e t i t i o n s . I n doing so, the s t o r y t e l l e r i d e n t i f i e s h i m s e l f w i t h the s o c i a l environment of h i s l i s t e n e r s , pays hom-age t o those they are honoring, thus s t r e n g t h e n i n g the a u d i ^ ence's cohesiveness and c r e a t i n g a more i n t i m a t e bond between h i m s e l f and the audience as a s o c i a l o r r e l i g i o u s u n i t . Such means provide a k i n d of e x p l i c i t or i m p l i c i t analogy, which b r i n g s h i s c h a r a c t e r s and h i s audience, t h e . p a s t and the pre-sent, c l o s e r t o g e t h e r . The e p i c performer can a l s o approach h i s audience by p e r i -o d i c a l l y a d d r e s s i n g them d i r e c t l y (as Lord c i t e s the Yugoslav-10 i a n j r h a p s o d e s ' d o i n g ) . Such d i r e c t address f u r t h e r s both the f e e l i n g of audience cohesiveness and the s t o r y t e l l e r ' s r a p p o r t w i t h them. These f e e l i n g s a re a l s o f u r t h e r e d by another important component of the performance! the s t o r y t e l l e r ' s own r e a c t i o n s to the events he i s r e l a t i n g . As P l a t o ' s I on e x p l a i n s t o S o c r a t e s i a t the t a l e of p i t y my eyes are f i l l e d w i t h t e a r s , and when I speak of h o r r o r s , my h a i r stands on end and my h e a r t throbs . . . f o r I loo k down upon them [the audience] from the stage and behold the v a r i o u s emotions . . . and I am o b l i g e d t o a t t e n d them; f o r u n l e s s I make them c r y I myself s h a l l not laugh, and i f I make them laugh, I s h a l l do a n y t h i n g but laugh myself when the hour of payment a r r i v e s . 1 1 Such techniques can i n themselves "charm" the audience, i n v o l v i n g them i n the s t o r i e s and c h a r a c t e r s , as w e l l as make them more aware of the performance i t s e l f . The s t o r y t e l l e r ' s address of the audience makes them both a p a r t y t o the a c t i o n and aware of the s t o r y t e l l e r qua s t o r y t e l l e r , or of the s t o r y -t e l l e r as the medium of the a c t i o n . Such f a c t o r s tend t o make the e p i c audience a c r i t i c a l one, not o n l y of the e p i c ' s con-t e n t but a l s o of the performance i t s e l f . A c c o r d i n g t o P i c k a r d -Cambridge, i f a performer's s k i l l i s i n s u f f i c i e n t , the audience w i l l not h e s i t a t e t o make i t s judgement known. 1 2 A l b e r t Lord i n d i c a t e s t h a t the audience at an e p i c r e c i t a l i s a c r i t i c a l audience which i s f a m i l i a r w i t h the themes and the format, and l o o k s a t a p a r t i c u l a r s t o r y t e l l e r ' s h a n d l i n g of a theme or c y c l e of themes i n the l i g h t of o t h e r performances of these same themes. 1-^ The premium on r h a p s o d i c s k i l l i s r e f l e c t e d i n the arrange-ment of e p i c c o n t e s t s i n c l a s s i c a l times. The e p i c c o m p e t i t i o n s were between rhapsodes r a t h e r than between poets, whereas i n the dramatic c o m p e t i t i o n s the major p r i z e s were awarded to the poets We can thus see the emphasis on performance i n the c r i t i c a l con-s i d e r a t i o n of the form. I t was p a r t of the b a s i c e d u c a t i o n of 5th century Athenian youths of good f a m i l y t o l e a r n something of music and performanc The need f o r a s h o p h i s t i c a t e d , c r i t i c a l audience i n p u b l i c per-formances i s f u r t h e r emphasized by A r i s t o t l e ' s d i s c u s s i o n i n The P o l i t i c s of the proper e d u c a t i o n a l c u r r i c u l u m f o r youth. He advocates t r a i n i n g i n the performing a r t s , not w i t h p r o f e s -s i o n a l g o a l s i n mind, but w i t h an eye to the student's develop-i n g c r i t i c a l s k i l l s . ^ T h i s c r i t i c a l view of the s t o r y t e l l e r i s complemented by h i s a l s o h a v i n g the p r e s t i g i o u s f u n c t i o n of one who conserves a l o n g t r a d i t i o n of s t o r i e s and b r i n g s them to the people. He 12 thus becomes, a l o n g w i t h the s t o r i e s themselves, an Important element i n m a i n t a i n i n g and p e r p e t u a t i n g the s o c i a l t r a d i t i o n s of the people. 11. A c t i n g and Impersonation A second important determinant of the nature of e p i c per-formance i s the f a c t t h a t the s t o r y t e l l e r i s the s o l e a c t o r . He must t h e r e f o r e have c o n s i d e r a b l e s k i l l s . He must be a b l e to c a t c h and h o l d h i s audience's i n t e r e s t and be adept a t imper-s o n a t i n g the c h a r a c t e r s , knowing not only what people say but a l s o how they say i t . He would r e q u i r e a p l e a s i n g , v a r i e d , and i n t e r e s t i n g v o i c e and manner, and be a b l e as w e l l to i m i t a t e the p i t c h , cadence, and rhythms of the c h a r a c t e r s ' v o i c e s . The performer must be adept a t impersonating c h a r a c t e r s i n d i a l o g u e and making f u l l a r t i s t i c use of the e p i t h e t s which r e -cur w i t h t h e i r names. These e p i t h e t s c o n t r i b u t e s i g n i f i c a n t l y t o a sense of the c h a r a c t e r ' s "look". I n the performance they a l s o provide a pause ( o f t e n before and a f t e r the c h a r a c t e r speaks) which, s k i l l f u l l y used, provide the s t o r y t e l l e r (and the a u d i -ence) a chance t o prepare f o r the new r o l e . The e p i c performer's s k i l l s must be more than v o c a l , how-ever. C h a r a c t e r s can a l s o be impersonated by t h e i r f a c i a l ex-p r e s s i o n s , g e s t u r e s , and postures. I n h i s d i s c u s s i o n of dramatic choruses, A.E. Haigh mentions t h a t there were c e r t a i n s t y l i z e d g estures and postures I n the Greek t h e a t r e which were conven-13 t i o n a l t okens-of emotional s t a t e s . For'example, the s t a t e of g r i e f c o u l d be s i g n i f i e d by the a c t o r ' s b e a t i n g h i s 1 fi b r e a s t , t e a r i n g h i s h a i r and c l o t h e s , and p u l l i n g h i s beard. At two p o i n t s i n The Odyssey (IV, l 8 f f . and V I I I , 249ff.) t h e r e are i n s t a n c e s of e p i c r e c i t a l s b e i n g accompanied by t h i s type of dumb show, though, a c c o r d i n g t o F i t z g e r a l d , t h e r e i s no i n d i c a -t i o n t h a t t h i s was a common p r a c t i c e . O n e might, however, suppose t h a t the s t o r y t e l l e r h i m s e l f used g e s t u r e s , p o s t u r e s , and f a c i a l e x p r e s s i o n s t o s i g n i f y a t t i t u d e s and emotions, and thus b e t t e r conjure up the c h a r a c t e r . I t would seem, then, t h a t while the s t o r y t e l l e r shares w i t h the dramatic a c t o r c e r t a i n techniques of impersonating c h a r a c t e r , the outcome d i f f e r s because the s t o r y t e l l e r Impersonates a l l the c h a r a c t e r s . Thus i f the "presentness" of a c h a r a c t e r i s more s h o r t - l i v e d , the audience's o p p o r t u n i t y t o s t r o n g l y i d e n t i f y w i t h any one c h a r a c t e r w i l l be l i m i t e d . And i f the audience sees c h a r a c t e r s c r e a t e d through the s t o r y t e l l e r ' s m a n i p u l a t i o n of i n -t o n a t i o n , i n f l e c t i o n , gesture, posture, or f a c i a l e x p r e s s i o n , i t w i l l be p r o p o r t i o n a t e l y more aware of performance s k i l l s . H i . Musio I n a d d i t i o n t o the s k i l l s a l r e a d y mentioned, the e a r l y rhapsodes had to master the m u s i c a l accompaniment t o t h e i r r e -c i t a l s . The f a c t t h a t the l a t e r rhapsodes (e.g. Ion) declaimed t h e i r m a t e r i a l r a t h e r than sang i t might e x p l a i n A r i s t o t l e ' s statement t h a t e p i c has f o u r elements ( p l o t , c h a r a c t e r , thought, 14 d i c t i o n ) t o drama's s i x (1462 a ) . Yet A r i s t o t l e seems to as-s e r t the absence of music i n e p i c per se, independent of pass-i n g trends i n performance s t y l e s . The e x p l a n a t i o n probably l i e s i n the d i f f e r e n c e between A r i s t o t l e ' s d e f i n i t i o n of "music" and our own. Simply s t a t e d (he goes i n t o g r e a t e r d e t a i l on the v a r i o u s modes of music and the s i g n i f i c a n c e of p a r t i c u l a r rhythms and harmonies i n the l a s t chapters of The P o l i t i c s ).*9 music f o r A r i s t o t l e i s a mimetic a r t ? i t i m i t a t e s i n t e l l e c t u a l , emotional, and moral s t a t e s . While music i n c l a s s i c a l , drama s u s t a i n s the i n t e l l e c t u a l , emotional, or moral import of the a c t i o n , and i s i m p o r t a n t l y l i n k e d to the presence and f u n c t i o n s of the chorus, music i n c l a s s i c a l e p i c does not serve the same k i n d of f u n c t i o n s . I t i s not a d i s t i n c t element, but r a t h e r a d e v i c e f o r marking rhythm, ornamenting c e r t a i n phrases, f i l l i n g i n b r i e f pauses, and, perhaps most important, making the audience more r e c e p t i v e or s u g g e s t i b l e . To judge from Odysseus' r e a c -t i o n s to the songs of the harper, the music has an almost magi-c a l e f f e c t ? i t charms the l i s t e n e r and b l o t s out, or a t l e a s t d u l l s , other c l a i m s t o h i s a t t e n t i o n which (as mentioned e a r l i e r ) seem t o a t t e n d most e p i c performances. The l i s t e n e r probably would not f o c u s c o n s c i o u s l y on the music, and thus i t s main per-formance f u n c t i o n probably operates a t what would now be c a l l e d the s u b l i m i n a l l e v e l . l v . S p e c t a c l e The m u s i c a l background may a l s o be u s e f u l f o r p u t t i n g the 15 s p e c t a t o r i n a frame of mind where he can v i s u a l i z e the a c t i o n without the a i d of p h y s i c a l scenery, l i g h t s , costumes, or props. To some extent, the audience's f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h the s t o r i e s , and thus w i t h the l o c a l e s of the a c t i o n , f a c i l i t a t e s t h i s v i s u a l i z a -t i o n . The s t o r y t e l l e r ' s language a l s o h e l p s . He may use r e -peated formulae and e p i t h e t s which s i g n i f y such t h i n g s as p l a c e s and times of day and which provide s c e n i c c o n t i n u i t y . He may use s i m i l e s and p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n (e.g. the angry sea, r o s y -f i n g e r e d dawn) which g i v e the scene a dynamic and v i s u a l q u a l i -t y . The scene of the a c t i o n may be f u r t h e r enhanced by the minuteness and exactness of d e t a i l w i t h which i t i s d e s c r i b e d . A l b i n Lesky speaks of the importance of nuance i n a s t o r y t e l l e r ' s v o c a b u l a r y . 2 ^ No doubt the l i s t e n e r would be attuned t o s u b t l e v a r i a t i o n s of d i c t i o n which the s t o r y t e l l e r c o u l d e x p l o i t f o r shading or v a r y i n g h i s d e p i c t i o n of the many r e c u r r i n g , s c e n e s i n c l a s s i c a l e p i c . The s t o r y t e l l e r c o u l d a l s o vary h i s tone of v o i c e , so t h a t even where d e s c r i p t i o n s r e c u r , they never r e c u r i n e x a c t l y the same way. With these means a t h i s command, the s t o r y t e l l e r can t u r n e p i c ' s seeming l i a b i l i t y t o advantagej i n the absence of p h y s i c a l scenery each audience member can per-haps imagine the scene of the a c t i o n i n an i n d i v i d u a l l y s a t i s f y -i n g way. The a c t u a l s p e c t a c l e t h a t c o n f r o n t s the audience i s another c o n s i d e r a t i o n . There i s the s t o r y t e l l e r , who draws a t t e n t i o n t o h i m s e l f by b e i n g b e a u t i f u l l y got up (to paraphrase S o c r a t e s ) 2 * and i s the main focus of a t t e n t i o n . The surroundings of the performance as w e l l as the other audience members are a l s o v i s i b l e , and these perhaps form an important c o u n t e r p a r t t o the s e t t i n g evoked by the s t o r y t e l l e r . These surroundings no doubt c o n t r i b u t e t o the sense of the performance as a communal, s o c i a l e xperience. I n sum, then, performances of Homeric e p i c cannot be r e -garded as mere l i t e r a r y r e c i t a t i o n s , where the only s i g n i f i c a n t events are those d e s c r i b e d i n the t e x t . The v a r y i n g and a c t i v e elements of o c c a s i o n , the aware i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h i n the audience and between audience and performer, the rhapsode's v o c a l and p h y s i c a l s k i l l s of impersonation and p r e s e n t a t i o n , the means by which he evokes both a u d i t o r y and v i s u a l a s p e c t s of the e p i c , a l l these are s i g n i f i c a n t p a r t s of the a r t i s t i c whole c a l l e d " e p i c " . 17 Chapter 2 1. Plot One of the main determinants of epic plot structure Is the varying length of performances. The structure must thus be flexible enough for the storyteller to adapt i t easily to the time limits Imposed by the occasion. He must also be responsive to the Interest of the audience* and be able to expand or c u r t a i l the plot development accordingly. As Aristotle notes (1449 b), epic has no convention for size, 22 and thus the rhapsode i s both a "song stlcher" and a song selector. 2-^ As a song stlcher he must be able to link a number of individual stories, as i s done i n the following i l l u s t r a t i o n cited by Leskyi "Hector's epithet 'tamer of horses' was l e f t out at the end of the verse, and the words •but there came an Amazon . . .' replaced them, so that one passed immediately i n recitation from the Il i a d to the Aethlopls". As a song selector, the rhapsode must be able to detach stories and Incidents from larger works, as the harper i n Book VIII of The Odyssey does. The audience's familiarity with the stories i s one important determinant of the types of "stiches" used. The segmentation of extended actions into smaller, self-contained actions i s another. In this section we w i l l examine what these segments consist of and how they are linked. Aristotle states that epic i s longer than drama because 1 8 i t s p l o t i s i n t e r s p e r s e d w i t h more numerous and l e n g t h i e r i n c i -dents (1455 b ) . He d i s t i n g u i s h e s the p l o t from the i n c i d e n t s and, u s i n g E u r i p i d e s ' I p h l g e n l a In T a u r l s as an example, shows how the p l o t o u t l i n e c o n s i s t s of what happens: • a g i r l who had been o f f e r e d i n s a c r i f i c e myster-i o u s l y disappeared} she was e s t a b l i s h e d as p r i e s -t e s s i n another country where the law r e q u i r e d her to s a c r i f i c e s t r a n g e r s to the goddess; some time afterwards her b r o t h e r a r r i v e d ; on h i s a r r i v a l he i s captured and i s about to be s a c r i f i c e d when he makes h i m s e l f known . . . Hence he i s saved. The i n c i d e n t s c o n s i s t of how or why these t h i n g s happen. I n t h i s case, they would i n c l u d e such i n f o r m a t i o n as O r e s t e s ' going to T a u r i s on the a d v i c e of an o r a c l e , the purpose of the o r a c l e , the cause of the madness, and the f a c t t h a t t h i s mad-ness lead s to h i s capture and h i s escape (1455 b ) . He a p p l i e s s i m i l a r c r i t e r i a t o the e p i c , and o u t l i n e s the p l o t of The  Odyssey as f o l l o w s t a man has been absent from home f o r many ye a r s , alone and under the eye of Poseidon. The s i t u a -t i o n a t home i s t h a t h i s p o s s e s s i o n s are b e i ng squandered by the s u i t o r s , and they p l o t a g a i n s t h i s son. He a r r i v e s home tempest-tossed; he makes h i m s e l f known, a t t a c k s and k i l l s h i s enemies, and i s s a f e . That i s the e s s e n t i a l p l o t of the Odyssey; the r e s t i s i n c i d e n t s . (14-55 b) G e r a l d E l s e takes t h i s a s t e p f u r t h e r and c i t e s an a b s t r a c t i o n of the p l o t of Homeric e p i c s from the i n c i d e n t s , d e t e r m i n i n g thereby t h a t the l e n g t h of e p i c p l o t proper i s comparable to t h a t of a dramatic t r i l o g y (ca. 4,000 l i n e s ) . 2 ^ Aside from p r a i s i n g Homer f o r t y i n g h i s i n c i d e n t s to the p l o t (1459 a).and acknowledging the importance of e p i c ' s n a r r a t i v e format (1459 b)b A r i s t o t l e does not d e a l s p e c i f i c a l l y w i t h how these e p i c i n c i d e n t s are j o i n e d to the plot,- I t h i n k 19 we should approach t h i s q u e s t i o n by f i r s t examining the e p i c i n c i d e n t s themselves. There are a number of types. F i r s t , there are s t o c k i n c i -dents (e.g. scenes of arming, c l e a n s i n g , f e a s t i n g , and s a c r l -f i c i n g ) which are e l a b o r a t e d to v a r y i n g e x t e n t s . Second, there are d i g r e s s i o n s , which a r e more fre q u e n t and f u l l y developed i n e p i c than i n drama. F o r example, i n The Odyssey we l e a r n what happens t o the s h i p which took Odysseus back to Ithaka a f t e r i t d e p o s i t s him on h i s n a t i v e shore. I n Oedipus  Rex, on the o t h e r hand, we do not f i n d out what happens to the C o r i n t h i a n messenger who b r i n g s Oedipus news of Polybus• death. Thus.in.epic, i n c i d e n t s which are not d i r e c t l y c a u s a l l y con-nected to the main a c t i o n are i n g e n e r a l more f u l l y developed. T h i r d , there are p a r a l l e l a c t i o n s which are o f t e n developed at g r e a t e r l e n g t h . There are i s o l a t e d p a r a l l e l s , ongoing p a r a l l e l s , and p a r a l l e l r e f e r e n c e p o i n t s . Such p a r a l l e l s may serve a number of f u n c t i o n s . Nestor's anecdotes i n The I l i a d develop i s o l a t e d p a r a l l e l s t o the main a c t i o n , and oten serve a r h e t o r i c a l func-t i o n . The a c t i o n s and a n i m o s i t i e s of the gods i n The I l i a d are on-going p a r a l l e l s t o those of the Greeks and Trojans and f r e -q u e n t l y foreshadow events i n the human sphere. The Agamemnon s t o r y i n The Odyssey i s a r e f e r e n c e p o i n t c i t e d a t a number of p o i n t s i n the s t o r y , which i n s t i g a t e s a c t i o n s , and throws a c t i o n s and c h a r a c t e r s i n t o r e l i e f . These i n c i d e n t s are subordinate to the main a c t i o n i n the sense t h a t they are not c r u c i a l f o r i t s development, ye t t h e i r own development does not r e f l e c t such 20 s u b o r d i n a t i o n . E r i c h Auerbach d i s c u s s e s t h i s p o i n t i n h i s chapter on Homer i n Mimesis, where he f ocuses on the s t o r y of Odysseus' wound i n the f o o t - b a t h i n g scene and shows how t h i s i n c i d e n t i s detached from the main a c t i o n . F i r s t of a l l , the s t o r y does not a r i s e from Odysseus' r e f l e c t i o n on how he got the s c a r ; r a t h e r , i t i s the n a r r a t o r who a b r u p t l y changes the focus ("she knew the groove at once. An o l d wound . . . " ) . Secondly, the i n c i d e n t i s t o l d i n such a way as to capture completely the a t t e n t i o n of the reader or l i s t e n e r (e.g. v i a d i r e c t d i s c o u r s e and v i v i d language). Because the s t o r y c w h i l e ' b e i n g t b l d ! , occupies what Auerbach c a l l s the "foreground", the growing sus-pense about the p o s s i b i l i t y of Odysseus' premature r e c o g n i t i o n and b e t r a y a l i s t e m p o r a r i l y r e l a x e d . 2 ? T h i s type of i n t e r r u p -t i o n of h i g h l y charged s i t u a t i o n s seems t o be a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c f u n c t i o n of e p i c i n c i d e n t s . Of course most i n c i d e n t s i n e p i c occupy the "foreground", i f only because at a p e r f o r -mance one cannot skim or s k i p over minor i n c i d e n t s , as one can when r e a d i n g (a u s e f u l example of how c o n s i d e r i n g , performance w i l l a f f e c t one's understanding of the s t r u c t u r e of the t e x t ) . Another important c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of these i n c i d e n t s i s t h a t they are s e l f - c o n t a i n e d . The s t o r y of Odysseus' wound has an e x p o s i t i o n (the r e l a t i o n s h i p of h o s t and g u e s t ) , a climax (the h u n t ) , and a r e s o l u t i o n (Odysseus r e t u r n s home). I n The I l i a d , Nestor draws a p a r a l l e l which i s s i m i l a r l y , s e l f - c o n t a i n e d ( V I I I , 133ff«). I t too has an e x p o s i t i o n ( t h e h i s t o r y of the opponent's armor), a climax (the b a t t l e ) , and 21 a r e s o l u t i o n (Nestor s l a y s E r e u t h a l i o n ) . Nestor h i m s e l f t i e s the s t o r y t o the s i t u a t i o n a t hand; he i s i l l u s t r a t i n g o l d - s t y l e courage and stamina i n order t o shame the Greeks i n t o r esponding to Hector's c h a l l e n g e . Yet the s t o r y a l s o stands on i t s own; i t c o u l d be expanded or even taken out of The I l i a d and p l a c e d i n a d i f f e r e n t context (e.g. an extended c h r o n i c l e of Nestor's l i f e ) . The i n c i d e n t s i n e p i c , then, d i f f e r from those i n drama i n a number of ways: (a) they are o f t e n s e l f - c o n t a i n e d , (b) they are f r e q u e n t l y o n l y l o o s e l y l i n k e d to the main a c t i o n , both l i n g u i s t i c a l l y and c a u s a l l y , and (c) they o f t e n i n t e r r u p t the tone r a t h e r t han s u s t a i n i t and r e t a r d the main a c t i o n r a t h e r advance i t . The e p i c p l o t i s segmented by these i n c i d e n t s and by the e x t e n s i v e f o r e t e l l i n g of segments of the a c t i o n , both by c h a r a c t e r s (e.g. gods or prophets) and by the n a r r a t o r . The f o r e t e l l i n g of the a c t i o n a l l o w s the audience to a p p r e c i a t e d i g r e s s i o n s , r e t a r d i n g developments, or a m p l i f i c a t i o n s , as w e l l as the performance i t s e l f . We have so f a r been s t r e s s i n g how the more numerous i n c i -dents i n e p i c give the p l o t a l o o s e s t r u c t u r e . Let us now look at some of the u n i f y i n g elements I n e p i c . F i r s t of a l l , the r e c u r r e n c e of c e r t a i n i n c i d e n t s i n e p i c p r o v i d e s f o r m a l c o n t i n u -i t y both w i t h i n a work and between c y c l e s of s t o r i e s . Secondly, the r e c u r r e n c e of s u b j e c t themes u n i f i e s i n c i d e n t s . F o r example, i n The I l i a d , the thematic p a t t e r n s of b r i d e - s t e a l i n g and wrath (Chryses' wrath causes A p o l l o ' s causes Agamemnon's causes A c h i l l e s ' causes T h e t i s ' causes Z e u s ' ) 2 ^ u n i f y the opening 22 i n c i d e n t s and r a p i d e x p o s i t i o n . I n The Odyssey, the r e t u r n theme t i e s the v i s i t s of Telemachus t o the main a c t i o n i Odysseus* r e t u r n i s r e f r a c t e d i n Nestor's, Menelaus', Agamen-non's and t h e n Telemachus* own return.^° The thematic p a t t e r n of d e c e p t i o n — t e s t — r e c o g n i t i o n i n the end of The Odyssey r e c u r s i n Odysseus' encounters w i t h the Swineherd, Telemachus, the s u i t o r s , Penelope, and L a e r t e s . Albert. Lord c l a i m s that i n h e r o i c e p i c the r e t u r n theme t r a d i t i o n a l l y generates these o t h e r themes, and t h a t these t r a d i t i o n a l thematic p a t t e r n s are h e a v i l y e x p l o i t e d because of the i m p r o v i s a t l o n a l nature of e p i c p e r f o r -mances.31 An important outcome of t h i s r e l i a n c e on thematic m o t i f s i s t h a t the elements of the complex p l o t serve d i f f e r e n t f u n c - . t i o n s i n e p i c t han i n drama. While A r i s t o t l e says t h a t The  Odyssey has a complex p l o t because of i t s r e c o g n i t i o n s (14-59 b), i t i s obvious t h a t the r e c o g n i t i o n s do not operate as they do i n , f o r example, Oedipus Rex, I p h l g e n l a i n T a u r l s , or The  Bacchae. I n the t r a g e d i e s , the c h a r a c t e r s ' sudden r e a l i z a t i o n of the i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h e i r a c t i o n s or i n t e n t i o n s v i s - a - v i s the person r e c o g n i z e d , u s u a l l y a b l o o d r e l a t i v e , causes an abrupt r e - e v a l u a t i o n of events and a r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t f u t u r e course of a c t i o n . T h e ^ r e c o g n i t i o n s i n The .Odyssey.,, save f o r the s u i t o r s ' , are an end i n themselves, and a happy end at t h a t . They are repeated and extended over the l a s t e i g h t books of the e p i c . As a s i d e - n o t e , we might a l s o c o n s i d e r t h a t these recog-n i t i o n s are of a s o c i a l r a t h e r t han a moral nature. They a f f e c t 23 the s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s r a t h e r than the moral o r i e n t a t i o n of the c h a r a c t e r s . A t h i r d u n i f y i n g element i s the n a r r a t i v e . I have pre-v i o u s l y emphasized the f a m i l i a r i t y of the s t o r i e s and the s e l f - c o n t a i n e d q u a l i t y of the i n c i d e n t s , w i t h an eye to t h e i r m i n i m i z i n g the need f o r ex t e n s i v e n a r r a t i v e e x p o s i t i o n s and t r a n s i t i o n s ( o f t e n the short phrase "at t h a t same hour" or "meanwhile" i s s u f f i c i e n t ) . The n a r r a t i v e , however, a l s o pro-v i d e s an important u n i f y i n g element, not onl y by c o n n e c t i n g the p a r t s of the i n d i v i d u a l s t o r i e s and the d i f f e r e n t s t o r i e s them-s e l v e s , but a l s o by i t s form. F i r s t of a l l , the n a r r a t i v e i s d i s p e r s e d among the c h a r a c t e r s , so a l a r g e amount of the nar-r a t e d m a t e r i a l occurs i n d i r e c t d i s c o u r s e . Secondly, the nar-r a t i v e d i g r e s s i o n s f r e q u e n t l y emplpy d i a l o g u e . T h i r d l y , n a r r a -t i v e and d i r e c t d i s c o u r s e are sometimes combined. I n The  Odyssey f o r example, the n a r r a t o r r e p e a t e d l y r e f e r s t o Eumaios as "0 my swineherd". I n The I l i a d , the n a r r a t o r t a l k s d i r e c t l y t o the c h a r a c t e r * "So, Menelaos, your shapely thighs . ..." (IV, 146). Th i s i n t e r m i n g l i n g of the n a r r a t i v e and dramatic method i s i n s t r u m e n t a l i n b r i n g i n g the a c t i o n s t o the "foreground", so much so t h a t Auerbach uses i t to argue f o r e p i c ' s r a d i c a l d i s c o n -t i n u i t y * " I t ^ Homeric s t y l e ] y e t causes what i s momentarily b e i n g n a r r a t e d t o give the i m p r e s s i o n t h a t i t i s the only present, pure and without p e r s p e c t i v e . . .".^ 2 I n a way, how-ever, the mi x i n g of the dramatic and n a r r a t i v e methods i n e p i c 24 p r o v i d e s g r e a t e r c o n t i n u i t y of v o i c e , t i e s the n a r r a t i v e more c l o s e l y t o the a c t i o n , and smoothes the t r a n s i t i o n s from nar-r a t i v e t o d i r e c t d i s c o u r s e and from one i n c i d e n t to another. A f o u r t h u n i f y i n g element i s c h a r a c t e r . I n each Homeric e p i c there are a h a n d f u l of c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r s who dominate the episodes, who are r e f r a c t e d i n p e r i p h e r a l c h a r a c t e r s , and whose a c t i o n s are r e f r a c t e d i n the i n c i d e n t s . C h a r a c t e r s such as the gods, e s p e c i a l l y i n The I11ad, can a l s o i n s t i g a t e , f o r e t e l l , and provide r a t i o n a l e s f o r r e t a r d i n g the a c t i o n . Furthermore, p l o t d i g r e s s i o n s f r e q u e n t l y f o l l o w from c h a r a c t e r i t s e l f . Odysseus' p r o c l i v i t y f o r d e c e p t i o n , f o r example, giv e s c o h e s i o n to the drawn-out c o n c l u s i o n of The Odyssey; Nestor's age and wisdom g i v e r i s e t o h i s lengthy p a r a l l e l s i n The I l i a d . 11. Character A major d i s t i n g u i s h i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of e p i c c h a r a c t e r i s i t s s o c i a l grounding. I n drama, the s o c i a l background of the c h a r a c t e r s i s u s u a l l y e l a b o r a t e d l a r g e l y i n terms of i t s p l o t s i g n i f i c a n c e . I n tragedy, these h i s t o r i e s are o f t e n b u i l t up as the r e v e l a t i o n s which d r a s t i c a l l y a l t e r the course of the a c t i o n . I n e p i c , the r e v e l a t i o n s of the c h a r a c t e r s ' o r i g i n s are much more r o u t i n e and wide-spread. Lesky suggests that i t i s the h e r o i c nature of the Homeric e p i c s which accounts f o r 33 the e x t e n s i v e amount of g e n e a l o g i c a l m a t e r i a l . I n an e p i c l i k e The I l i a d . w h i c h abounds i n h e r o i c deeds, the genealogies are o f t e n as important f o r d i s t i n g u i s h i n g the c h a r a c t e r s as 25 the deeds themselves. Even the most p e r i p h e r a l w a r r i o r s have some b i o g r a p h i c a l data r e l a t e d b e f o r e they are d i s p a t c h e d : Meriones i n t u r n k i l l e d P herklos, son of Harmonides, the smith, who understood how t o make w i t h h i s hand a l l i n t r i c a t e t h i n g s , s i n c e above a l l others P a l l a s Athene had lo v e d him (V, 4 9 f f . ) The names of major c h a r a c t e r s i n e p i c are o f t e n accom-panied by e p i t h e t s s p e c i f y i n g o r i g i n , g e n e r a l l y a l o n g p a t r i -l i n e a l l i n e s ("son of — " , "of the seed of — " , " — * s found-l i n g " ) . The i n t r o d u c t i o n of c h a r a c t e r s a l s o c a l l s f o r some r e c o u n t i n g of genealogy and past a c t i v i t i e s . These q u e s t i o n s c o n t r i b u t e a s i g n i f i c a n t l y r i t u a l i s t i c tone t o i n t r o d u c t i o n s . They a l s o e s t a b l i s h the s o c i a l background of c h a r a c t e r s a l -though t h i s background i s not always d i r e c t l y r e l e v a n t t o the main a c t i o n . T h i s i s n o t i c e a b l y d i f f e r e n t from tragedy,.where o r i g i n s e i t h e r have a d i r e c t b e a r i n g on the p l o t . o r are brought ; up, o f t e n i n c h o r a l s e c t i o n s , because the f a t e of some f o r e -b earer i s analogous t o t h a t of a c h a r a c t e r (e.g. the r e c o u n t i n g of Actaeon's s t o r y i n The Bacchae). Along w i t h a c h a r a c t e r ' s s o c i a l and f a m i l i a l . o r i g i n s , h i s moral a t t r i b u t e s are of major concern. These two asp e c t s of c h a r a c t e r are not wholly independent, s i n c e moral q u a l i t i e s seem to be c o n s i d e r e d to some extent h e r e d i t a r y (e.g. "when you have supped, we hope to hear your names,/ f o r e b e a r s and f a m i l i e s — i n your case, i t seems,/ no anonymities, but l o r d l y men./ Lads l i k e y o u r s e l v e s are not base born." Odyssey IV, 5 9 f f . ) . 26 I n Homeric e p i c , the moral a t t r i b u t e s of a c h a r a c t e r are f r e -q u e n t l y acknowledged i n the e p i t h e t s j o i n e d t o h i s name. These a t t r i b u t e s are o f t e n i n s e p a r a b l e from the c h a r a c t e r s they are mentioned w i t h the name, even when i t i s incongruous i n the context (e.g. the p l a i n t i v e Aphrodite i s s t i l l "sweetly laugh-i n g " , and A c h i l l e s i s "fleet-footed"-e.ven when he i s s i t t i n g d o w n ) , a n d they are used even where p e r s o n a l b i a s would seem to prec l u d e such an acknowledgement (e.g. "goodly" H e c t o r ) . These types of e p i t h e t s convey a sense of the c h a r a c t e r s ' moral c o n s i s t e n c y , j u s t as the e p i t h e t s which r e f e r to t h e i r looks convey a;sense of t h e i r p h y s i c a l i m m u t a b i l i t y . The n a r r a t o r ' s c h a r a c t e r i s a l s o conceived i n s o c i a l and moral terms. A l a r g e p a r t of our sense of t h i s c h a r a c t e r comes from h i s p e r s p e c t i v e on the events he i s r e l a t i n g . P l a t o ' s Ion p o i n t s out t h a t when n a r r a t i n g an e p i c he not only enacts the r o l e s ; but r e a c t s to them as w e l l , - ^ and i n t h i s c a p a c i t y he p r o j e c t s a moral persona. Sometimes the n a r r a t o r ' s r e a c t i o n s are I d e n t i c a l w i t h the c h a r a c t e r ' s (e.g. when Eumaios i s r e f e r r e d to as "0 my swineherd"). At other times the n a r r a t o r d i s t i n c t -l y detaches h i m s e l f from the r e a c t i o n s of the c h a r a c t e r s (e.g. the n a r r a t o r ' s s a r d o n i c comments on the r e u n i o n of Glaucus and Diomedes i n The I l i a d VI, 2 3 ^ f f . ) . The n a r r a t o r Is s o c i a l l y and m o r a l l y o r i e n t e d towards both h i s audience and h i s c h a r a c t e r s . He i d e n t i f i e s h i m s e l f w i t h the s o c i a l and moral environments of h i s audience by a number of techniques mentioned i n the f i r s t chapter. He a l s o i d e n t i f i e s 27 h i m s e l f w i t h the s o c i a l and moral environments of the c h a r a c t e r s by the v a l u e s , modes of e x p r e s s i o n , and modes of p e r c e p t i o n which he shares w i t h them. T h i s common ground c o n t r i b u t e s s i g -n i f i c a n t l y t o our sense of the n a r r a t o r as a c h a r a c t e r , and we w i l l examine i t s substance and e f f e c t more c l o s e l y i n the sec-t i o n s on thought and d i c t i o n . 111. Thought While the mode of thought i n Homeric e p i c f r e q u e n t l y d i f f e r s from t h a t of drama, A r i s t o t l e ' s major c r i t e r i o n f o r the thought element i n drama a l s o a p p l i e s to e p i c . I n both forms thought i s "the c a p a c i t y t o express what i s Involved i n , or s u i t a b l e t o , a s i t u a t i o n " (1450 b). I n both, i t c e n t e r s on d e c i s i o n s t o a c t . I n drama, such e x p r e s s i o n s o f t e n i n t e n s i f y the importance of the d e c i s i o n b e i n g debated. I n e p i c , however, such express s i o n s o f t e n take the form of p a r a l l e l s t h a t develop I n c i d e n t s which are i n themselves absorbing. While they are being de-veloped, the d e c i s i o n s are h e l d i n abeyance and the immediate s i t u a t i o n s are t o some extent f o r g o t t e n . Nestor's extended p a r a l l e l i n The I l i a d , which we d i s c u s s e d i n s e c t i o n i , i s a good example of t h i s . Such p a r a l l e l s both i n s t i g a t e or d i s -courage a c t i o n s and serve as springboards f o r thematic s t a t e -ments. I n The I l i a d , many of these d e a l w i t h the nature and m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of bravery and i n The Odyssey, w i t h those of l o y a l t y . I n a d d i t i o n t o c o n s i d e r i n g e p i c thought i n the A r i s t o t e l i a n 28 sense, we might a l s o c o n s i d e r the p e r s p e c t i v e on the a c t i o n as a m a n i f e s t a t i o n of thought. Such p e r s p e c t i v e s a re conveyed by both the c h a r a c t e r s and the n a r r a t o r , and they are u n i f i e d to some extent by the s i m i l a r methods of c h a r a c t e r i z i n g t h i n g s (e.g. w i t h e p i t h e t s ) and t h e i r use of s i m i l a r c o n s t r u c t i o n s (e.g. p a r a l l e l s , s i m i l e s ) f o r e x p r e s s i n g t h e i r p o i n t s of view. Thus w h i l e a l l of the c h a r a c t e r s do not have the same p o i n t of view, there i s some degree of c o n t i n u i t y i n the way these d i -verse p o i n t s of view are s t r u c t u r e d and i n the way they are expressed. Before we look a t the types of e p i c e x p r e s s i o n , however, i t i s worth r e p e a t i n g t h a t c h a r a c t e r and p e r s p e c t i v e are a l s o conveyed by the s t o r y t e l l e r ' s g e s t u r e s , postures, and f a c i a l e x p r e s s i o n s . Though the e p i c t e x t s suggest t h a t p o i n t of view i s conveyed i n a c o n s i d e r a b l y uniform manner, e p i c performances might not s u s t a i n t h i s i m p ression. l v . D i c t i o n One of the major determinants of e p i c language and s t r u c -t u r e i s the uniform hexameter. F i r s t of a l l , i t r e s u l t s i n the e x t e n s i v e use of an e p i c vocabulary of e p i t h e t s and formulae ("a group of words which i s r e g u l a r l y employed under the same m e t r i c a l c o n d i t i o n s t o express a g i v e n e s s e n t i a l . i d e a " ) ^ which c o n t r i b u t e s s i g n i f i c a n t l y t o e p i c ' s bulk. Richmond La t t i m o r e p o i n t s out t h a t such phrases as f i t the meter ten d t o be r e -t a i n e d , even where not necessary f o r t h e i r substance.3? For example, a number of d i f f e r e n t types of e p i t h e t s f r e q u e n t l y 29 accompany the naming of a c h a r a c t e r i n order t o f i l l i n a l i n e . While the uniform hexameter l e a d s to the i n c l u s i o n of r e -dundant and repeated m a t e r i a l , i t i s worth remembering the simple f a c t t h a t r e p e t i t i o n i n an o r a l form i s not the same as r e p e t i t i o n I n a w r i t t e n form. I n the former, the r e p e t i t i o n of the words themselves can be accompanied by v a r i a t i o n s of i n t o n a t i o n , emphasis, or gesture, so t h a t the words are never merely repeated. I t i s a l s o worth n o t i n g t h a t w h ile formulae and e p i t h e t forms r e c u r , a l a r g e v o cabulary of such phrases f o r f r e q u e n t l y named o b j e c t s and people e x i s t s . A c h a r a c t e r can be I d e n t i f i e d w i t h an e p i t h e t s p e c i f y i n g parentage, moral bent, occ u p a t i o n , s k i l l , or p h y s i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c . There are e p i -t h e t s f o r a s p e c t s of physique (e.g. "white armed", "grey eyed", "ox eyed", " g l a n c i n g eyed", "golden h a i r e d " ) and others which are emblems or tokens of the c h a r a c t e r (e.g. " a e g i s b e a r i n g " , " w e l l greaved", "of the bow", "of the g l a n c i n g helm"). Such e p i t h e t s , which h e l p the reader or l i s t e n e r grasp the "look" of the a c t o r s and scenes, are important i n a form where the poet i s l a r g e l y dependent upon language f o r the r e a l i z a t i o n of a c t i o n s , c h a r a c t e r s , and scenes. S i m i l e s serve a s i m i l a r f u n c t i o n , and i n Homeric e p i c they are used e x t e n s i v e l y . They can be t e r s e (e.g. Odysseus a t t a c k s the Ithakan townsmen " l i k e an eagle on the pounce" Odyssey XXIV, 538) or., extended (e.g. Odysseus and h i s h e l p e r s are l i k e n e d t o " f a l c o n s / from e y r i e s I n the mountains v e e r i n g over and d i v i n g down/ w i t h t a l o n s wide unsheathed on f l i g h t s of b i r d s , / who 30 cower down the sky i n chutes and b u r s t s a l o n g the v a l l e y — / but the pouncing f a l c o n s g r i p t h e i r prey, no f r a n t i c wing a v a i l s , / and farmers l o v e t o watch those beaked h u n t e r s . " Odyssey XXII, 3 0 6 f f . ) . Lattimore p o i n t s out t h a t the extended s i m i l e s sometimes d e p i c t s t r i k i n g l y d i s s i m i l a r scenes which throw the o r i g i n a l o b j e c t o r scene i n t o r e l i e f . 3 ® T h i s technique i s e s p e c i a l l y e f f e c t i v e i n The I l i a d , where there a re so many i n t e n s e l y h e r o i c b a t t l e s t h a t i t would be d i f f i c u l t t o s u s t a i n the p i t c h without these non-heroic i n t e r l u d e s . S i m i l e s and e p i t h e t s are used by both n a r r a t o r s and charac-t e r s , thus c o n t r i b u t i n g t o the c o n s i s t e n c y of e x p r e s s i o n i n i n -d i r e c t and d i r e c t d i s c o u r s e . Such l i n g u i s t i c s i m i l a r i t i e s f o l l o w from both n a r r a t o r s and c h a r a c t e r s ' u s i n g the uniform hexameter, and from t h e i r o b l i g a t i o n t o a c t i v a t e t h e i r s t o r i e s f o r t h e i r l i s t e n e r s . These s i m i l a r i t i e s p l a c e the n a r r a t o r more f i r m l y i n the environment of the a c t i o n and u n i f y the v o i c e s i n e p i c . . I f I seem t o have o v e r - s t r e s s e d e p i c u n i t y so f a r , i t i s because I t h i n k i t i s important t o r e c o g n i z e t h a t those per-formance f a c t o r s which m i l i t a t e a g a i n s t e p i c u n i t y are compen-sated f o r . Our r e c o g n i t i o n of the u n i f y i n g f o r c e s i n e p i c i s e s p e c i a l l y Important f o r our understanding of Brecht, s i n c e Brecht c r i t i c i s m tends to I d e n t i f y only the d i s j o i n t e d n e s s of the p l o t or tone as the main " e p i c " element i n E p i c Theatre. I t h i n k t h a t by c l a r i f y i n g the o p e r a t i o n of both u n i f y i n g and 31 segmenting elements i n e p i c i t s e l f , we may be b e t t e r a b l e t o understand those elements i n Brecht's t h e a t r e which are not con-s i s t e n t w i t h a more one-sided view of e p i c . 32 FOOTNOTES - PART I 1Homer, The Odyssey, t r a n s , w i t h a p o s t s c r i p t by Robert F i t z g e r a l d , Garden C i t y , 1963 ( a l l f u r t h e r r e f e r e n c e s are t o t h i s e d i t i o n and are c i t e d i n the t e x t ) . 2Andrew Lang, Homer and H i s Age, New York, 1 9 6 8 , pg. 3 2 2 . 3 n o b e r t F i t z g e r a l d , p o s t s c r i p t t o The Odyssey, pg. 4 9 4 - 5 . ^ A l b i n Lesky, A H i s t o r y of Greek L i t e r a t u r e , t r a n s . John W i l l i s & C o r n e l i u s de Heer, New York, 1966, pg. 73-^ A l b e r t Lord, The S i n g e r of T a l e s , Cambridge, 1964, pg. 14-15. ^ S i r A r t h u r Pickard-Cambridge, The Dramatic F e s t i v a l s of  Athens, 2nd ed., Oxford, 1 9 6 8 , pg. 2 6 3 . 7 l b i d . , pg. 2 6 3 - 7 . ^Oscar S e y f f e r t , A D i c t i o n a r y of C l a s s i c a l A n t i q u i t i e s , New York, 1957* "Rhapsodist" entry , pg. 5^2. 9Andrew Lang, Homer and H i s Age, pg. 3 2 3 - 4 . 1 0 A l b e r t Lord, The S i n g e r of T a l e s , pg. 2 2 . i i p l a t o , Ion, i n The Dialogues of P l a t o , v o l . I, t r a n s . B. Jowett, New York, 19~37. PS- 2 9 0 - 1 . 1 2 S i r A r thur Pickard-Cambridge, The Dramatic F e s t i v a l s of Athens, pg. 2 7 2 - 3 -^ A l b e r t Lord, The S i n g e r of T a l e s , pg. 15« 1 4 Oscar S e y f f e r t , A D i c t i o n a r y of C l a s s i c a l A n t i q u i t i e s , "Rhapsodist" e n t r y , pg. $Vl* ^ A r i s t o t l e , The P o l i t i c s , t r a n s . T.A. S i n c l a i r , Middlesex, 1 9 6 7 . Pg. 3 0 8 - 1 0 . ^ A . E . Haigh, The A t t i c Theatre, 3 r d ed., Oxford, 1907* pg. 311-18. ^ R o b e r t F i t z g e r a l d , p o s t s c r i p t t o The Odyssey, pg. 488. ^ A r i s t o t l e , The P o e t i c s , t r a n s . G.M.A. Grube, New York, 1958 ( a l l f u r t h e r r e f e r e n c e s are t o t h i s e d i t i o n and are c i t e d i n the t e x t ) . 33 FOOTNOTES Continued ^ A r i s t o t l e , The P o l i t i c s , pg. 302-3. 3 0 5 - 1 0 , 3 1 3 - 1 6 . 2 0 A l b i n Lesky, A H i s t o r y of Greek L i t e r a t u r e , pg. 64. 2 i P l a t o , Ion, pg. 2 8 5 . 2 2N.G. L. Hammond & H.H. S c u l l a r d , eds. Oxford C l a s s i c a l  D i c t i o n a r y , Oxford, 1 9 7 0 , "Rhapsodes" e n t r y , pg. 919. 2 3 A n d r e w Lang, Homer and H i s Age, pg. 323* ^ A l b i n Lesky, A H i s t o r y of Greek L i t e r a t u r e , pg. 8 3 . 2 ^ G e r a l d E l s e , A r i s t o t l e ' s P o e t i c s t The Argument, Cambridge, 1957, pg. 603-4 ( E l s e c i t e s Gudemann's c a l c u l a t i o n ) . ^ A l b e r t Lord, The Sin g e r of T a l e s , pg. 88-91. 2 ? E r i c h Auerbach, Mimesist The R e p r e s e n t a t i o n of R e a l i t y  i n Western L i t e r a t u r e , t r a n s . W i l l a r d Trask, P r i n c e t o n , 1973. 2®Homer, The I l i a d , t r a n s , w i t h an i n t r o d u c t i o n by Richmond La t t i m o r e , Chicago, 1967 ( a l l f u r t h e r r e f e r e n c e s are t o t h i s e d i t i o n and are c i t e d i n the t e x t ) . 2 9 A l b e r t Lord, The Sin g e r of T a l e s , pg. 188. 3 0 l b l d . , pg. 159 . 3 l l b l d . , pg. 9 5 - 7 . 3 2 E r i c h Auerbach, Mimesis, pg. 12-13« 33Albin Lesky, A H i s t o r y of Greek L i t e r a t u r e , pg. 15. 3 ^ l b i d . , pg. 6 3 . 3 5 p i a t o , Ion, pg. 290-1. - ^ A l b e r t Lord, The Sin g e r of T a l e s , pg. 30 ( q u o t a t i o n of Milman P a r r y ' s d e f i n i t i o n of "formula"). 3 7Richmond La t t i m o r e , i n t r o d u c t i o n t o The I l i a d , pg. 3 7 . 3 8 i b l d . , pg. 40-5. 34 PART I I I t Is Important t o s t r e s s t h a t Brecht g e n e r a l l y wrote h i s p l a y s w i t h a view t o t h e i r b e i n g re-worked and completed i n r e h e a r s a l and performance. I n o t h e r words, these t e x t s and documentary m a t e r i a l r e f l e c t Brecht's d i r e c t involvement w i t h the m a t e r i a l as both p l a y w r i g h t and d i r e c t o r . Thus even the reader of Brecht's work i s i n v o l v e d i n performance c o n s i d e r a -t i o n s of a d i f f e r e n t nature than he would be by other types of dramatic t e x t s . I n more c o n v e n t i o n a l dramatic t e x t s performance s p e c i f i c a t i o n s g e n e r a l l y pave the way f o r the r e a d e r ' s d i r e c t i m a g i n a t i v e i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h the c h a r a c t e r s , s i t u a t i o n s , and environments, r a t h e r than w i t h the means by which these t h i n g s are to be r e a l i z e d on an a c t u a l stage. Brecht's Involvement w i t h the means of p r o d u c t i o n i s one p o i n t of s i m i l a r i t y w i t h the e p i c s t o r y t e l l e r . Another i s Brecht's e x t e n s i v e work wit h e x i s t i n g m a t e r i a l (with the work of such w r i t e r s as Sophocles, Gay, G o r k i , Lenz, M o l i e r e , and Marlowe). While Brecht's sources of m a t e r i a l may seem l e s s amorphous than the s t o r e of e p i c s t o r i e s , t h e r e are c e r t a i n s i m i l a r i t i e s worth keeping i n mind. F i r s t of a l l , B recht's a d a p t a t i o n of dramas i s analogous to the s t o r y t e l l e r ' s r e -working of o r a l t a l e s . Secondly, Brecht's c h o i c e of m a t e r i a l f o r a d a p t a t i o n i s guided to a s i g n i f i c a n t extent by s o c i a l as w e l l as a r t i s t i c c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , not always i n the immediate sense of performing m a t e r i a l which i s s u i t a b l e f o r a p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l o c c a s i o n (as does the s t o r y t e l l e r ) but i n the sense of 35 e x p l o i t i n g works whose c h a r a c t e r s and s i t u a t i o n s can be g i v e n s t r o n g s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r a contemporary audience. Although B r e c h t ' s s p e c i f i c s o c i a l g o a ls may d i f f e r from those of the s t o r y t e l l e r (a d i f f e r e n c e which may be r e -f l e c t e d i n the g r a v i t a t i o n towards f o l k e p i c or h e r o i c e p i c m a t e r i a l ) they share an awareness of the performance event as an important k i n d of s o c i a l a c t i v i t y . T h i s awareness governs the c h o i c e of performance m a t e r i a l . F i n a l l y , a l t h o u g h Brecht cannot always assume h i s audience's p r i o r f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h the m a t e r i a l , he employs a number of techniques t o b u i l d a sense of t w i c e - t o l d t a l e s i n t o the performances and t e x t s , so t h a t i n both E p i c Theatre and Homeric e p i c , such f a m i l i a r i t y becomes a premise to be e x p l o i t e d i n a number of ways. With these p o i n t s i n mind, l e t us look a t the e p i c elements t h a t are b u i l t i n t o B r e cht's dramatic t e x t s . 36 Chapter 1 1. P l o t One of the f i r s t t h i n g s one n o t i c e s about Brecht's p l o t s i s t h e i r segmentation. On the average they c o n t a i n a dozen scenes, as a g a i n s t t r a d i t i o n a l drama's th r e e t o f i v e a c t s . Yet at the same time Brecht normally adheres t o t r a d i t i o n a l drama's l e n g t h convention. He does not have to break up the p l o t s , as does the rhapsode, i n order t o f a c i l i t a t e expansion or c u r t a i l -ment i n response t o the l e n g t h of time p e r m i t t e d and the a u d i -ence i n t e r e s t (although t h i s s t r u c t u r e does make i t e a s i e r t o ex c e r p t and cut s e g m e n t s ) . ^ Although Brecht's p l o t s t r u c t u r e does not a r i s e out of the same n e c e s s i t y as c l a s s i c a l , e p i c ' s p l o t s t r u c t u r e , i t shares a number of i t s f e a t u r e s . A Brecht p l a y , l i k e an e p i c , g e n e r a l l y c o n s i s t s of s e v e r a l s t o r i e s . The main a c t i o n i s i n t e r s p e r s e d w i t h these s t o r i e s , and i s a t the same time i t s e l f an aggregate of s e l f - c o n t a i n e d s t o r i e s . These s t o r i e s are s e l f - c o n t a i n e d i n t h a t they have a beginning, a middle, and an end. With each new scene the f o c u s i s u s u a l l y s h i f t e d t o a new s i t u a t i o n , a hew l o c a l e , or a new development. They are f u r t h e r detached by the p r e - n a r r a t i o n of the scope and o b j e c t of the segment. Such segmentation of the a c t i o n i s used i n a number of waysi i t i s used t o encourage the s p e c t a t o r to per c e i v e s m a l l e r performance u n i t s , d e s p i t e h i s awareness t h a t the e n t i r e performance w i l l be much longer; i t i s used t o c o - o r d i n -ate the p a r t s of the p l o t , r a t h e r than subordinate the minor 37 i n c i d e n t s t o the major a c t i o n s * i t i s used t o p r o v i d e the spec-t a t o r w i t h a p r e l i m i n a r y f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h the a c t i o n t and i t i s used to frame the a c t i o n , or t o set i t o f f from both the pre-c e d i n g and subsequent a c t i o n s and from the frames themselves. Such frames c o n s i s t of songs, i n c i d e n t s , prologues andiep.i-= logues, or n a r r a t i o n . Before l o o k i n g more c l o s e l y a t how the p l o t s are segmented and framed, we should p o i n t out t h a t Brecht does lea v e some asp e c t s of the s t a g i n g of these frames to the d i s c r e t i o n of the d i r e c t o r . The s i z e of the p l o t segments v a r i e s * a t one extreme, i n p l a y s l i k e The Measures Taken (1930) and The Caucaslon Chalk  C i r c l e (1944/5)» a l l the p l o t i s u n f o l d e d i n s m a l l segments which are l i n k e d by the s t o r y t e l l e r ' s n a r r a t i v e ; at the o t h e r extreme, i n p l a y s l i k e the L i f e of G a l i l e o (1938,55). the seg-ments are much l a r g e r - and t h e r e i s more c a r r y - o v e r between them. Even i n the second type of play, however, th e r e are v e s t i g e s of a more segmented p l o t . Schweyk i n the Second World War (1944/5) ( s c . 8), The Good Person of Setzuan (1938/40) ( s c . 8), and The  R e s i s t i b l e R i s e of A r t u r o Ul (1941) (sc. 10) each c o n t a i n one scene which Is r e m i n i s c e n t of a more segmented p l o t development. Brecht even suggests (though he does not i n c o r p o r a t e i t i n t o the t e x t ) t h a t G a l i l e o c o n t a i n t i t l e s f o r the i n d i v i d u a l episodes 40 as w e l l as f o r the scenes. There are a number of types of frames which segment the a c t i o n i n a number of ways. There are frames whose medium and method s e t o f f those of the enactment (e.g. the w r i t t e n medium 38 s e t s o f f the dramatic medium, the past tense s e t s o f f the pre-s e n t ) . There are a l s o frames which are designed t o s e t o f f the a c t i o n h i s t o r i c a l l y . As i n Homeric e p i c , there are a number of senses i n which the s t o r i e s are h i s t o r i c l z e d . They are h i s t o r -i c l z e d by the development of the circumstances of the a c t i o n i n the n a r r a t i o n and the i n c i d e n t s . They are a l s o h i s t o r i c l z e d by the emphasis on t h e i r pastness, both w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o the pre-sent audience and s i t u a t i o n , and w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o the passage of time w i t h i n the s t o r y . F o r example, Brecht suggests t h a t a t i t l e f o r the opening episode of G a l i l e o read " G a l i l e o the p h y s i c i s t e x p l a i n s the new Copernican theory t o h i s subsequent c o l l a b o r a t o r Andrea . . .". Such a t i t l e puts the a c t i o n i n a l a t e r time p e r s p e c t i v e and a f f e c t s our view of Andrea and G a l i l e o i n t h a t scene. I n the p l a y s where Brecht d e a l s w i t h h i s t o r i c a l o r f i c t i v e h i s t o r i c a l c h a r a c t e r s and events, the frames o f t e n accentuate the d i s c r e p a n c y between the pastness and completion of these t h i n g s and the presentness and non-r e s o l u t i o n (or the n o n - i n e v i t a b i l i t y of the r e s o l u t i o n ) i n the enactment. Such p e r s p e c t i v e s can be a l t e r n a t e d pr juxtaposed (e.g. i n Chalk C i r c l e the past tense n a r r a t i o n occurs, simultane-o u s l y w i t h a mime of the a c t i o n i n the l a s t i n c i d e n t i n sc. 2). The s t o r i e s are a l s o h i s t o r i c l z e d w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o contemporary developments. As we noted w i t h the e p i c , such r e f e r e n c e s do not n e c e s s a r i l y d i s t a n c e the s t o r i e s ; where the r e f e r e n c e s p o i n t t o p a r a l l e l s between the two worlds, the s t o r i e s become more 3 9 immediate. Brecht uses t h i s d e v i c e between each scene of Art u r o Ul and i n the begin n i n g of Antigone ( 1 9 ^ 7 ) . A t h i r d type of frame q u a l i f i e s the s t o r i e s t o a p a r t i c u -l a r s o c i a l environment and presents the a c t i o n from the perspec-t i v e s of a number of socio-economic groups which are a f f e c t e d by i t . T h i s type of q u a l i f i c a t i o n i s l e s s conspicuous i n Homeric e p i c and perhaps i n h e r o i c e p i c i n g e n e r a l . Save f o r T h e r s i t e s ' o u t b u r s t i n The I l i a d ( I I , 2 1 1 f f . ) t h e r e i s no view of the a c t i o n from the p e r s p e c t i v e of the " l i t t l e man", and i t i s worth n o t i n g t h a t even T h e r s i t e s ' t i r a d e i s played dowm the n a r r a t o r p o i n t s out t h a t not only i s T h e r s i t e s q u i c k l y and e a s i l y s i l e n c e d , but he i s r i d i c u l e d by h i s f e l l o w s , h i s views are n e i t h e r popular nor t y p i c a l , and they stem from h i s per-s o n a l p e r v e r s i t y . One wonders what Brecht might.have made of t h i s scene and imagines t h a t he would have expanded i t and e x p l o i t e d i t s dramatic and p o l i t i c a l p o t e n t i a l . I n thr e e scenes designed t o "estrange" Shakespeare, Brecht adds such scenes to Romeo and J u l i e t and Macbeth i n order t o Include the s e r v a n t s ' p e r s p e c t i v e s on the a c t i o n and, i n the Romeo and J u l i e t emenda-t i o n , oppose them t o the heroes* p e r s p e c t i v e s . G a l i l e o i s f i l l e d w i t h i n c i d e n t s which d e p i c t the responses of a v a r i e t y of s o c i a l f o r c e s (e.g. the peasants, a r t i s a n s , a r i s t o c r a t s , mer-chants, and clergy) t o the h i s t o r i c a l developments. The segmentation and d i v e r s i t y of the a c t i o n a l s o r e s u l t i n a v a r i e d , and o f t e n a b r u p t l y v a r y i n g , emotional p r o f i l e . Such t o n a l s h i f t s o f t e n accompany p l o t i n t e r l u d e s (e.g. A r t u r o U l , 40 Schweyk, Setzuan) or scene changes. I n Mother Courage and Her  C h i l d r e n (1939) and G a l i l e o , the sequence of scenes o f t e n l e a d s to abrupt s h i f t s of tone as i t underscores b a s i c c o n t r a d i c t i o n s i n the main c h a r a c t e r s . I n Chalk C i r c l e , the Azdak s t o r y i s r e l a t e d i n a block which comes a t a,point of extreme pathos-and suspense and d i v e r t s our a t t e n t i o n from Grusha's dilemma. I n i t s placement and p l o t f u n c t i o n t h i s s t o r y i s i n some way analogous to the s t o r y of Odysseus' s c a r mentioned i n Chapter 2. Many of the p l o t f u n c t i o n s of the dramatic and n a r r a t i v e frames ( h i s t o r i c i z i n g the a c t i o n , r e t a r d i n g the a c t i o n , develop-i n g the circumstances of the a c t i o n , d i f f u s i n g the dramatic focus and the tone) are a l s o performed by the songs, which c o u l d be c o n s i d e r e d a v a r i a n t of the Homeric e p i c i n c i d e n t . Brecht a l s o uses the, songs to develop the immediate circum-stances of the a c t i o n (e.g. Courage's "Song of C a p i t u l a t i o n " ) and a broader p e r s p e c t i v e on the a c t i o n (e.g. The Threepenny  Opera (1928) f i n a l e s ) . He a l s o uses songs t o a l t e r the mood of the a c t i o n (e.g. the war hero E i l i f s i n g s the anti-war song; the new b r i d e P o l l y s i n g s the P i r a t e Jenny song; the new c a p i t a l -i s t Yang Sun j o i n s i n the a n t i - c a p i t a l i s t "Song of the E i g h t h E l e p h a n t " ) . These songs, perhaps even more than the dramatized i n c i d e n t s , s h i f t the dramatic and emotional focus by h i g h l i g h t -i n g the performance of the song ( t h i s technique w i l l be examined i n the music s e c t i o n ) . The d i v e r s e s t o r i e s and i n c i d e n t s i n Brecht's p l a y s , l i k e those i n Homeric e p i c , are s e l f - c o n t a i n e d , and the t r a n s i t i o n s 41 u s u a l l y i n t r o d u c e new tones, p e r s p e c t i v e s , and dramatic f o c u s e s . But more important, the s t o r i e s are o v e r t l y l i n k e d , and a number of t h i n g s happen a t the t r a n s i t i o n p o i n t s . As the e p i c s t o r y -t e l l e r f r e q u e n t l y t i e s the a c t i o n s and s t o r i e s w i t h e x p l a n a t i o n s or c a l l s f o r a t t e n t i o n , Brecht too o f t e n uses these j u n c t u r e s to e s t a b l i s h a d i f f e r e n t l e v e l of involvement w i t h the audience. The purpose of the breaks, then, i s not simply t o d i s r u p t the mood and p u l l the audience out of the s t o r y , but to engage them on some other l e v e l . We w i l l d i s c u s s the performance aspects of t h i s segmentation i n Chapter 2% here,I would empha-s i z e t h a t i t i s the p l o t s t r u c t u r e of both B r e c h t ' s drama and c l a s s i c a l e p i c which admits these o t h e r types of i n t e r a c t i o n s w i t h the audience. As i n our d i s c u s s i o n of e p i c p l o t s , we should a l s o c o n s i d e r the elements which o f f s e t the p l o t segmentation. F i r s t of a l l , we mentioned t h a t Brecht uses.a number of techniques to j o i n h i s segments and t h a t the medium or method changes a t the j u n c t u r e s , a l o n g w i t h the s e l f - c o n t a i n e d q u a l i t y of the;-eplsodes, : draw a t t e n -t i o n t o the l o o s e p l o t s t r u c t u r e . T h i s looseness i s , however, o f f s e t by Brecht's f r e q u e n t use of the same t y i n g d e v i c e through-out a p l a y . F o r example, each segment of Mother Courage Is pre-ceded by the same type of n a r r a t i o n , expressed i n a f a i r l y u n i -form tone. Thus w h i l e at f i r s t t h i s type of i n t e r l u d e might seem d i s r u p t i v e , i t would soon become an accepted, expected con-v e n t i o n . I n o t h e r words, the c o n s i s t e n t use of a p a r t i c u l a r t y i n g technique o f f s e t s the d i s c r e t e n e s s of the i n d i v i d u a l 42 segments and the f o r m a l and t o n a l s h i f t s between them. The d i s j u n c t i o n of the n a r r a t i v e and the enactment i s f u r t h e r l e s -sened by the a c t i n g s t y l e Brecht advocates. We w i l l l o o k a t t h i s s t y l e more c l o s e l y i n a l a t e r s e c t i o n , but the p o i n t to be s t r e s s e d here i s t h a t when a n a r r a t i v e a t t i t u d e and tone i s b u i l t i n t o the enactment, the t r a n s i t i o n s from one form to the o t h e r are smoother. Conversely, the n a r r a t i v e r o l e i s o f t e n dramatized (e.g. i n Chalk C i r c l e and Setzuan). I n Brecht's drama, as i n Homeric e p i c , the enactment and n a r r a t i v e are not c l e a r l y separated, and there i s thus g r e a t e r c o n t i n u i t y between the p a r t s and l e s s d i s r u p t i o n a t the j u n c t u r e s . The i n d i v i d u a l s t o r i e s are sometimes u n i f i e d by v i s u a l or m u s i c a l m o t i f s a t the t r a n s i t i o n p o i n t s (e.g. the music and l i g h t i n g m o t i f s which h e r a l d the i n t e r l u d e s i n Schweyk and Setzuan). Thus the p l o t ' s i n t e r r u p t i o n by numerous s t o r i e s i s o f f s e t by the a s s o c i a t i o n of a s t o r y w i t h a m o t i f . Subject themes a l s o p r o v i d e p l o t u n i t y , and i n the more h i g h l y e p i s o d i c scenes the common i d e a r u n n i n g through the s e r i e s of encounters i s o f t e n underscored. F o r example, the i d e a t h a t Azdak i s the people's Judge i s made e x p l i c i t between each of the s m a l l t r i a l i n c i d e n t s i n Chalk C i r c l e , scene 5; the i d e a t h a t j u s t i c e i s d y i n g i n Chicago i s i m p l i c i t i n the music which l i n k s the episodes i n the t r i a l scene i n A r t u r o U l , scene 10. C e r t a i n s u b j e c t themes r e c u r i n B r e c h t ' s corpus, and these p r o v i d e i d e o l o g i c a l c o n t i n u i t y . F o r example, the i d e a t h a t 43 m o r a l i t y i s a- l u x u r y and t h a t people cannot be moral on an empty stomach r e c u r s i n S t . Joan of the Stockyards (1929/30), Schweyk, and The Threepenny Operai the i d e a t h a t s u r v i v a l r e -q u i r e s e a s i n e s s r a t h e r than h e r o i c s i n the c o n v e n t i o n a l sense (or t h a t the f o l k hero's s u r v i v a l s k i l l s d i f f e r c o n s i d e r a b l y from those of the t r a d i t i o n a l hero) r e c u r s i n Mother Courage, G a l i l e o , and Chalk C i r c l e . C e r t a i n songs which appear i n more than one play (e.g. "The Song of Solomon" I n The Three penny- Opera and Mother Courage) i n d i c a t e s i m i l a r c o n t i n u i t y . I n the i n d i v i d u a l p l a y s , thematic p a t t e r n s are used t o l i n k d i -verse a c t i o n s . F o r example, the b e t r a y a l theme runs through The Threepenny Opera, o p e r a t i n g i n almost a l l of the r e l a t i o n -s h i p s . I n Mother Courage the war p r o f i t e e r i n g theme appears i n the numerous s m a l l t r a n s a c t i o n i n c i d e n t s a t the b e g i n n i n g of episodes. I n G a l i l e o the main c h a r a c t e r ' s c a p i t u l a t i o n i s r e f l e c t e d i n the c a p i t u l a t i o n s of the Pope and Mucius, two o t h e r s c i e n t i s t s . I n G a l i l e o the t e a c h i n g theme a l s o r e c u r s i n many of the i n c i d e n t s . The s u b j e c t s t h a t are taught i n these I n c i d e n t s vary, as do the p u p i l s , t e a c h e r s , and success of the l e s s o n s . But the t e a c h i n g a t t i t u d e and o b l i g a t i o n are constant. I n these p l a y s , then, the c e n t r a l themes are r e f l e c t e d i n the I n c i d e n t s . Such i n c i d e n t s a l s o a l l o w f o r a broader view of a theme. The l o o s e p l o t s t r u c t u r e can thus i n c l u d e a g r e a t e r number of s t o r i e s and i n c i d e n t s , as w e l l as n a r r a t i v e commentary, and thus a f u l l e r treatment of a theme. Even though the 44 i n d i v i d u a l i n c i d e n t s i n Brecht's p l a y s are more s e l f - c o n t a i n e d than the s t r u c t u r a l u n i t s of c o n v e n t i o n a l drama and are' not always s t r i c t l y necessary f o r the development of the main a c t i o n , they appear l e s s d i s j o i n t e d and a r b i t r a r y because of t h e i r thematic s i g n i f i c a n c e . As i n Homeric e p i c , the r e p e t i t i o n and e x t e n s i o n of these i n c i d e n t s a l t e r s t h e i r p l o t f u n c t i o n . I n Mother Courage, o f t e n c o n s i d e r e d a tragedy i n s p i t e of i t s e l f , the same k i n d of r e -v e r s a l and r e c o g n i t i o n i s repeated, and t h i s r e p e t i t i o n demon-s t r a t e s and strengthens the i n i t i a l theme, " I f you want the war t o work f o r you/ You've got to g i v e the war i t s due". I n The Threepenny Opera, where the repeated r e v e r s a l s are sur-rounded by commentary, the i d e a of r e v e r s a l i t s e l f becomes a s u b j e c t of a n a l y s i s . I n Brecht's drama, as i n Homeric e p i c , these t u r n i n g p o i n t s u s u a l l y have s i g n i f i c a n t s o c i a l conse-quences. Another element which u n i f i e s the work i s c h a r a c t e r . As i n Homeric e p i c , there are main c h a r a c t e r s (e.g. G a l i l e o , Mother Courage, Shen Te/Shui Ta) who dominate a m a j o r i t y of the scenes; there are a l s o c h a r a c t e r s who move between and l i n k p a r t s of the p l o t (e.g. Wang i n Setzuan). C h a r a c t e r i t s e l f o f t e n g i v e s r i s e t o numerous t a n g e n t i a l developments (e.g. G a l i l e o the teacher, Courage the merchant, Shen Te the s o f t - h e a r t e d ) . Brecht's p l a y s are a l s o u n i f i e d by the types of c h a r a c t e r s he c r e a t e s , the way he c r e a t e s c h a r a c t e r , and the f u n c t i o n s of h i s c h a r a c t e r s . 45 11. C h a r a c t e r I t i s t o be expected t h a t a c t i o n s which are q u a l i f i e d t o a s p e c i f i c s o c l o - h l s t o r i c a l context w i l l i n v o l v e c h a r a c t e r s who are s i m i l a r l y q u a l i f i e d , and t h a t environments which are shown t o be mutable w i l l c o n t a i n c h a r a c t e r s who are s i m i l a r l y mutable. F i r s t of a l l , we see t h a t c h a r a c t e r s are o f t e n g i v e n names or are r e f e r r e d t o by e p i t h e t s which s p e c i f y t h e i r s o c i a l f u n c t i o n or c l a s s c o n n e c t i o n . T h i s approach to c h a r a c t e r r e f l e c t s comedy's t r a d i t i o n a l concern w i t h s o c i a l types. I t i s a l s o a technique I n h e r i t e d from German Expressionism, though i n B r e c h t ' s p l a y s the r e s u l t i s not the f r e q u e n t l y ominous dehumanization and anonymity of many of the E x p r e s s i o n i s t works; on the con-t r a r y , i t o f t e n leads to a g r e a t e r sense of group s o l i d a r i t y . I n the more d i d a c t i c p l a y s , t h i s d e v i c e i s used almost e x c l u -s i v e l y t o i d e n t i f y a l l the c h a r a c t e r s , w h i l e i n the l a t e r p l a y s i t i s used more f o r p e r i p h e r a l c h a r a c t e r s . But even the more complex c h a r a c t e r s tend to be a t l e a s t a s s o c i a t e d w i t h such e p i t h e t s (e.g. Mother Courage the p r o v i s i o n e r , Azdak the judge, G a l i l e o the p h y s i c i s t , Shen Te the t o b a c c o n i s t / S h u i Ta the tobacco k i n g ) . I n B r e c h t ' s p l a y s , as i n Homeric e p i c , the e p i t h e t s appear i n both the d i a l o g u e and n a r r a t i o n and tend t o f o r m a l i z e the r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h i n the s t o r i e s * they s p e c i f y the r e l a t i o n s h i p or r o l e of the c h a r a c t e r address and are an important p a r t of s o c i a l decorum. They a l s o can be used to impart something of a t h i r d - p e r s o n tone t o d i r e c t d i s c o u r s e (e.g. Grusha r e f e r s to Simon as "the s o l d i e r " and t o her husband 46 as "the peasant"). While the e p i t h e t s themselves d i f f e r (the Homeric ones are o f t e n more v a r i e d and more e l a b o r a t e , and the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s c i t e d i n them are h e r o i c tokens) the use of e p i t h e t s i n both forms r e f l e c t s a more s o c i a l l y aware en-vironment where th e r e i s a g r e a t e r sense of mutual r e s p e c t among the c h a r a c t e r s . The e p i t h e t s i n B r e c h t ' s p l a y s , which are o f t e n c l a s s g e n e a l o g i e s , even suggest a rudimentary c l a s s c onsciousness. I t i s o f t e n accompanied by the c h a r a c t e r ' s awareness of how he came to be i n h i s p o s i t i o n and what s o c i o - h i s t o r l c a l f a c t o r s determine h i s a c t i o n s . Such an awareness i s r e v e a l e d i n the s e l f - n a r r a t i o n of the c h a r a c t e r s i n Setzuan and a l s o i n songs which e i t h e r c h a r t the development of the i n d i v i d u a l c h a r a c t e r or look a t the s o c i o - h i s t o r i c a l p o s i t i o n of the c l a s s t o which the c h a r a c t e r belongs. There i s a f u r t h e r s t e p i n the s o c i a l grounding of the c h a r a c t e r s , f o l l o w i n g the r e c o g n i t i o n of s o c i a l p o s i t i o n and the c o n s i d e r a t i o n of how t h i s p o s i t i o n c o n d i t i o n s a c t i o n s . I t i s the awareness t h a t the p o s i t i o n may be changed. I n Mother  Courage and The Threepenny Opera the c h a r a c t e r s d i s c u s s but never e f f e c t such a change. I n Man i s Man ( 1 9 2 6 , 3 1 ) the change i s g r a p h i c a l l y d e p i c t e d . I n The Mother (1932) and The Guns of  C a r r a r (1936/7) the change i s gra d u a l ; the peasant women evolve i n t o r e v o l u t i o n a r y f i g h t e r s through more orthodox means. I n G a l i l e o a wide spectrum of s o c i e t y r e a l i z e s the p o s s i b i l i t i e s and I m p l i c a t i o n s of s o c i a l change. 47 The m u t a b i l i t y of c h a r a c t e r s i s underscored by the f a c i l i t y w i t h which they mime oth e r c h a r a c t e r s . They are , i n a sense, s o c i a l l y r e - c r e a t e d as they assume the t r a p p i n g s , g e s t u r e s , and a t t i t u d e s which are s o c i a l i n d i c a t o r s . T h i s does not mean t h a t one has only t o change one's c l o t h e s or gestures to p a r t i c i p a t e i n a s o c i a l r e v o l u t i o n , but t h a t a r e c o g n i t i o n of the d e t e r -minants and t h e i r t r a n s i e n c e i s "a h e a l t h y r e v o l u t i o n a r y a t t i t u d e a t l e a s t t o b e g i n with. I n Chalk C i r c l e we see Azdak g i v i n g the f u g i t i v e Grand Duke l e s s o n s on how to mime a peasant by r e g a r d i n g h i s f o o d i n a c e r t a i n wayj i n Mother Courage K a t t r l n mimes the whore by p u t t i n g on the t r a p p i n g s and i m i t a t i n g the walk? i n G a l i l e o the c a r d i n a l becomes the Pope as he puts on the vestments of t h a t o f f i c e ; i n Setzuan Shen Te i s transformed i n t o Shui Ta and, i n a more st e p - b y - s t e p t r a n s i t i o n , the m a l i n -g e r e r Yang Sun i s transformed i n t o the boss' r i g h t hand man. I n some p l a y s such a s o c i a l metamorphosis i s c e n t r a l , w h i l e i n o t h e r p l a y s i t i s more i n c i d e n t a l ; i n some the t r a n s i t i o n s are abrupt, w h i l e i n others they are more g r a d u a l ; i n some they are temporary, w h i l e i n o t h e r s they are more l o n g l a s t i n g ; and i n some the changes are good, while i n others they are m o r a l l y ambiguous (e.g. Setzuan). But i n most cases the g r a p h i c demon-s t r a t i o n of human m u t a b i l i t y i s designed to counter any f a t a l -i s t i c r e a d i n g of s o c i a l determinism. I f c h a r a c t e r , then, i s s o c i a l l y c o n d i t i o n e d , i t f o l l o w s t h a t m o r a l i t y w i l l a l s o be i n f l u e n c e d by s o c i a l f a c t o r s . Because the p r e v a i l i n g s o c i a l system supports c e r t a i n moral norms, s o c i a l 48 and moral c o r r u p t i o n are c l o s e l y l i n k e d , and s o c i a l d i s s i d e n c e i s o f t e n marked by r e b e l l i o n a g a i n s t c o n v e n t i o n a l m o r a l i t y . Brecht conceives of h i s c o u n t e r - c u l t u r e m o r a l i t y as i n n a t e . I t i s , however, o f t e n confounded by the n e c e s s i t i e s of s u r v i v a l which m i l i t a t e a g a i n s t such n a t u r a l i n s t i n c t s as K a t t r i n ' s , Shen Te's, and Grusha's kindness. Thus among the more s t r e e t -wise c h a r a c t e r s t h e r e a r i s e s a s u r v i v a l m o r a l i t y , a f l e x i b l e , accommodating m o r a l i t y which attempts t o make the best of a bad system without t o t a l l y l o s i n g s i g h t of i t s badness. I t r e s u l t s i n Shen Te's sweat shops, Mother Courage's war p r o f i t e e r i n g , Schweyk's accommodation, G a l i l e o ' s r e c a n t a t i o n , and Azdak's w i l l i n g n e s s t o r e c a n t . I t a l s o l e a d s to moral s c h i z o p h r e n i a , most p a i n f u l l y e v i d e n t i n Shen Te0 but a l s o present i n Courage, G a l i l e o , and Azdak. I t can even l e a d to the moral r e s i g n a t i o n and atrophy of almost a l l the c h a r a c t e r s i n The Threepenny Opera. Br e c h t ' s c h a r a c t e r s , l i k e c l a s s i c a l e p i c c h a r a c t e r s , are t i e d t o or a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a p a r t i c u l a r moral bent, and both forms share w i t h comedy a s o c i a l l y o r i e n t e d p e r s p e c t i v e on the v a r i o u s moral types. One obvious d i f f e r e n c e , however, i s t h a t i n Homer the moral good and the s o c i a l good, the i n d i v i d u a l good and the common good do not c o n f l i c t . I n Brecht's p l a y s , on the o t h e r hand, moral i d e a l s o f t e n have t o be tempered by s o c i a l pragmatism* i n the best of a l l p o s s i b l e worlds, man's i n n a t e m o r a l i t y w i l l not be i n c o n f l i c t w i t h h i s p e r s o n a l or h i s s o c i e t y ' s i n t e r e s t s , but i n the a c t u a l environments i n which most of h i s c h a r a c t e r s move, these i n t e r e s t s are o f t e n a t odds. 49 As i n c l a s s i c a l e p i c , the s o c i a l and moral i n c l i n a t i o n s of B r echt's c h a r a c t e r s are a l s o expressed n o n - v e r b a l l y j I n gestures which, l i k e e p i t h e t s , can s y s t e m a t i c a l l y a s s o c i a t e a c h a r a c t e r w i t h an i n c l i n a t i o n (e.g. Mother Courage the merchant snaps her purse i n a d i s t i n c t i v e way a f t e r each t r a n s a c t i o n , G a l i l e o the s e n s u a l i s t rubs h i s hands In a c e r t a i n way a t the prospect of imminent i n t e l l e c t u a l or p h y s i c a l g r a t i f i c a t i o n ) and a l s o - i n the gest or a t t i t u d e of the speaker. B r e c h t ' s a c t o r , l i k e the e p i c s t o r y t e l l e r , accentuates such a t t i t u d e s . While the s t o r y -t e l l e r would be even more dependent on such t h i n g s as tones of v o i c e , f a c i a l e x p r e s s i o n s , and gestures t o c l e a r l y d i f f e r e n -t i a t e c h a r a c t e r s , a s i g n i f i c a n t e f f e c t i n both forms i s t h a t the performer communicates a n a r r a t i v e p e r s p e c t i v e on the c h a r a c t e r s i m u l t a n e o u s l y w i t h the impersonation i t s e l f . Thus i t i s d i f f i -c u l t t o d i s t i n g u i s h c l e a r l y the n a r r a t i v e v o i c e i n B recht's t h e a t r e and i n c l a s s i c a l e p i c , s i n c e the t e x t s alone do not com-p l e t e l y convey the n a r r a t i v e o v e r l a y i n the impersonations. The n a r r a t i v e c h a r a c t e r i n most of B recht's p l a y s i s pro-j e c t e d through a number of o v e r l a p p i n g methods, some of which e s t a b l i s h i t w i t h i n the context of the s t o r y and o t hers which detach i t from the s t o r y . The l a t t e r Is more o f t e n emphasized by both Brecht and h i s c r i t i c s , p a r t l y because the w r i t t e n n a r r a -t i o n Is " o u t s i d e " the enactment, and a l s o because the " o b j e c t i v e " commentary seems designed to p l a c e the n a r r a t o r and thus the audience o u t s i d e , and even above, the a c t i o n . There a r e , however, oth e r f a c t o r s which co u n t e r a c t the d i s j u n c t u r e s of n a r r a t i v e and 50 c h a r a c t e r outlook and which pr o v i d e a more c o n s i s t e n t n a r r a t i v e a t t i t u d e throughout the p l a y s . I n Chalk C i r c l e , f o r example, a s i n g l e s t o r y t e l l e r evokes a l l the c h a r a c t e r s and a c t i o n s . I n Setzuan, on the other hand, where the s t o r y t e l l e r r o l e i s d i f f u s e d among the c h a r a c t e r s , the sum of the impersonations evokes a u n i f i e d s t o r y t e l l e r tone and presence. The l a t t e r i s more common i n Brecht's plays,~and i t demands t h a t the a c t o r s approach t h e i r r o l e s i n a s i m i l a r s p i r i t and t h a t they are to some degree i d e o l o g i c a l l y compatible. Thus while each a c t o r conveys a d i s t i n c t l y i n d i v i d u a l a t t i t u d e towards h i s p a r t i c u l a r c h a r a c t e r , the a t t i t u d e towards the performance i t s e l f i s c o n s i s t e n t . Not a l l the c h a r a c t e r s w i l l share the same p e r s p e c t i v e , but t h e i r c r e a t i o n w i l l convey a c l e a r and c o n s i s t e n t p e r s p e c t i v e . The s o c i a l and moral o r i e n t a t i o n of the n a r r a t i v e c h a r a c t e r i s conveyed by such t h i n g s as the c h o i c e of m a t e r i a l and the a t t i t u d e towards the c h a r a c t e r s and the audience. I n Chalk  C i r c l e the s t o r y t e l l e r shares the v a l u e s and a t t i t u d e s which have determined the outcome of the prologue's d e c i s i o n and which a l s o determine the outcome of h i s s t o r y . He succeeds i n draw-i n g the two worlds t o g e t h e r by showing t h a t the v a l u e s and a t t i -tudes which p o i n t t o the wise d e c i s i o n are not simply the pro-duct of t h e o r e t i c a l s p e c u l a t i o n , s t a t i s t i c a l proof, or bureau-c r a t i c pragmatism, but a l s o of a more b a s i c and enduring f o l k wisdom and m o r a l i t y . While such a merger of s o c i a l i s m and f o l k v a l u e s may a t f i r s t seem incongruous, one c o u l d argue t h a t i n 51 g e n e r a l the e p i c ' s c o n s e r v a t i o n of t r a d i t i o n a l wisdom, as w e l l as s t o r i e s , c h a r a c t e r s , and forms, i s not i n c o m p a t i b l e w i t h so-c i a l i s t ends. I n f a c t , c e r t a i n s o c i a l i s t f e a t u r e s are indigenous t o some of the t r a d i t i o n s t h a t B recht's p l a y s and Homeric e p i c conserve (e.g. r u r a l peasant t r a d i t i o n s , army t r a d i t i o n s ) . The n a r r a t i v e c h a r a c t e r i n B recht's p l a y s , l i k e t h a t of Homeric e p i c , shares w i t h the o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s c e r t a i n ways of l o o k i n g at and e x p r e s s i n g t h i n g s . ' Thus even when a c h a r a c t e r steps out of c h a r a c t e r t o perform a n a r r a t i v e f u n c t i o n or when he c r i t i z e s the a c t i o n , the i d e o l o g i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l d i s t a n c e i s somewhat l e s s e n e d . We w i l l look a t the p a r t i c u l a r c h a r a c t e r -i s t i c s of these common modes of p e r c e p t i o n and e x p r e s s i o n i n our d i s c u s s i o n of thought and d i c t i o n . H i . Thought The thought element i n B recht's drama operates on two l e v e l s * t h e r e i s thought i n the A r i s t o t e l i a n sense of r e f l e c t i o n on what Is i n v o l v e d i n or s u i t a b l e t o an a c t i o n , and t h e r e are a l s o thematic statements which i n v o l v e broader g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s about the types of s i t u a t i o n s , a c t i o n s , and c h a r a c t e r s . Thus w h i l e d e c i s i o n I t s e l f i s the c e n t r a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n of thought, Brecht Is e q u a l l y i n t e r e s t e d i n the decision-making process (e.g. the determinants, Impetus, and means of d e c i s i o n s ) . F r e -quently d e c i s i o n s are surrounded or i n t e r r u p t e d by d i g r e s s i o n s which develop the l a r g e r determinants of d e c i s i o n . Such m a t e r i a l I s d i g r e s s i v e I n i t s content and a l s o d i s r u p t i v e i n the way i t 52 i s f o rmulated. I n many of the p l a y s t h i s type of s p e c u l a t i o n i s c o n t a i n e d i n songs which are detached from the a c t i o n (e.g. preceded by some s o r t of announcement, by t i t l e cues, o r by l i g h t i n g o r grouping changes) or i n ver s e s e c t i o n s where the t r a n s i t i o n from prose t o ve r s e i s s i m i l a r l y marked. Such r e -f l e c t i o n s may a l s o be addressed d i r e c t l y to the audience. T h i s type of r e f l e c t i o n i n Bre c h t ' s p l a y s i s c a r r i e d on by c h a r a c t e r s and n a r r a t o r s , so i t i s not a detached n a r r a t o r alone who e x t r a -p o l a t e s from the a c t i o n and c l a r i f i e s i t s c o n t e x t . There i s a f u r t h e r d i f f e r e n c e between such s p e c u l a t i o n s about d e c i s i o n W d T A r i s t o t e l i a n Thoughts >•"• the l a t t e r ^ ' a f f e c t s ^ t h e a c t i o n more d i r e c t l y because i t i s more c l o s e l y t i e d t o c h a r a c t e r . F o r example* when Pentheus i n The Bacchae c o n s i d e r s l e a d i n g an army up t o a t t a c k the Bacchae or going up and s p y i n g on them h i m s e l f , we know t h a t e i t h e r d e c i s i o n i s i n keeping w i t h h i s ( s l i g h t l y s c h i z o p h r e n i c ) c h a r a c t e r , w h i l e others (e.g. compro-mise) are i n a p p r o p r i a t e . I n B r e c h t ' s p l a y s the r e f l e c t i o n s are l e s s c l o s e l y t a i l o r e d t o c h a r a c t e r . C h a r a c t e r s s t e p out of c h a r a c t e r both when they address r e f l e c t i o n s t o the audience and when they e x h i b i t m e n t a l i t i e s which are not elsewhere r e -f l e c t e d i n t h e i r a c t i o n s . Such c h a r a c t e r s as those i n The  Threepenny Opera can both c l a r i f y the broader h i s t o r i c a l o r po-l i t i c a l determinants of t h e i r s i t u a t i o n s , and even e x p l a i n why andz%ow t h i n g s should be changed, and s t i l l accommodate them-s e l v e s to the g i v e n s i t u a t i o n and, i f p o s s i b l e , p r o f i t by i t . Thus the moral ambiguity and sense of i n c o n g r u i t y which hangs 53 over so many of Brecht's c h a r a c t e r s , as w e l l as over Brecht h i m s e l f . So f a r we have been emphasizing how such s p e c u l a t i o n s are d i s r u p t i v e . But they can a l s o provide u n i t y . F i r s t of a l l , t h e r e i s the i d e o l o g i c a l c o n t i n u i t y i n the body of the works which i s manifested i n a number of t y p i c a l l y B r e c h t i a n themes. There i s a l s o a g r a d u a l metamorphosis of these themes from t h e i r more orthodox and dogmatic f o r m u l a t i o n (e.g. i n Measures Taken) to t h e i r f o r m u l a t i o n i n the mature p l a y s as accepted f o l k wisdom. I n other words, th e r e Is a growing a t -tempt t o I n t e g r a t e these Ideas i n t o the world of the c h a r a c t e r s when the c h a r a c t e r s cease to be Comrades. F i n a l l y , when the n a r r a t i v e v o i c e and the n a r r a t i v e mode of c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n f o l l o w the f o l k mode, the i d e o l o g i c a l , s o c i o l o g i c a l , and time gaps between the n a r r a t o r and the c h a r a c t e r s are d i m i n i s h e d , as a r e the s o c i a l , r a c i a l , n a t i o n a l , and h i s t o r i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s between the c h a r a c t e r s i n , t h e d i f f e r e n t p l a y s (the O r i e n t a l s , Western Europeans, and Americans). There emerges, then, a k i n d of u n i v e r s a l f o l k c h a r a c t e r who shares w i t h the n a r r a t o r c e r t a i n ways of l o o k i n g a t and a r t i c u l a t i n g t h i n g s . The n a r r a -t o r remains i n c l o s e touch w i t h t h i s f o l k , because even when he regards them o b j e c t i v e l y , he does so i n t h e i r own terms. Let us look a t some examples of t h i s common mode of r e f l e c -t i o n . The most f r e q u e n t l y r e c u r r i n g forms are p a r a d o x i c a l a n t i -t heses, p a r a l l e l s , anecdotes, and aphorisms. We see the f i r s t type of f o r m u l a t i o n used by the C o n t r o l Chorus i n Measures Taken 54 t o e x p l a i n Communist d o c t r i n e : Who f i g h t s f o r communism must be a b l e t o f i g h t and not t o f i g h t s t o speak t h e t r u t h and not t o speak t h e t r u t h ; t o p e r f o r m s e r v i c e s and not t o p e r f o r m s e r v i c e s ; t o keep promises and not t o keep p r o m i s e s ; t o go i n t o danger and t o keep out of danger; t o b e . r e c o g n i z a b l e and n o t t o be r e c o g n i z a b l e . . . T h i s mode of f o r m u l a t i n g f i r s t p r i n c i p l e s , t a k e n w i t h t h e r e p e a t e d r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e s e t e a c h i n g s as " t h e c l a s s i c s " , con-veys th e i m p r e s s i o n t h a t t h e a r t i c l e s o f a f a i t h a r e b e i n g e x p l a i n e d h e r e more t h a n t h o s e o f a p o l i t i c a l movement. I t i s r e m i n i s c e n t of b o t h t h e paradoxes i n t h e G o spels and Zen p a r a -doxes. A s i m i l a r c o n s t r u c t i o n e x p l a i n s the a u d i e n c e ' s o b l i g a -t i o n s i n t h e p r o l o g u e and e p i l o g u e of The E x c e p t i o n and t h e  R u l e (1930): " F i n d i t e s t r a n g i n g even i f not v e r y s t r a n g e / Hard t o e x p l a i n even i f i t i s t h e custom/ Hard t o u n d e r s t a n d even i f i t i s t h e r u l e . " ^ I n G a l i l e o such c o n s t r u c t i o n s a r e used i n t h e v e r s e s w h i c h precede t h e scenes ( e . g . "The o l d s a y s : What I've always done I ' l l always do/ The new s a y s : i f y o u ' r e u s e l e s s you must g o " ) , ^ ^ t h e d i a l o g u e (e.g. "Unhappy t h e l a n d t h a t has % 47 no heroes!*' "Unhappy the l a n d t h a t needs a h e r o " ) , \ and the songs (e.g. t h e p e o p l e i n t h e scene 10 c a r n i v a l i n t e r p r e t t h e new a s t r o n o m i c a l t h e o r i e s as meaning t h a t t h e s e r v e r w i l l n o t s e r v e , t h e f i s h w i f e w i l l e a t h e r own f i s h , the c a r p e n t e r w i l l b u i l d h i s own house, the c o b b l e r w i l l wear h i s own s h o e s ) . A s i m i l a r r e a d i n g of the i m p l i c a t i o n s of r e v o l u t i o n o c c u r s i n C h a l k C i r c l e ' s "Song of Chaos". I n t h e l a s t examples we a l s o see t h e tendency t o c o n c r e t i z e , 55 to c o n s i d e r a g e n e r a l p r i n c i p l e with, down-to-earth p a r a l l e l s or examples. I n Mother Courage, Scene 3» Courage f o l l o w s up her ge n e r a l statement " V i c t o r y and d e f e a t don't always mean the same t h i n g t o the b i g wheels up t o p and the s m a l l f r y under-neath" w i t h a s t o r y t h a t i l l u s t r a t e s h er experience of t h i s p r i n c i p l e t One time i n L i v o n i a our g e n e r a l got such a s h e l l a c k i n g from the enemy t h a t i n the confu-s i o n I l a i d hands on a b e a u t i f u l white horse from the baggage t r a i n . That horse p u l l e d my wagon f o r 7 months, u n t i l we had a v i c t o r y and they checked up.48 Schweyk, of course, i s the master of a n e c d o t a l e x p o s i t i o n i n Brecht's p l a y as i n Hasek's n o v e l . The r e f e r r a l of g e n e r a l themes t o concre t e i n s t a n c e s i s a w e l l - u s e d method i n the songs too. I n the "Song of Solomon", f o r example, the p r i n c i p l e " v i r t u e s are dangerous t h i n g s , b e t t e r s t e e r c l e a r of them, enjoy l i f e , eat a good b r e a k f a s t . . ." 7 Is s u b s t a n t i a t e d by examples. I n Setzuan examples are used both t o s u b s t a n t i a t e g e n e r a l p r i n -c i p l e s (e.g. "The Song of Smoke") and c l a r i f y p a r t i c u l a r e x p e r i -ences (e.g. "The Song of the E i g h t E l e p h a n t " ) . I n Chalk C i r c l e such c o n s t r u c t i o n s c h a r a c t e r i z e the mode of thought from the prologue on. So f a r I have t r i e d t o show t h a t the use of s i m i l a r c o n s t r u c t i o n s i n d i f f e r e n t p l a y s , by d i f f e r -ent types of c h a r a c t e r , c o n t r i b u t e s s t r o n g l y t o the o v e r a l l u n i t y of thought. Chalk C i r c l e , on the oth e r hand, i s an e p i c microcosm: we see the a c t i v i t i e s of the people before the s t o r y t e l l e r comes, h i s r e c e p t i o n , and h i s performance. I n t h i s p l a y we see the s t o r y t e l l e r i n an e p i c performance c o n t e x t , 56 w h i l e i n other p l a y s , prologues and e p i l o g u e s which attempt to c r e a t e t h i s context have t o d e a l w i t h the a c t u a l audience. Thus i n Chalk C i r c l e the sense of a c o n s i s t e n t f o l k p e r s p e c t i v e i s even s t r o n g e r because i t i s shared by the f i c t i v e audience, the s t o r y t e l l e r , and the c h a r a c t e r s . Furthermore the c h a r a c t e r s , l i k e those i n Homeric e p i c , are d i r e c t antecedents of the a u d i -ence. The u n i v e r s a l i t y of t h i s way of l o o k i n g a t t h i n g s i s perhaps even strengthened by i t s b e i n g c o n t e s t e d : Peasant Woman: Comrade Expert, we're not t r a d -i n g now. I can't take your cap and hand you another, and say: " T h i s one's b e t t e r . " The o t h e r one might be b e t t e r , but you p r e f e r yours. G i r l T r a c t o r D r i v e r : A p i e c e of l a n d i s not l i k e a cap. Not i n our country, comrade. 50 The G i r l T r a c t o r D r i v e r , who wants t o get down t o graphs and s t a t i s t i c s and even wants the s t o r y t e l l e r t o cut h i s r e c i t a l time, i s c l e a r l y the e x c e p t i o n . The s t o r y t e l l e r i s , perhaps, c h e r i s h e d because of h i s a b i l i t y t o draw the r e l e v a n t p a r a l l e l s and i l l u s t r a t e g e n e r a l p r i n c i p l e s . He can show the new i d e o l o g y to make sense i n the terms of the people, i n the language they can understand, and by a method t h a t i s f a m i l i a r and beloved. I n Chalk C i r c l e , then, both the substance of the r e f l e c t i o n s and the way they are c a s t are shared by the c h a r a c t e r s , a u d i -ence* and s t o r y t e l l e r . They are g e n e r a l l y the same types of con-s t r u c t i o n s t h a t we found i n the other p l a y s , w i t h an i n t e r e s t -i n g l y g r e a t e r number of aphorisms which are used by both the s t o r y t e l l e r and the c h a r a c t e r s to apply f o l k wisdom to c u r r e n t s i t u a t i o n s . The "new" wisdom i s a l s o c a s t i n t h i s mold, so t h a t 57 i t too takes on the q u a l i t y and tone of the o l d wisdom. The play f u r t h e r shows the f o l k wisdom to c o n t a i n the seeds of the "new" wisdom. The b e n e f i t s of mixing the o l d and the new are summed up by the s t o r y t e l l e r i n the prologue: As w i t h c l a s s i c a l e p i c , we must q u a l i f y the cohesive pro-p e r t y of the thought element by acknowledging t h a t i t would be at l e a s t p a r t i a l l y o f f s e t by the d i s t i n c t i v e g estures and modes of d e l i v e r y of the c h a r a c t e r s i n performance. On the other hand, i t might w e l l be s u s t a i n e d by c e r t a i n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the d i c t i o n . i v . D i c t i o n * How i s Brecht's d i c t i o n , " e p i c " ? The most s t r i k i n g immedi-ate d i f f e r e n c e i s t h a t Homeric e p i c uses a uniform v e r s e p a t t e r n throughout, while Brecht does not. Brecht a l s o e x p l o i t s a g r e a t e r v a r i e t y of language forms, media of communication, and l e v e l s of d i c t i o n . T h i r d l y , Brecht o f t e n uses language forms f o r shock. Such forms both i n t e r r u p t the tone and d i v e r t a t t e n -t i o n t o the way language i s used. T h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Brecht's language i s worth examining i n more d e t a i l . Before d o i n g so, however, we should note t h a t w h ile one may not f i n d any i d e n t i c a l •Although we are not d e a l i n g w i t h Brecht i n the o r i g i n a l German, our d i s c u s s i o n here i s of language forms which are not s e r i -o u s l y d i s t o r t e d by t r a n s l a t i o n . 58 use of language I n Homeric e p i c , the concept of drawing a t t e n -t i o n t o and i n v i t i n g c r i t i c i s m of an element i s not a l i e n t o e p i c . Brecht uses a number of techniques t o c a l l a t t e n t i o n t o the language and the way i t i s used, and these o f t e n play on the i n c o n g r u i t y between the language forms and the c h a r a c t e r and s i t u a t i o n . He shocks our e x p e c t a t i o n s by emphasizing the gap between the context i n which we u s u a l l y expect a form of language to be used and the context i n the p l a y s I n which i t i s used. Such a shock occurs when c h a r a c t e r s i n d i a l o g u e a l t e r -n a t e l y speak i n the f i r s t and the t h i r d person, the past and the present tense, or to o t h e r c h a r a c t e r s and to the audience. A s i m i l a r shock f o l l o w s the s h i f t s from spoken to w r i t t e n langu-age, e s p e c i a l l y when the two are s t y l i s t i c a l l y d i s s i m i l a r (e.g. i n A r t u r o Ul iambics are used i n the scenes and a t e l e g r a p h i c h e a d l i n e s t y l e i n the between-scene t i t l e s ) . I n t h i s example the use of iambics i s i n I t s e l f designed to g i v e pause; The p o e t i c form seems s t r i k i n g l y incongruous to the s u b j e c t and the c h a r a c t e r s , and one i s thus moved to t h i n k about the language form, about why i t i s more incongruous to Chicago gangsters than to E l i z a b e t h a n c h a r a c t e r s , and about why the c o n v e n t i o n r e s i s t s the new c o n t e x t . He uses a s i m i l a r technique i n S t . Joan. I n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, i n the same year t h a t St. Joan was w r i t t e n , Brecht d i s c u s s e d the form/content r e l a t i o n s h i p i n h i s essay "On Form and S u b j e c t Matter" and argued t h a t t r a d i -t i o n a l p o e t i c forms (as w e l l as dramatic forms) were not adequate 59 f o r the new m a t e r i a l the drama must encompass: Simply t o comprehend the new areas of s u b j e c t -matter imposes a new dramatic and t h e a t r i c a l form. Can we speak of money i n the form of iambics? 'The Mark, f i r s t quoted yesterday a t 50 d o l l a r s , now beyond 100 soon may r i s e , e t c . * —how about that? 5 2 Yet i n St. Joan the b u s i n e s s of the Chicago commodities exchange i s c a r r i e d on i n t r a d i t i o n a l m e t r i c a l verse, and the r e s i s t a n c e of such m a t e r i a l to such forms throws both the language and the content i n t o r e l i e f . Brecht e x p l o i t s t h i s d e v i c e a g a i n i n Schweyk, though the verse form and r h e t o r i c i n the h i g h e r r e g i o n s are l e s s incongruous t o the c h a r a c t e r s . These langu-age forms are more s h a r p l y c o n t r a s t e d w i t h the t y p i c a l l y B r e c h t i a n " l i t t l e man's" idiom i n the scenes. I n The Three- penny Opera the language of an i n d i v i d u a l c h a r a c t e r o f t e n changes a b r u p t l y (e.g. In Macheath's p r i s o n b a l l a d s i n Act I I I scene 3, e s p e c i a l l y the " B a l l a d i n which Macheath Begs Pardon f o r A l l " , t h e r e i s a s t r i k i n g mixture of hymnal language and s t r e e t s l a n g ) . Brecht f u r t h e r a d v i s e s a c t o r s to accompany f o r m a l breaks between d i f f e r e n t language forms and l e v e l s with, v a r i o u s cues to c a l l a t t e n t i o n t o the s h i f t . Brecht e x p l o i t s such l i n g u i s t i c i n c o n g r u i t i e s s p a r i n g l y . I n many of the p l a y s there i s another type of d i c t i o n which pre-v a i l s , and which more c l o s e l y r e f l e c t s the s o c i a l p o s i t i o n of the c h a r a c t e r s . I t i s a k i n d of u n i v e r s a l " l i t t l e man's" idiom which both c h a r a c t e r s and n a r r a t o r s employ and which, i n c i d e n t a l l y , most Brecht t r a n s l a t o r s capture f a i r l y c o n s i s t e n t l y . Some of the g e n e r a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the idiom are i t s concreteness, 60 d i r e c t n e s s , and e a r t h i n e s s . I t tends t o r e l y on c e r t a i n forms such as anecdotes (e.g. Schweyk), aphorisms (e.g. Chalk C i r c l e ) , and hyperbole (e.g. Mother Courage), and i t p r o j e c t s a h i g h l y d i s t i n c t i v e tone. I t i s an id i o m which expresses a b a s i c s o c i a l f o r m a l i t y and s o c i a l n a i v e t e , which i s both concr e t e and yet adapts w e l l t o e x p r e s s i v e poetry. Brecht uses poetry i n h i s p l a y s f o r a number of ends. He e x p l o i t s i t s c a p a c i t y t o convey the a t t i t u d e and tone of " d i r e c t and spontaneous speech",^3 a s w e l l as i t s f o r m a l d i v i s i o n from prose. H i s ve r s e s u s u a l l y have s h o r t l i n e s and employ the t y p i -c a l l y e p i c p a r a l l e l and a d d i t i v e s t r u c t u r e s which f a c i l i t a t e the r a p i d b u i l d i n g up of a story« ' H i s name was Georgl A b a s h v i l i . . . He was very r i c h He had a b e a u t i f u l w i f e He had a h e a l t h y baby . . . No oth e r governor i n G r u s i n l a Had as many horses i n h i s s t a b l e As many beggars on h i s doorstep As many s o l d i e r s i n h i s s e r v i c e As many p e t i t i o n e r s i n h i s c o u r t y a r d ^ They are poor. They have no f r i e n d s . They need someone. How can they be refu s e d ? They are bad. They are no man's f r i e n d . They grudge even a bowl of r i c e . They need i t a l l themselves. How can they be blamed?55 The l a s t two examples show t h a t i n a d d i t i o n t o p r o v i d i n g momen-tum, the form i s w e l l - s u i t e d t o the d i a l e c t i c a l development of i d e a s . 61 The s i m i l a r i t i e s between the poetry and prose, and the n a r r a t i v e and d i r e c t d i s c o u r s e c o n t r i b u t e s i g n i f i c a n t l y t o the sense of a u n i f i e d v o i c e i n B r e c h t ' s p l a y s . As I n c l a s s i c a l e p i c , however, t h i s would not e f f a c e the i n d i v i d u a l i t y of the characters» i n performance the l i n g u i s t i c u n i f o r m i t y would be o f f s e t by the i n d i v i d u a l embodiments of the c h a r a c t e r s and by a c t i n g techniques which would f u r t h e r d i s t i n g u i s h the modes of d e l i v e r y . I t does seem c l e a r , however, t h a t i n the course of h i s work Brecht developed a h i g h l y d i s t i n c t i v e f o l k idiom and, through i t s e x t e n s i v e use, f o l k c h a r a c t e r . Such an I n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the p l a y s b r i n g s a number of q u e s t i o n s t o mind. To b e g i n w i t h , can modern audiences i d e n t i f y w i t h or respond to Brecht's f i c t i v e f o l k (as a c l a s s i c a l e p i c audience would respond t o i t s t r a d i t i o n a l heroes)? I f not, would the e p i c s o c i a l f u n c t i o n s of the p l a y be s i g n i f i c a n t l y diminished, and the i n t e r e s t i n the p l a y s r e s i d e on the p o l i t i -c a l o r a e s t h e t i c l e v e l alone? Might not the e p i c q u a l i t y i t s e l f be a f u r t h e r reminder of the modern t h e a t r e ' s d i s t a n c e from t h i s form? These are d i f f i c u l t q u e s t i o n s t o answer, p a r t l y because through much of h i s c a r e e r , Brecht was cut o f f from h i s n a t i v e audience. I n some ways he seems t o have compensated f o r t h i s w i t h the w h i m s i c a l , n o s t a l g i c r e - c r e a t i o n of a s p e c i a l audience and performance s i t u a t i o n i n such a play as Chalk C i r c l e , a play which has the best of both worlds* the r e v o l u t i o n a r y audience and environment and the audience which i s i n touch w i t h an e p i c t r a d i t i o n . Perhaps t h i s i s one reason why the p l a y i s regarded 62 by many as the c u l m i n a t i o n of the development of Brecht's e p i c drama. From the l a t e 1 9 2 0 ' s t o the end of h i s c a r e e r , Brecht b u i l t e p i c elements i n t o the t e x t s and, as we s h a l l p r e s e n t l y see, the performances. Such elements may not d u p l i c a t e the con-d i t i o n s of the e p i c performance, but they suggest a t l e a s t some-t h i n g of the e p i c event. 63 Chapter 2 1. Audience and Occasion Brecht i s c r i t i c a l of both t r a d i t i o n a l drama and t r a d i -t i o n a l modes of performance, and he a t t a c k s the c o n v e n t i o n a l modern t h e a t r e from two angles? the p o l i t i c a l and the a r t i s -t i c . He f e e l s t h a t i t r e i n f o r c e s the s t a t u s quo by i t s con-t e n t , appeal, and niche i n the C u l t u r e apparatus, and t h a t i t i s g u i l t y of a r t i s t i c pandering and m y s t i f i c a t i o n . Brecht tends t o c o r r e l a t e the ends and the means of t h e a t r e , and thus to accuse the t r a d i t i o n a l t h e a t r e of s u p p o r t i n g the s t a t u s quo not j u s t o v e r t l y but a l s o through t h e a t r i c a l techniques which encourage the s p e c t a t o r t o respond p r i m a r i l y a p o l i t i c a l l y and u n c r i t i c a l l y . Obviously one c o u l d d i s p u t e h i s o b j e c t i o n w i t h examples of un c o n v e n t i o n a l y e t p o l i t i c a l l y u n p r o g r e s s i v e t h e a t r e , as w e l l as p o l i t i c a l l y p r o g r e s s i v e melodramas and t e a r - j e r k e r s . C e r t a i n l y some of Brecht's acknowledged models are t h e a t r e s (e.g. the c l a s s i c a l O r i e n t a l t h e a t r e ) t h a t do not serve the k i n d s of s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l ends Brecht would a s s i g n t o h i s own t h e a t r e . How much c l o s e r t o Brecht's i d e a l i s the e p i c form, which i n v i t e s an awareness of performance s k i l l s and serves analogous (though by no means i d e n t i c a l ) s o c i a l ends. F o r c l a s s i c a l e p i c , these ends are the t r a n s -m i s s i o n and reinforcement of c u l t u r a l h i s t o r y , of t r a d i t i o n a l wisdom, s k i l l s , and v a l u e s . Brecht sees h i s t h e a t r e as h a v i n g comparable ends, though o b v i o u s l y the v e r s i o n s of h i s t o r y 64 and the wisdom, s k i l l s , and v a l u e s he wishes t o t r a n s m i t and r e i n f o r c e are i n some degree " c o u n t e r - c u l t u r a l " . However i n -separable ends and means may be, i t i s nonetheless u s e f u l t o examine the p a r t i c u l a r c o m p a r a b i l i t y of Brecht's a r t i s t i c means w i t h those of Homeric e p i c . To b e g i n w i t h , Brecht o f t e n uses prologues which, l i k e the c l a s s i c a l i n v o c a t i o n s , c l a r i f y the s o c i a l nature of the occasio n * they set the tone, express an a t t i t u d e towards the audience, and c l a r i f y the o b j e c t of the performance. Secondly, the e p i c s t o r y t e l l e r e x p l o i t s h i s audience's sense of i t s e l f as a s o c i a l group, and when Brecht takes h i s t h e a t r e t o such forums as uni o n h a l l s o r p o l i t i c a l c l u b s he seeks a s i m i l a r l y cohesive audience. T h i r d l y , e p i c does not appeal t o an ex-c l u s i v e o r e l i t e audience. I t i s a popular entertainment form, and Brecht views the t h e a t r e as a s i m i l a r l y n o n - e l l t l s t a r t form which can b e n e f i t from the techniques and a t t i t u d e s of such popular entertainment forms as s p o r t s and c a b a r e t s . These p a r t i c u l a r correspondences a r i s e from a l a r g e r one* Brecht Is i n t e r e s t e d i n c r e a t i n g a s p e c i a l k i n d of performance o c c a s i o n which i s i n a number of ways s i m i l a r t o the e p i c per-formance o c c a s i o n . What are the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of t h i s occasion? F i r s t of a l l , i t i n v o l v e s repeated reminders t o the audience of the nature of the o c c a s i o n . The t h e a t r i c a l l i g h t i n g does not ob-scure the surroundings but r e v e a l s and thus emphasizes them; t h e a t r i c a l d e v i c e s are used not to l u l l the s p e c t a t o r ' s 65 conscious or c r i t i c a l f a c u l t i e s but t o awaken them. The spec-t a t o r cannot be impervious t o where he i s and w i t h whom. The o c c a s i o n emphasizes the f a c t t h a t entertainment i s b e i n g c r e a t e d and encourages the s p e c t a t o r t o look a t how i t i s c r e a t e d . While i t i s o b v i o u s l y d i f f i c u l t f o r Brecht t o r e - c r e a t e the performance c o n d i t i o n s of c l a s s i c a l e p i c (e.g. the per-formance as p a r t of a complex of a c t i v i t i e s i n which the audience p a r t i c i p a t e s ) he i s a b l e to b u i l d such elements i n t o the p l a y s . I n the frames t o Chalk C i r c l e and Measures Taken, f o r example, the f i c t i v e audience has assembled not s o l e l y , o r even p r i m a r i l y , f o r the performances. I n both p l a y s the performances are p r e d i c a t e d upon a l a r g e r purpose f o r gather-i n g , and the substance and methods of the performances are d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d t o the l a r g e r events. I n both p l a y s the performances are concerned w i t h i s s u e s which are important t o the group, and the audiences are u n l i k e l y t o f o r g e t t h i s ; not only are the l a r g e r i s s u e s r e p e a t e d l y r e f e r r e d t o , but the performers are v i s i b l y p a r t of the group. L i k e the e p i c s t o r y -t e l l e r t hese performers are not remote " s t a r s " , nor a r e they e m o t i o n a l l y t r a n s p o r t e d or p h y s i c a l l y transformed i n t o t h e i r r o l e s . These performances are i n the nature of demonstrations, and the performers' methods and the audiences' a t t i t u d e s r e f l e c t t h i s . I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t h a t such performance models are b u i l t i n t o both the e a r l y , more d o c t r i n a i r e work and the mature, more e n t e r t a i n i n g work; i t seems to i n d i c a t e t h a t the e p i c q u a l i t y 66 of B recht's p l a y s i s not r e a l l y a f u n c t i o n of t h e i r o v e r t d i -d a c t i c i s m but r a t h e r emerges from the performance a t t i t u d e . How i s such an a t t i t u d e communicated to the audience proper? Brecht does not seek the types of audience p a r t i c i -p a t i o n that become popular avantgarde techniques twenty years l a t e r . He does not a n t a g o n i s t i c a l l y c o n f r o n t the audience, nor does he attempt to engage i t i n a transcendent, psycho-s p i r i t u a l communality. Instead he attempts t o i n v o l v e the audience as a s o c i a l u n i t . He f o s t e r s the audience's aware-ness of the s o c i a l environment of the performance and of i t -s e l f as a s o c i a l group w i t h a r e s p o n s i b l e s o c i a l r o l e t h a t r e -q u i r e s a l e r t . a t t e n t i o n . The r o l e i t s e l f v a r i e s : the s p e c t a t o r may be approached as a judge, a j u r y , a p u p i l , or a r e f e r e e f o r whom the performance i s a demonstration or i l l u s t r a t i o n of a s i t u a t i o n whose r e s o l u t i o n i s open. The s p e c t a t o r ' s a t t e n t i o n i s d i r e c t e d t o the means of performance as w e l l as t o the substance. Brecht assumes t h a t the s p e c t a t o r ' s a p p r a i s a l of these means w i l l enhance h i s en-joyment of the performance, and the assumption i s well-founded. At a c i r c u s , c a b a r e t , or s p o r t i n g event, f o r example, one r e -mains aware of one's surroundings and can look a t the "per-formance" c r i t i c a l l y . Even i f p a r t i a l t o a p a r t i c u l a r per-former or team, one acknowledges the b a s i s of such p a r t i a l i t y : the s k i l l s t h a t are used. We p o i n t e d out i n our d i s c u s s i o n of e p i c t h a t such c r i t i c a l awareness a l s o stems from the audience's f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h the form I t s e l f . Such an audience w i l l a l s o 67 manifest i t s d i s p l e a s u r e a t an u n s k i l l e d or awkward performance, f o r i t s f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h and a p p r e c i a t i o n of the form and occa-s i o n do not i n t e r f e r e w i t h i t s c r i t i c a l awareness. Nor i s such c r i t i c a l d i s t a n c e i n c o m p a t i b l e w i t h emotional involvement. Brecht broadens the focus of involvement from the l i f e of a p a r t i c u l a r c h a r a c t e r i n a p a r t i c u l a r s i t u a t i o n t o the per-formance o c c a s i o n . Brecht's n o t o r i o u s t h e a t r i c a l l s m does not demand t h a t one remain u n i n v o l v e d , but t h a t one be engaged, both i n t e l l e c t u a l l y and e m o t i o n a l l y (and the two are not mutually e x c l u s i v e ) , by the means of performance as w e l l as the substance. i l . A c t i n g and Impersonation Brecht encourages h i s audiences t o take a c r i t i c a l view of how the performance i s c r e a t e d and thus seeks to focus t h e i r a t t e n t i o n on the a c t i n g . We s a i d before t h a t Brecht's p l o t s t r u c t u r e s make the audiences aware of how p l o t i s put t o g e t h e r , as the s o c i a l grounding of c h a r a c t e r makes them aware of the determinants of c h a r a c t e r . The c r e a t i o n of c h a r a c t e r i n per-formance i s s i m i l a r l y designed to make v i s i b l e the means of c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n . C l a s s i c a l e p i c i n v i t e s such a view of the a c t i n g because the s t o r y t e l l e r i s the s o l e a c t o r . The audience t h e r e f o r e can examine the process of impersonation as the s t o r y -t e l l e r steps i n t o a r o l e by a l t e r i n g h i s g e s t u r e s , p o s t u r e s , f a c i a l e x p r e s s i o n s , or tones of v o i c e . Thus the s u c c e s s f u l s t o r y t e l l e r w i l l evoke a s t r o n g sense of a c h a r a c t e r ' s presence but w i l l not be mistaken f o r t h a t c h a r a c t e r . A s i m i l a r sense of 68 the impersonation not o b s c u r i n g the impersonator or f a c t of Impersonation i s conveyed i n dramas where, f o r i n s t a n c e , a c t o r ' s p l a y more than one r o l e , c h i l d r e n p l a y a d u l t r o l e s , or men play women's r o l e s . Such c a s t i n g prevents the a c t o r s and the audiences from i d e n t i f y i n g too s t r o n g l y w i t h the r o l e s . Brecht uses a number of techniques to encourage the ac t o r s , and audience to take a more a n a l y t i c a l view of the c h a r a c t e r s . To some extent such a view i s demanded by the t e x t s (e.g. where c h a r a c t e r s play more than one r o l e , where they mime o t h e r charac-t e r s , where they perform n a r r a t i v e f u n c t i o n s , or where they are p h y s i c a l l y or s o c i a l l y transformed). I n another sense, a c r i t i c a l c o n c e n t r a t i o n on the a c t i n g s k i l l s i s i n v i t e d by the p r i o r f a m i l i a r i t y of so many of the c h a r a c t e r s i n Brecht's p l a y s and Homeric e p i c . Brecht uses a numbed of performance.techniques to accentuate the gap between the a c t o r and the c h a r a c t e r and encourage both the a c t o r and the audience t o be aware of per-formance s k i l l s . I n Antigone, f o r example, the a c t u a l p l a y i n g a r e a i s marked o f f , and when an a c t o r i s not i n a scene he r e t i r e s t o a n o n - p l a y i n g area. Brecht g i v e s the f o l l o w i n g e x p l a n a t i o n of h i s purposes J "The reason why the a c t o r s s i t openly on the stage and only adopt the a t t i t u d e s proper to t h e i r p a r t s once they e n t e r the (very b r i l l i a n t l y l i t ) a c t i n g a r e a i s t h a t the audience must not be a b l e to t h i n k t h a t i t has been t r a n s p o r t e d t o the scene of the s t o r y , but must be i n v i t e d t o take p a r t i n the d e l i v e r y of an a n c i e n t poem, i r r e s p e c t i v e how i t has been restored."56 69 L i k e the e p i c s t o r y t e l l e r , Brecht's a c t o r i s . not meant simply t o p o r t r a y but to " n a r r a t e " a c h a r a c t e r , not only t o enact a c h a r a c t e r but t o r e a c t t o him as w e l l . Because the a c t o r does not "become" the c h a r a c t e r , he i s a b l e t o look a t the c h a r a c t e r c r i t i c a l l y and p r o j e c t t o the audience h i s own a t t i t u d e toward the c h a r a c t e r . Brecht advocates t h a t t h i s c r i t i q u e be a l o n g s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l l i n e s i The a t t i t u d e which he [the a c t o r ] adopts i s a s o c i a l l y c r i t i c a l one. I n h i s e x p o s i t i o n of the i n c i d e n t s i n h i s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of the person he t r i e s t o b r i n g out those f e a t u r e s which come w i t h i n s o c i e t y ' s sphere. I n t h i s way h i s per- , formance becomes a d i s c u s s i o n (about s o c i a l con-d i t i o n s ) w i t h the audience he i s a d d r e s s i n g . He prompts the s p e c t a t o r t o j u s t i f y o r a b o l i s h these c o n d i t i o n s a c c o r d i n g t o what c l a s s he belongs to.57 (Note the term " e x p o s i t i o n " and the a c t i n g a t t i t u d e which i t i m p l i e s ) . The a c t o r ' s p o l i t i c a l b i a s i s t o be apparent, y e t such p o l i t i c ! z a t i o n may,••, i n f a c t , c o n t r i b u t e t o a more u n i -f i e d tone and p e r s p e c t i v e i f the a c t o r s ' p o l i t i c s i s f a i r l y uniform. The a c t o r ' s m a n i f e s t a t i o n of h i s a t t i t u d e toward h i s r o l e and h i s audience i s an important element of B r e c h t ' s over-a l l d e m y s t i f i c a t i o n of the t h e a t r e (the o c c a s i o n , the p h y s i c a l surroundings, and the means of performance). Brecht suggests a number of techniques which l a y the groundwork f o r the a c t o r ' s e x p r e s s i n g such a t t i t u d e s i n per-formance. To b e g i n w i t h , the a c t o r i s encouraged t o use a number of d e v i c e s t o n a r r a t e h i s c h a r a c t e r . ^ The a c t o r thus p l a y s the c h a r a c t e r as though he had a l r e a d y l i v e d through the experience. T h i s i n t u r n r e s u l t s i n an i n t e r m i n g l i n g of 70 time p e r s p e c t i v e s which occurs i n e p i c t o o i on the one hand, the r e i s a past p e r s p e c t i v e which r e c a l l s or r e - c r e a t e s com-p l e t e d a c t i o n , w h i l e on the o t h e r hand, th e r e i s the present p e r s p e c t i v e of the performance. Brecht opposes such a d u a l time p e r s p e c t i v e to S c h i l l e r ' s more r i g i d d i s t i n c t i o n between drama's present p e r s p e c t i v e and e p i c ' s past perspective.59 Brecht a l s o encourages the a c t o r t o become f a m i l i a r w i t h the t e x t by p a r a p h r a s i n g i t i n whatever idiom he f e e l s most at home.^° When the a c t o r thus d e m y s t i f i e s the t e x t , he becomes more sure of and b e t t e r a b l e t o p r o j e c t h i s r e a c t i o n s t o i t . Brecht f u r t h e r suggests t h a t a c t o r s stand i n f o r each other a t r e h e a r s a l s so t h a t they can see t h e i r r o l e s " c o p i e d " and thus i n c o r p o r a t e a s i m i l a r detachment i n t h e i r own approach to t h e i r r o l e s . ^ 1 F i n a l l y , Brecht i n s i s t s t h a t the a c t o r f i n d s u i t a b l e g e s t u r e s t o express the c h a r a c t e r s e v e r y t h i n g t o do w i t h the emotions has t o be e x t e r n a l i z e d ; t h a t i s to say, i t must be de-v e l o p e d i n t o a g e s t u r e . The a c t o r has t o f i n d a s e n s i b l y p e r c e p t i b l e outward e x p r e s s i o n f o r h i s c h a r a c t e r ' s emotions, p r e f e r a b l y some a c t i o n t h a t g i v e s away what i s going on i n s i d e of him. The emotion i n q u e s t i o n must be brought out, must l o s e a l l i t s r e s t r i c t i o n s . . . °2 He f u r t h e r a s c r i b e s a r i t u a l i s t i c and d e l i b e r a t e q u a l i t y to the g e s t u r e s . ^ The f u n c t i o n s and q u a l i t i e s of the g e s t u r e s are s i g n i f i c a n t p o i n t s of s i m i l a r i t y between B r e c h t i a n and e p i c s t o r y t e l l e r a c t i n g . A l l these d e v i c e s are designed t o make the methods of 71 impersonation more obvious t o the a c t o r and the audience. When the s p e c t a t o r i s thus aware t h a t what he i s w i t n e s s i n g i s the a c t o r p r a c t i c i n g h i s c r a f t , h i s a t t i t u d e toward the a c t o r becomes more of what i t i s toward o t h e r types of per-formers (e.g. a t h l e t e s , a c r o b a t s ) : he can marvel a t the per-formance s k i l l s f o r what they a r e . Thus w h i l e the c h a r a c t e r i t s e l f may become more d i s t a n t from the a c t o r and the s p e c t a t o r , the whole process of impersonation w i l l become more f a m i l i a r and understandable. i l l . Music and Song Bre c h t ' s music i s one element whose f u n c t i o n d i f f e r s con-s i d e r a b l y from i t s f u n c t i o n i n Homeric e p i c . As was p o i n t e d out e a r l i e r , the music i n e p i c i s e s s e n t i a l l y background, whereas Brecht i n s i s t s on the music's independence and n a r r a -t i v e p o t e n t i a l i n h i s works. T h i s i s i n kee p i n g w i t h h i s de-s i r e f o r a l l the performance elements t o remain d i s c r e t e , a n a l y z a b l e u n i t s . ^ Music too, then, i s used t o j a r the spec-t a t o r , t o work d i a l e c t i c a l l y w i t h or comment on the a c t i o n , and t o i n t e r r u p t the tone. Let us look more c l o s e l y a t the nature of t h i s independence. Brecht uses a number of d e v i c e s t o emphasize the f o r m a l inde-pendence of the musics the musicians are v i s i b l e , t h e r e may be d i s t i n c t l i g h t i n g changes or t i t l e cues before or d u r i n g m u s i c a l numbers, and the s i n g e r s may go through v a r i o u s moves t o show t h a t they are going t o s i n g a s o n g . ^ He a l s o uses 72 music i n emotional or thematic c o u n t e r p o i n t t o the a c t i o n : r a t h e r than u n d e r l i n i n g . t h e emotional i m p l i c a t i o n s of a s l t u a -t i o n , the music may be e m o t i o n a l l y a t odds w i t h the s i t u a t i o n . I n Mother Courage, f o r example, the v i c t o r y and f u n e r a l music i n scenes 5 and 6 r u n counter to the a c t i o n . I n Chalk C i r c l e Grusha a c t s ^ a g a i n s t " the music i n her mime a t the end of 66 scene 2. I n G a l i l e o the t h r e a t e n i n g r e v o l u t i o n a r y undertones of the c a r n i v a l scene are p i c k e d up and s u s t a i n e d by the musi-c a l accompaniment.^? I n The Threepenny Opera Brecht c o n t i n u -a l l y e x p l o i t s the i r o n i c p o t e n t i a l of music. As w i t h o t h e r p r o d u c t i o n elements, Brecht i s concerned t h a t the music not be taken f o r granted or seem to s p r i n g from some mysterious source (thus the v i s i b i l i t y of the band and the a c t o r s ' stagy acknowledgments of the d i f f e r e n c e between the songs and the d i a l o g u e ) . One can see t h a t he i s e x p l o i t i n g some of the a t t i t u d e s towards the music and song which a r e more p r e v a l e n t i n opera than i n other types of m u s i c a l drama, though without the c o m p e t i t i o n of elements f o r which he c r i t i c i z e s t r a d i t i o n a l opera. H i s songs, l i k e many o p e r a t i c a r i a s , are a b s o r b i n g i n themselves. They o f t e n d i v e r t a t t e n t i o n from the p l o t development to the a c t of s i n g i n g . Brecht h i m s e l f speaks of the d e s i r a b i l i t y of these numbers coming a c r o s s as " v i r t u o s o t u r n s " . 6 8 I t i s worth n o t i n g t h a t Brecht worked w i t h a number of com-posers, and t h a t even w i t h the same c o l l a b o r a t o r t h e r e i s n ' t r e a l l y a c o n s i s t e n t m u s i c a l s t y l e or form (e.g. W e i l l ' s Three-73 penny Opera and Mahagonny). One tends t o a s s o c i a t e j a z z or cabaret music w i t h Brecht's p l a y s , though much of the music i s more di s s o n a n t and a t o n a l . A l l the music shares a k i n d of of p e r c u s s i v e i n s i s t e n c e which seems q u i t e d i f f e r e n t from the s e l f - e f f a c i n g music of e p i c r e c i t a t i o n s . Brecht h i m s e l f sug-gests t h a t the modern composer t a c k l e "the a r t of s e t t i n g e p i c s to music" and p o i n t s out t h a t "we do not know to what s o r t of music the Odyssey and the N i b e l u n g e n l i e d were performed. The~v performance of n a r r a t i v e poems of any l e n g t h i s something t h a t our composers can no l o n g e r render p o s s i b l e . H e suggests some q u a l i t i e s of such e p i c music i n h i s notes to Chalk C i r c l e , but h i s d i r e c t i o n s are somewhat vague* As opposed to the few songs, which can have a p e r s o n a l c h a r a c t e r , the n a r r a t i v e music ought merely t o have c o l d beauty, and at the same time should not be d i f f i c u l t . I t seems t o me i t would be p o s s i b l e t o d e r i v e a s p e c i a l e f f e c t from a c e r t a i n monotony. However, the b a s i c music f o r the f i v e a c t s should be c l e a r l y varied.70 His f u r t h e r s p e c i f i c a t i o n s suggest t h a t the a p p r o p r i a t e music i s a type of mood music, save f o r a few p l a c e s where i t i s supposed to c o n t r a s t s h a r p l y w i t h the a c t i o n . Chalk C i r c l e i s the only p l a y i n which he uses an e p i c s t o r y t e l l e r format, so i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t h a t s e v e r a l of the music s p e c i f i c a t i o n s (ret s i m p l i -c i t y and monotony) p o i n t t o the type of-music we have a s c r i b e d to the e p i c , e s p e c i a l l y i n the l i g h t of h i s more c h a r a c t e r i s t i c m u s i c a l c r i t e r i a * 74 F o r i t s p a r t , the music must s t r o n g l y r e s i s t the smooth i n c o r p o r a t i o n which i s g e n e r a l l y expected of i t and t u r n s i t i n t o u n t h i n k i n g s l a v e r y . Music does not "accompany" except i n the form of commentary. 71 B r e c h t ' s a v e r s i o n t o an " u n t h i n k i n g " or " n a r c o t i c " e x p l o i -t a t i o n of music Is a l s o r e f l e c t e d I n h i s approach t o the songs. With the s i n g e r s , Brecht i s more i n t e r e s t e d I n a c t i n g a b i l i t y t h a n t r a i n e d s i n g i n g v o i c e s , such u n t r a i n e d s i n g e r s might, i n f a c t , be b e t t e r s u i t e d to the s e l f - c o n s c i o u s a t t i t u d e towards both the songs and the f a c t of s i n g i n g t h a t Brecht r e q u i r i e s : Nothing i s more r e v o l t i n g than when the a c t o r pretends not t o n o t i c e t h a t he has l e f t the l e v e l of p l a i n speech and s t a r t e d t o s i n g . The t h r e e l e v e l s — p l a i n speech, heightened speech, and s i n g i n g — must always remain d i s t i n c t . . As i n a c a b a r e t , B recht's songs are o f t e n preceded by an announce ment of the s i n g e r and the song. F r e q u e n t l y the songs are i n t e r -r u p t e d by b a n t e r between the s i n g e r and the other c h a r a c t e r s or by commentary on the song i t s e l f . Such I n t e r r u p t i o n s might o f f s e t the s t r i c t s e p a r a t i o n of elements Brecht c a l l s f o r . So might the use of the Sprechstlmme technique (a technique which might w e l l have been used by the e p i c s t o r y t e l l e r t o o ) . Brecht f u r t h e r advocates a type of a n t i - s i n g i n g which emphasizes the r e s i s t a n c e of the l y r i c s t o the tunes: "As f o r the melody, he [ t h e s i n g e r j must not f o l l o w i t b l i n d l y : t h e r e i s a k i n d of speaking-against-the-music which can have s t r o n g e f f e c t s , the r e s u l t of stubborn, i n c o r r u p t i b l e s o b r i e t y which i s independent of music and rhythm."?3 The s i n g e r ' s " s o b r i e t y " encourages the 75 audience, then, to t h i n k about the l y r i c s and the context as w e l l as the s i n g i n g i t s e l f . B r e c h t ' s e x p l o i t a t i o n of some of the elements of popular (e.g. cabaret and f o l k ) music might a l s o encourage the s p e c t a t o r t o respond as he would at the types of o c c a s i o n s which he u s u a l l y a s s o c i a t e s w i t h such music. While Brecht speaks almost e x c l u s i v e l y of the d i s t a n c i n g e f f e c t s of the music and songs, we should remember t h a t t h e r e i s c o n s i d e r a b l e c o n s i s t e n c y i n the o r c h e s t r a t i o n , con-s t r u c t i o n , and p r e s e n t a t i o n of songs i n the p l a y s which c o u l d w e l l o f f s e t the d i s t a n c i n g e f f e c t s of any p a r t i c u l a r song i n any one c o n t e x t . Such c o n s i s t e n c y no doubt f o l l o w s from Br e c h t ' s c l o s e c o l l a b o r a t i o n w i t h h i s composers. l v . S p e c t a c l e B r e c h t ' s scenery and-stage design, l i k e - h i , s a c t i n g * and music, are designed to a l l o w the s p e c t a t o r s to be aware of where they are and what they are d o i n g i the t h e a t r i c a l a p p a r a t i are v i s i b l e , the source of l i g h t i s v i s i b l e , one can see changes of scenery, and one can see the audience. But the s c e n i c p r o p e r t i e s are not made v i s i b l e f o r t h e i r own sake alone,• they a r e p a r t of the l a r g e r s p e c t a c l e and the audience should be a b l e to a p p r a i s e t h e i r p l a c e i n i t . J u s t as B r e c h t l a n a c t i n g i s i n t e n d e d to make the s p e c t a t o r aware of how the a c t o r uses gestures or v o i c e to c r e a t e c h a r a c t e r , h i s scenery makes the s p e c t a t o r aware of how space, o b j e c t s , and people are used to c r e a t e a scene. Thus the i n t e r e s t i n the s t o r y m a t e r i a l i s matched by an 76 i n t e r e s t i n how the s t o r y i s performed, and such s t r u c t u r a l elements as the m i n i m i z a t i o n of suspense a l l o w the s p e c t a t o r a d i f f u s e d a t t e n t i o n which i s q u i t e d i f f e r e n t from the r a p t a t t e n -t i o n demanded by c o n v e n t i o n a l drama. Brecht makes the f o l l o w i n g suggestions about the stage set * I t * s more important nowadays f o r the s e t to t e l l the s p e c t a t o r he's i n a t h e a t r e than to t e l l him he's i n , say, A u l i s . The t h e a t r e must a c q u i r e qua t h e a t r e the same f a s c i n a t i n g r e a l i t y as a s p o r t i n g arena d u r i n g a boxing match. The best t h i n g i s to show the machinery, the ropes, and the f l i e s . I f the s e t r e p r e s e n t s a town i t must look l i k e a town t h a t has been b u i l t t o l a s t p r e c i s e l y 2 hours. One must conjure up the r e a l i t y of time. On the t i m e - s c a l e the s e t must p l a i n l y become i n t e n s i f i e d ; I t must have i t s own climax and a s p e c i a l round of applause.?^ He i s working from the premise t h a t i f the t h e a t r i c a l apparatus i s open to p u b l i c s c r u t i n y i t w i l l not cease to i n t e r e s t the audience, j u s t as when the a c t o r i s not t r a n s p o r t e d i n t o the c h a r a c t e r n e i t h e r the c h a r a c t e r nor the a r t of impersonation becomes l e s s i n t e r e s t i n g . Such approaches arouse a q u a l i t a -t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t k i n d of i n t e r e s t which i s s i m i l a r l y aroused i n o t h e r entertainment forms where one r e c o g n i z e s the f a c i l i -t i e s as f a c i l i t i e s and a p p r e c i a t e s how they c o n t r i b u t e to the o v e r a l l event. Such a p p r e c i a t i o n can w e l l be expressed i n applause which w i l l not be i n a p p r o p r i a t e to the mood of the performance. We f i n d a s i m i l a r approach to p r o d u c t i o n i n opera, where i t i s assumed t h a t the audience w i l l r e a c t o v e r t l y to such 77 t h i n g s as scenery and a r i a s . B r e c h t ' s t h e a t r e , l i k e opera and c l a s s i c a l e p i c , i s s k i l l c o n s c i o u s , and t h i s fundamental s i m i -l a r i t y o v e r r i d e s the more obvious d i f f e r e n c e s i n the uses of the s k i l l s . B r e c ht's scenery c o n t a i n s both symbolic and n a t u r a l i s t i c elements: he uses symbols, though not hermetic or p s y c h o l o g i -c a l symbols, and he s t r i v e s f o r some measure of s c e n i c authen-t i c i t y , though on a h i g h l y s e l e c t i v e b a s i s . Let us look f i r s t a t h i s use of symbolism. Brecht i s l a r g e l y i n t e r e s t e d i n u s i n g symbols which sim-p l i f y (the more unwieldy s c e n i c p r o p e r t i e s i n such a way;that t h e i r f u n c t i o n i s c l e a r and they are i n themselves a t t r a c t i v e . E r i c B e n t l e y f u r t h e r i l l u s t r a t e s these p o i n t s : Thus a d i s k can r e p r e s e n t the sun. Yet i f we use such a symbol, we must not f o o l o u r s e l v e s i n t o b e l i e v i n g t h a t i t i s not a symbol but the r e a l i t y . We must not hang the d i s k on an i n v i -s i b l e wire and ask our audience t o b e l i e v e t h a t t h i s i s a photograph of the sun. We can hang i t on a v i s i b l e c h a i n . ; I f , as i n Caspar Neher's s e t t i n g of The "Threepenny Opera, the stage becomes a v e r i t a b l e network of such c h a i n s , i t w i l l be the d e s i g n e r ' s job t o see th a t they form a p a t t e r n and not a chaos: here a g a i n the func-t i o n a l and the a e s t h e t i c elements have t o be fused.75 I n a d d l t o n t o ad m i r i n g economical and a t t r a c t i v e p h y s i c a l sym-b o l s , Brecht p r a i s e s the Chinese t h e a t r e ' s use of gestures and mime as s u b s t i t u t e s f o r scenerys A young woman, a fisherman's w i f e , i s shown p a d d l i n g a boat. She stands s t e e r i n g a non-e x i s t e n t boat w i t h a paddle t h a t b a r e l y reaches to h e r knees. Now the c u r r e n t i s s w i f t e r , and 78 she i s f i n d i n g i t har d e r t o keep her balance: now she i s i n a p o o l and p a d d l i n g more e a s i l y . Right t t h a t i s how one manages a boat. 76 Such g e s t u r a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s are a l s o r e m i n i s c e n t of the e p i c rhapsode's methods i n both forms the s p e c t a t o r can a p p r e c i a t e the performer's i n g e n u i t y and grace i n choosing and performing the g e s t u r e s . I n B r e c h t ' s own p l a y s we can see how he uses motion, l i g h t , and sound cues t o a b b r e v i a t e the passage of time: i n Mother  Courage i t i s re p r e s e n t e d by the wagon's moving on the r e v o l v -i n g stage; i n Setzuan,by a l i g h t i n g change; i n Chalk C i r c l e , by the music of the s p r i n g r u n - o f f . While Brecht o f t e n symbolizes the more unwieldy s c e n i c elements, he tends t o t r e a t the s c e n i c d e t a i l s more r e a l i s t i c a l l y . B r echt speaks l o v i n g l y of Caspar Neher's care i n s e l e c t i n g and c r a f t i n g the props, h i s h a n d l i n g of the m a t e r i a l s , and h i s p a i n s t a k i n g a u t h e n t i c a t i o n of d e t a i l s and background drops.?? Brecht's s t a g i n g thus seeks the bes t of both worlds: the p l a u s i -b i l i t y of a u t h e n t i c d e t a i l and the p o e t i c s u g g e s t i o n of symbol-ism. Furthermore, i t 'is. aifcungluttWcd--sta:ge;--which n e i t h e r dwarfs the a c t i o n nor e n t i r e l y absorbs the s p e c t a t o r ' s a t t e n -t i o n . Brecht's approach t o s t a g i n g seems t o have been p a r t l y a matter of c h o i c e , but a l s o a matter of n e c e s s i t y . He was not, a f t e r a l l , e s t a b l i s h e d i n a s u f f i c i e n t l y endowed t h e a t r e t i l l a f t e r World War I I . E a r l y i n h i s c a r e e r , he seemed t o be i n t e r -e s t e d i n pr o d u c t i o n s which c o u l d be staged on pl a t f o r m s or a t 79 meeting houses.and would have to be economical i n a number of r e s p e c t s . D u r i n g h i s e x i l e he a l s o worked w i t h amateur and l i t t l e t h e a t r e groups, so by the time he was e s t a b l i s h e d i n East B e r l i n , he seems t o have l e a r n e d how t o make a genuine a r t i s t i c v i r t u e out of n e c e s s i t y . I f we look back a t Chalk  C i r c l e once a g a i n , we sense almost a k i n d of a r t i s t i c n o s t a l g i a f o r the s p a r t a n performance c o n d i t i o n s of the c o l l e c t i v e s and s t o r y t e l l e r . As w i t h most of the dramatic and t h e a t r i c a l elements, Brecht emphasizes the g e s t i c and n a r r a t i v e p o t e n t i a l of h i s s t a g i n g . He speaks of the need f o r the scene, too, to be t r e a t e d as an independent element and used to comment on the a c t i o n . I n h i s essay "Stage Design f o r the E p i c T h e a t r e " he g i v e s two examples of how t h i s can be done. One shows how i n an a d a p t a t i o n the scenery can be used to undercut or g i v e a d i f f e r e n t s l a n t on the t e x t , thus c r e a t i n g a t e n s i o n between the d i a l o g u e , the audience's e x p e c t a t i o n s , and the v i s u a l 78 r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . ' Another technique he suggests c a l l s f o r a double sets a foreground set f o r the a c t i o n and a background se t f o r the environment.?9 such a double set would emphasize the d i s t a n c e between both the performance's environment and t h a t of the p l a y ' s a c t i o n , and the h i s t o r i c a l background and f i c t i v e events and c h a r a c t e r s . Such a background would no doubt r e f l e c t the dynamic i n t e r a c t i o n s between the environment and the movements w i t h i n i t . That i s , the environment, l i k e the char-a c t e r s , would be shown to be mutable. The s p e c t a t o r c o u l d thus 80 see how the environments both modify man and are m o d i f i e d by man. Lukacs d i s c u s s e s t h i s aspect of scenery i n h i s a r t i c l e "Theatre and Environment"; he c r i t i c i z e s dramas which p o r t r a y environment as a s u b j e c t i v e s t a t e of mind or as an insurmount-a b l e , immutable f o r c e , and p r a i s e s B r echt's use of scenery and s t a g e c r a f t f o r c a p t u r i n g the " t r u e " i n t e r r e l a t i o n of man and On environment. 81 FOOTNOTES - PART I I 3 9 g ri c Bentley, "An Unamerican Chalk C i r c l e " , i n The  Drama Review, v o l . X, No. 4 , Summer 1 9 6 6 , pg. 64 ( B e n t l e y notes t h a t the Prologue of Chalk C i r c l e i s o f t e n c u t , and i n h i s own t r a n s l a t i o n of the play he e x c e r p t s an i n c i d e n t i n sc. 3)• 4f) B e r t o l t Brecht, L i f e of G a l i l e o t Notes and V a r i a n t s , i n B e r t o l t Brechtt C o l l e c t e d P l a y s , v o l . V, ed. Ralph Manhelm & John W i l l e t t , New York, 1972, pg. 2 3 6 - 7 . ^ I b l d . , pg. 2 3 6 . ^ 2 B e r t o l t Brecht, "BB's Rehearsal Scenes — E s t r a n g i n g Shakespeare", i n The Drama Review, v o l . X I I , No. 1, F a l l 1 9 6 7 . pg. 1 0 8 - 1 1 . ^ B e r t o l t Brecht, The Mother Courage Model, i n B e r t o l t  B r e c h t i C o l l e c t e d P l a y s , v o l . y>, pg. 346. ^ B e r t o l t Brecht, The Measures Taken, i n The Jewish Wife  and Other Short P l a y s , t r a n s . E r i c B e n t l e y , New York, 19637 pg. IT. ^ B e r t o l t B r e c h t , The E x c e p t i o n and the Rule, i n The  Jew!sh Wife and Other S h o r t T l a y s , pg. i l l . ^ B e r t o l t Brecht, L i f e of G a l i l e o , t r a n s . W. Sauerlander & R. Manheim, i n B e r t o l t Brecht t C o l l e c t e d P l a y s , v o l . V, pg. 2 8 . ^ I b l d . , pg. 84-5. ha B e r t o l t Brecht, Mother Courage and Her C h i l d r e n , t r a n s . R. Manheim, i n B e r t o l t Brechtt C o l l e c t e d P l a y s , v o l . v, pg. 160. ^ 9 I b l d . , pg. 198 . ^ B e r t o l t Brecht, The Caucasian Chalk C i r c l e , t r a n s . J . & T. S t e r n , I n B e r t o l t Brecht t P l a y s , v o l . 1, pg. 5 . 5 1 I b i d . , pg. 8 . 5 2 B e r t o l t Brecht, "On Form and Subject Matter", i n Brecht  on Theatre, t r a n s , and ed. John W i l l e t t , New York, 1 9 6 4 , pg. 3 0 . 53sertolt Brecht, "On Rhymeless Verse w i t h I r r e g u l a r Rhythms", In Brecht on Theatre, pg. 1 2 0 . ^ B e r t o l t Brecht, Chalk C i r c l e , pg. 9 . 82 FOOTNOTES Continued ^ ^ B e r t o l t Brecht, The Good Person of Setzuan, t r a n s . John W i l l e t t , I n B e r t o l t Brecht t P l a y s , v o l . 2 , London, 1 9 6 3 , pg. 215.217. 5 ^ B e r t o l t B r e c h t , " M a s t e r f u l Treatment of a Model", i n Brecht on Theatre, pg. 2 1 2 . 5 ? B e r t o l t Brecht, "Short D e s c r i p t i o n of a New A c t i n g Technique Which Produces an A l i e n a t i o n E f f e c t " , i n Brecht on Theatre, pg. 1 3 9 . 5 8 i b l d . , pg. 1 3 8 . 5 9 B e r t o l t Brecht, "A Short Organum f o r the Th e a t r e " , ! I n Brecht on Theatre, pg. 194 (Brecht c i t e s S c h i l l e r ' s l e t t e r t o Goethe of 12/26/1797). ^°Bertolt Brecht, "Short D e s c r i p t i o n of a New A c t i n g Tech-nique . . .", pg. 139 . ^ B e r t o l t Brecht, "A Short Organum . . .", pg. 197. ^ 2 B e r t o l t Brecht, "Short D e s c r i p t i o n of a New A c t i n g Tech-nique . . .", pg. 139. ^ B e r t o l t Brecht, " A l i e n a t i o n E f f e c t s i n Chinese A c t i n g " , i n Brecht on Theatre, pg. 93» ^ B e r t o l t Brecht, "The Modern Theatre i s the E p i c Theatre", i n Brecht on Theatre, pg. 3 7 - 8 . 6 f?Bertolt Brecht, "The L i t e r a r l z a t i o n of the Theatre", i n Brecht on Theatre, pg. 4 5 . ^ B e r t o l t Brecht, "On The Caucasian Chalk C i r c l e " , i n The Drama Review, v o l . X I I , No. 1, F a l l 1967. pg. 9 » . ^ B e r t o l t Brecht, "A Short Organum . . .", pg. 2 0 3 . ^ B e r t o l t Brecht, "On The Use of Music i n an E p i c Theatre", i n Brecht on Theatre, pg. 84. 6 9 l b i d . , pg. 8 9 . 7 0 B e r t o l t Brecht, "On The Caucasian Chalk C i r c l e " , pg. 9 8 - 9 . " ^ B e r t o l t Brecht, "A Short Organum . . .", pg. 203« 83 FOOTNOTES - Continued ? 2 B e r t o l t Brecht, "The L l t e r a r i z a t i o n of the Theatre", pg. 4 4 . 7 3 I b l d . , pg. 4 5 . " ^ B e r t o l t Brecht, "Stage D e s i g n f o r the E p i c Theatre", i n Brecht on Theatre, pg. 2 3 3 . 75Eric B e n t l e y , I n Search of Theater, New York, 1 9 5 3 , pg. 140. " ^ B e r t o l t Brecht, " A l i e n a t i o n E f f e c t s i n Chinese A c t i n g " , Pg» 9 2 . ? ? B e r t o l t Brecht, "Stage Design f o r the Epic-iThea-tre;', pg. 2 3 1 - 2 . 7 8 I b i d . , pg. 2 3 1 . 7 9 i b i d . , pg. 2 3 2 . 80 o u G e o r g Lukacs, "Theatre and Environment", i n The Times  L i t e r a r y Supplement. 1964«l, A p r i l 2 3 . 1 9 6 4 , pg. 347: 84 CONCLUSION We have so f a r been l o o k i n g at the p a r t i c u l a r c h a r a c t e r -i s t i c s of Homeric e p i c and Brecht's drama i n d i v i d u a l l y , without n o t i n g f u l l y the p o i n t s of correspondence between them. I n t h i s c o n c l u s i o n , a f t e r r e v i e w i n g the p o i n t s of s i m i l a r i t y between the two forms, we w i l l r e t u r n t o the q u e s t i o n we posed i n the beginnings how does the r e c o g n i t i o n of the e p i c elements i n E p i c Theatre h e l p us to understand Brecht's work? Before l o o k i n g at the broader i m p l i c a t i o n s , l e t us note the p a r t i c u l a r correspondences between Homeric e p i c and E p i c Theatre. (1) Both forms a l l o w f o r a more d i f f u s e d a t t e n t i o n from the audience« both encourage the audience to be aware of a v a r i e t y of performance f e a t u r e s . (2) Both encourage a c r i t i c a l view of the s t o r y m a t e r i a l and performance s k i l l s . (3) Both are concerned w i t h the t r a n s m i s s i o n of s o c i a l h i s t o r y and s k i l l s , the one h e r o i c , the other f o l k . (4) Both c a l l a t t e n t i o n t o the s o c i a l environment of the performance by t h e i r treatment of the audience (as a s o c i a l unit);» the o c c a s i o n (as a s o c i a l r i t u a l ) , and the s t o r i e s . (5) I n both, the f o r m a l r e c i t a t i v e tone of the performance i s matched by a k i n d of c a s u a l intimacy between the performers and the audience. (6) Both h i s t o r l c i z e the s t o r i e s (a) w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o 85 contemporary events, and (b) by emphasizing the pastness and completion of the s t o r i e s . (7) Both have loose plot structures which admit a diver-s i t y of dramatic material, tones, and types of interactions with the audiences. (8) Both develop a great deal of secondary material i n the plots (background, genealogical, and tangential material). (9 ) Both are theme-orlenteds (a) they contain c e r t a i n stock themes, and (b) they accommodate dramatic material f o r i t s thematic relevance as well as f o r i t s plot s i g n i f i c a n c e . (10) In both, there i s a measure of p r i o r audience fa m i l -i a r i t y with the general outline of the plot which i s used to fos t e r the performance consciousness and the sense of the per-formance as demonstration. (11) Both use a mixture and a f u s i o n of narration and en-actment ( i n the dispersion of the narrative r o l e , the dramati-zation of the narrator, and the formal and tonal mixture of narrative and d i r e c t discourse). (12) In both, there are a number of perspectives on the action ( h i s t o r i c a l , i d e o l o g i c a l , and emotional) which are ex-pressed dramatically and t h e a t r i c a l l y . (13) In both, plot and performance features discourage the spectator from strongly i d e n t i f y i n g with any one character. (14) In both, recurrent constructions and modes of d i s -course s i g n i f i c a n t l y a f f e c t the tone, structure, and unity of the works. 86 (15) Both, rely more on contained, gestural acting than on prop-dependent acting. The f i r s t general point we should reiterate here i s that while we have concentrated on the epic i n Epic Theatre we have also re-emphasized the dramatic and theatrical elements i n epic i t s e l f . Brecht, too, stresses the point i n his defense of the label "Epic Theatre". He asserts that the term is not a self-contradiction, because the conventional distinction between epic as a written form and drama an enacted one is false and misleading. He points out that not only were class i c a l and medieval epics transmitted through theatrical performances, but also certain dramas are more effective as literature. Moreover, certain other types of literature are essentially dramatic (he cites the 19th century European novel, and he might also have cited the Socratic dialogues). Thus the term "Epic Theatre" i s not a self-contradiction at a l l , for the dramatic-epic distinction does not rest on the means alone. What then does i t consist of? Brecht focuses on three main characteristics distinguishing drama and epic, characteristics which are common to both epic and Brecht's theatre. The f i r s t i s plot construction. He notes with approval that "with an epic work, as opposed to a dramatic, one can as i t were take a pair of scissors and cut i t into individual pieces, which remain f u l l y capable of l i f e . " That i s , while drama may also contain episodes, these are not the main building blocks of the plot. 87 H i s second c r i t e r i o n i s the number of p e r s p e c t i v e s on the a c t i o n . Brecht notes the t e c h n i c a l developments i n the t h e a t r e which f a c i l i t a t e the i n c o r p o r a t i o n of n a r r a t i v e elements r a n d , < beyond these, p o i n t s t o e p i c ' s admission of more numerous and d i v e r s e p o i n t s of view on the a c t i o n . Once again, w h i l e there are n a r r a t i v e elements i n drama, they mainly serve to u n i f y the dramatic f o c u s and tone. The t h i r d c r i t e r i o n i s the s o c i a l m i l i e u . With r e f e r e n c e t o t h i s c r i t e r i o n , Brecht q u a l i f i e s the i m p r e s s i o n he c r e a t e s elsewhere i n h i s t h e o r e t i c a l w r i t i n g s t h a t a p a r t i c u l a r per-formance s t y l e and dramatic content w i l l s u f f i c e t o get an audience t o adopt the r i g h t c r i t i c a l a t t i t u d e towards the s t o r i e s and the performance (not to mention the l a r g e r s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l and moral problems they may f a c e ) . Here he acknowledges t h a t t h e r e must be some p r i o r audience r e c e p t i v i t y to the form and content of t h i s type of t h e a t r e . Such r e c e p t i v i t y i s c o n d i -t i o n e d by s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n s and movements. He f u r t h e r i n s i s t s t h a t E p i c Theatre i s not new; i t shares a number of c h a r a c t e r -i s t i c s w i t h other types of t h e a t r e t h a t developed i n d i f f e r e n t c o u n t r i e s and h i s t o r i c a l p e r i o d s : These t h e a t r i c a l forms corresponded t o p a r t i c u l a r t r e n d s of t h e i r time and vanished w i t h them. S i m i l a r l y the modern e p i c t h e a t r e i s l i n k e d w i t h c e r t a i n t r e n d s . I t cannot by any means be prac-t i c e d u n i v e r s a l l y . ° 3 Needless t o say, a l l a r t i s a f f e c t e d by s o c i a l and h i s t o r i c a l movements, but because an e p i c performance r e q u i r e s a s p e c i a l k i n d of audience a t t i t u d e , i t i s p a r t i c u l a r l y s e n s i t i v e t o such 88 f a c t o r s . What i s the a t t i t u d e of the e p i c audience? How does i t d i f f e r from t h a t of the audience of drama? Here Brecht tends t o get p o l e m i c a l ! the e p i c audience i s i n q u i s i t i v e , c r i t i c a l , and s o c i a l l y aware, w h i l e t h a t of drama i s e s c a p i s t , p a s s i v e , and f a t a l i s t i c . I f we can cut through the d o c t r i n a i r e jargon and o v e r s i m p l i f i e d c a t e g o r i z a t i o n of " t r a d i t i o n a l drama", how-ever, I t h i n k we can see t h a t Brecht i s r i g h t . The e p i c does encourage a more a n a l y t i c a l view of the a c t i o n . I t does ap p e a l to c e r t a i n s o c i a l i n s t i n c t s of the s p e c t a t o r s * to t h e i r i n t e r e s t i n t h e i r s o c i a l and h i s t o r i c a l t r a d i t i o n s , to t h e i r sense of themselves as a s o c i a l u n i t and of the t h e a t r e as a p a r t of a more cohesive s o c i a l l i f e . One p a r t i c u l a r constant Brecht s t r e s s e s i n h i s c o n s i d e r a -t i o n of the p r e c u r s o r s of h i s E p i c Theatre, and which he con-nects w i t h the r e c e p t i v i t y of the audience and the c u l t u r a l c l i m a t e , i s the s t r o n g d i d a c t i c element. Such a g e n e r a l t r e n d i s important f o r our placement of Brecht i n a l a r g e r frame-work than t h a t of S o c i a l i s t a r t or A g i t - p r o p t h e a t r e . I f we look beyond h i s p a r t i c u l a r d i d a c t i c i n t e n t and methods, we can see Brecht's p l a c e i n an e p i c t r a d i t i o n w i t h s e v e r a l d i s t i n c t f u n c t i o n s * (1) to conserve and t r a n s m i t v a r i o u s types of c u l -t u r a l h i s t o r y , wisdom, and experience i n s t o r i e s of the c u l t u r e ' s heroes, d e i t i e s , movements, and s k i l l s , (2) t o serve as a source of t o p i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n as w e l l as more remote m a t e r i a l (e.g. the h arper i n The Odyssey s i n g s of the l i g h l i g h t s of the r e c e n t 8 9 T r o j a n war, w h i l e Brecht gathers m a t e r i a l from World War I I ) , and (3) t o b r i n g to a v a r i e t y of s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n s a sense of c o n t i n u i t y between the f i g u r e s , a c t i o n s , and movements of the past and those of the present. Such ends depend upon the audience's sense of i t s e l f as a s o c i a l group (both i n the t h e a t r e and out of i t ) w i t h a coherent past which i s r e l e v a n t to i t s c u r r e n t a c t i v i t i e s and a f f a i r s . A f u r t h e r p o i n t i s t h a t e p i c i s not a form of entertainment to be enjoyed on a s o l i t a r y or p u r e l y i n d i v i d u a l b a s i s . Drama, on the o t h e r hand, tends to e l i c i t a more s t r o n g l y p e r s o n a l than s o c i a l response to what i s p o r t r a y e d , thus f o s t e r i n g the i m p r e s s i o n t h a t the performance Is d i r e c t e d to each i n d i v i d u a l s p e c t a t o r . T h i s d i s t i n c t i o n , i n c i d e n t a l l y , suggests s i m i l a r i t i e s between comedy and e p i c , p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the source of m a t e r i a l and the approach to the audience: t r a d i t i o n a l comedy a l s o tends o f t e n to ex-p l o i t t o p i c a l s o c i a l t r e n d s ; the comic types and moral l e s s o n s are s o c i a l l y o r i e n t e d ; and the presence of the audience at a comedy i s o f t e n e x p l i c i t l y acknowledged (e.g. i n a s i d e s , pro-logues, and e p i l o g u e s ) . Moreover, s i n c e l a u g h t e r tends to be a group a c t i v i t y , the s p e c t a t o r a t a comedy remains conscious of the r e s t of the audience. Thus w h i l e s u b l i m i n a l l y n o t i n g perhaps what ot h e r s laugh a t , he l e a r n s something about h i s s o c i e t y , I t s v a l u e s and I t s f o i b l e s , from the performance i t s e l f as w e l l as from the m a t e r i a l performed. There i s one f u r t h e r e p i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c which i s Important i n B r echt's work, one which i s connected w i t h the s o c i a l f u n c t i o n 90 of the e p i c . T h i s i s the t i m e - d i s t a n c e element. I n e p i c and Brec h t ' s E p i c Theatre the m a t e r i a l i s both d i s t a n c e d (e.g. through n a r r a t i v e forms and commentary, through remote time and e x o t i c p l a c e s e t t i n g s ) and brought c l o s e r t o the audience (e.g. through the f a m i l i a r i t y of the form and content, through the performers' e f f o r t s t o b r i d g e the gaps between the past and the present, through the im p e r s o n a t i o n s ) . I n summation, then, the main p o i n t s of s i m i l a r i t y between Bre c h t ' s t h e a t r e and e p i c are (1) the comparative looseness and e p i s o d i c i t y of p l o t s t r u c t u r e , (2) the use of a v a r i e t y of n a r r a t i v e p e r s p e c t i v e s i n both t e x t and performance, (3) im- „ p l l t i c and e x p l i c i t s o c i a l o r i e n t a t i o n , and (4) the o p e r a t i o n of performance awareness as a s i g n i f i c a n t a r t i s t i c element. How does our placement of Brecht i n an e p i c t r a d i t i o n im-prove our understanding of h i s work? F i r s t of a l l , i t al l o w s us t o go beyond the polemics which c h a r a c t e r i z e so much of h i s theory, e s p e c i a l l y i t s p o l a r i z a t i o n of e p i c and t r a d i t i o n a l drama. I f we take the e p i c i n E p i c Theatre more l i t e r a l l y , we can see t h a t the elements of dramatic s t r u c t u r e , i n c l u d i n g such t h i n g s as empathy and pathos, are not i n a p p r o p r i a t e t o e p i c ( g i v e n the common s t r u c t u r a l elements and performance techniques of e p i c and drama). Such a view of Brecht's t h e a t r e a l s o i n ~ 1/ crea s e s our understanding of the t h e a t r i c a l elements of epic, , and of the e p i c elements of many types of drama. Secondly, such a view h e l p s us to understand Brecht's purposes i n u s i n g a v a r i e t y of t h e a t r i c a l media and h i s i n t e r e s t i n making the means and 91 s k i l l s of p r o d u c t i o n v i s i b l e . I t a l s o p r o v i d e s the b a s i s f o r a k i n d of c o n t i n u i t y i n Brecht's works, between the e a r l y and l a t e Brecht, between the more b l a t a n t l y d i d a c t i c and more s u b t l e mature works, between the more s t r i d e n t l y d o c t r i n a i r e and more n a i v l y c h i l d - l i k e p l a y s . T h i s c o n t i n u i t y i s t o be found i n h i s b a s i c method of b u i l d i n g the m a t e r i a l and h i s c o n s i s t e n t a t t i -tude toward the audience and o c c a s i o n . F i n a l l y , such a view may h e l p d e t e r producers of Brecht's work from approaching the p l a y s as grim d i d a c t i c e x e r c i z e s , p e r i o d n o s t a l g i a p i e c e s , or. m u l t i -media extravaganzas. I t might a l s o provide a way f o r d i r e c t o r s to f r e e themselves from i n t i m i d a t i o n by the performance r e c i p e s l e f t by Brecht i n the p r o d u c t i o n notes and Modellbucher. F o r i f t h e r e i s one t h i n g t h a t an e p i c view of E p i c Theatre p r o v i d e s , i t i s the understanding t h a t the performance methods and tone must d e r i v e from the performance s i t u a t i o n and o c c a s i o n . Thus wh i l e B r e c h t ' s p r o d u c t i o n documents suggest v a l u a b l e techniques f o r a c h i e v i n g c e r t a i n e f f e c t s i n r e h e a r s a l and performance, the approaches t o the audience and the bases upon which the e p i c e f f e c t s , tone, and atmosphere are r e c o n s t r u c t e d are not guaranteed: the means of e l i c i t i n g such an a t t i t u d e toward the m a t e r i a l and performance i n B e r l i n i n the l a t e 1960's and e a r l y 1950's w i l l not n e c e s s a r i l y be the most e f f e c t i v e i n a l l times, p l a c e s , and performance s i t u a t i o n s . B r e c h t ' s concern w i t h performance s t y l e and s o c i a l f u n c t i o n , and h i s r e c o g n i t i o n of the importance of these elements i n e p i c , i n d i c a t e t h a t he was not a p p l y i n g the term " e p i c " t o h i s t h e a t r e 92 l i g h t l y . While l a t e r i n h i s c a r e e r , I n response t o a growing number of misconceptions about the term " e p i c " ( f o r which he hi m s e l f was i n p a r t r e s p o n s i b l e ) , he moved away from i t , Brecht was w e l l aware t h a t E p i c Theatre remained an a c c u r a t e d e s i g n a -t i o n of h i s t h e a t r e . I n s h o r t , i n h i s s e l f - p r o c l a i m e d a n t i -A r i s t o t e l i a n i s m and p r o - e p i c stance, Brecht h i m s e l f j u s t i f i e s a comparison of h i s techniques w i t h those of the Homeric e p i c . 93 FOOTNOTES - CONCLUSION ^ B e r t o l t Brecht, "Theatre f o r P l e a s u r e or Theatre F o r I n s t r u c t i o n " , i n Brecht on Theatre, pg. 70. 8 2 I b i d . , pg. 70 (Brecht paraphrases D o b l i n ) . 83ibid., pg. 75-6. 94 BIBLIOGRAPHY A r i s t o t l e . On Poetry and S t y l e . t r a n s . G.M.A. Grube. New York: Bobbs M e r r i l l Co., Inc., 1958. . P o e t i c s . I n t r o . & commentary D.W. Lucas. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968. . The P o l i t i c s , t r a n s . T.A. S i n c l a i r . Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1967. . R h e t o r i c , t r a n s . W. Rhys Roberts. New York: The Modern L i b r a r y , 1954. Auerbach, E r i c h . Mimesis: The R e p r e s e n t a t i o n of R e a l i t y i n Western L i t e r a t u r e , t r a n s . W.R. Trask. P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1973. Benjamin, Walter. Understanding Brecht. t r a n s . Anna Rostock. London: New L e f t Books, 1973* B e n t l e y , E r i c . "An Unamerican Chalk C i r c l e " . The Drama Review, v o l . X, No. 4, Summer 1966. . I n Search of Theater. New York: Random House, 1953-B e r l a u , Ruth, Brecht, B e r t o l t , e t . a l . ed. T h e a t e r a r b e l t : 6 Auffuhrungendes B e r l i n e r Ensembles. Dresden: VW Dresdener V e r l a g , 1952. Brecht, B e r t o l t and Neher', Caspar.-' Antigonemodell 1948. B e r l i n : Gebruder Weiss, 1948. Brec h t , B e r t o l t . Baden Lehrstuok. t r a n s . Lee B a x a n d a l l . The  Drama Review, v o l . IV, No. 4, May i960. . "BB's Rehearsal Scenes — E s t r a n g i n g Shakespeare". The Drama Review, v o l . X I I , No. 1, P a l l 1967. . The Caucasian Chalk C i r c l e , t r a n s . E r i c B e n t l e y . The Modern Theatre, ed. Robert C o r r i g a n . New York: MacMillan Co., 19W* . C o l l e c t e d P l a y s , v o l . I. ed. Ralph Manheim and John W i l l e t t . London: Methuen & Co. L t d . , 1970. . C o l l e c t e d P l a y s , v o l . V. ed. Ralph Manheim and John W i l l e t t . New York: Random House, 1972. . C o l l e c t e d P l a y s , v o l . IX. ed. Ralph Manheim and John W i l l e t t . New York: Random House, 1972. 95 BIBLIOGRAPHY Continued Brecht, B e r t o l t . The Guns of C a r r a r . t r a n s . George T a b o r i . New York: Samuel French, Inc., 1971* . The Jewish Wife and Other Short P l a y s , t r a n s . E r i c B e n t l e y . New York: Grove P r e s s , 1965. . Man i s Man, t r a n s . Donald Soule. Vancouver: 1 9 6 9 . unpublished manuscript. . The Messlngkauf D i a l o g u e s . t r a n s . John W i l l e t t . London: Methuen & Co. L t d . , 1965 . . The Mother, t r a n s . Lee B axandall. New York: Grove Press, 1965* . "On The Caucasian Chalk C i r c l e " , t r a n s . H. Schmidt and J . Clegg. The Drama Review, v o l . X I I , No. 1, F a l l 1967. . P l a y s , v o l . 1. London: Methuen & Co. L t d . , I 9 6 I . . P l a y s , v o l . 2. London: Methuen & Co. L t d . , 1963. . The R e s i s t i b l e Rise of A r t u r o U l : A Gangster S p e c t a c l e . adapted. George T a b o r i . New York: Samuel French, Inc., 1 9 7 2 . . Rise and F a l l of the C i t y of Mahagonny. t r a n s . Guy S t e r n . l i b r e t t o f o r r e c o r d album: Columbia Records, K3L 243. . Schweyk i n the Second World War. Trans. A l f r e d Kreymborg. New York: 1957^ unpublished manuscript. . The Threepenny Opera, t r a n s . Desmond Vesey and E r i c B e n t l e y . New York: Grove Press, 1964. Demetz, P e t e r , ed. Brecht: A C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l Essays. Englewood C l i f f s : P r e n t i c e - H a l l , Inc., 1962. Dessau, P a u l . "Composing f o r BB: Some Comments". t r a n s . H.F. Bernays. The Drama Review, v o l . X I I , No. 2, Winter 1968. E l s e , G e rald. A r i s t o t l e ' s P o e t i c s : The Argument. Cambridge: Harvard U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1957. F u e g i , John. The E s s e n t i a l Brecht. Los Angeles: Hennessey & I n g a l l s , 1972 . Halgh, A.E. The A t t i c Theatre, 3 r d ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1907. 96 BIBLIOGRAPHY Continued Hammond, N.G.L. and S c u l l a r d , H.H., ed. Oxford C l a s s i c a l  D i c t i o n a r y . Oxford: Clarendon P r e s s , 1970. Homer. The I l i a d , t r a n s , w i t h an i n t r o d u c t i o n . Richmond L a t t i m o r e . Chicago: U n i v e r s i t y of Chicago P r e s s , 1967 . . The Odyssey, t r a n s , w i t h a p o s t s c r i p t . Robert F i t z g e r a l d . Garden C i t y : Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1 9 6 3 . Lang, Andrew. Homer and H i s Age. New York: Ams P r e s s , 1968. Lesky, A l b i n . A H i s t o r y of Greek L i t e r a t u r e , t r a n s . J . W i l l i s and C. de Haar. New York: Thomas Y. C r o w e l l & Co., 1966. Lord, A l b e r t . The S i n g e r of T a l e s . Cambridge: Harvard U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 19657 Lukacs, Georg. "Theatre and Environment". The Times L i t e r a r y  Supplement. 1 9 6 4 : 1 . A p r i l 2 3 , 1964. Mayer, Hans. " B e r t b l t Brecht and the T r a d i t i o n " . Steppenwolf  and Everyman, t r a n s . Jack D. Z i p e s . New York! Thomas Y. Cr o w e l l & Co., Inc., 1971 . Pickard-Cambridge, S i r Arthus. The Dramatic F e s t i v a l s of Athens, 2nd ed. Oxfords Clarendon Press, 196b. P l a t o . Ion. The Dialogues of P l a t o , v o l . I . t r a n s . B. Jowett. New York1 Random House, 1937 . Sainte-Beuve, C h a r l e s . " V e r g i l and the E p i c " . L i t e r a r y C r i t i c i s m  of Sainte-Beuve. t r a n s , and ed. E.R. Marks. L i n c o l n : U n i v e r s i t y of Nebraska P r e s s , 1971 . Schumacher, E r n s t . "The D i a l e c t i c s of G a l i l e o " , t r a n s . J . Neugroschel. The Drama Review, v o l . X I I , No. 2 , Winter 1 9 6 8 . S e y f f e r t , Oscar. A D i c t i o n a r y of C l a s s i c a l A n t i q u i t i e s . New Yorks M e r i d i a n Books, 1957 . White, A.D. "Brecht's Quest f o r a Democratic Theatre". Theatre Q u a r t e r l y , v o l . I I , No. 5 , Winter 1972. . W i l l e t t , John, ed. and t r a n s . Brecht on Th e a t r e : The Development  of an A e s t h e t i c . New York: H i l l & Wang, 1964~T~ . The Theatre of B e r t o l t B recht: A Study from E i g h t Aspects. London* Methuen & Co. L t d . , 1967. 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            data-media="{[{embed.selectedMedia}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
https://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0093592/manifest

Comment

Related Items