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The Difference between The Epic Form and Dramatic Form

Thus epic-theatre suspense is located in the shape that change will take.

Unlike realistic playwrights such as Ibsen or Miller, who deal with the human spirit, Brecht shows different scenes of the world and different experiences of reality. There is not just one physical world, for good or ill, of the realistic dramatists, to which characters systematically respond, in a plot that has a beginning, middle, and end. Human reality in epic theatre evolves in response to the various environments in which it is obliged to function. In epic theatre there may be multiple environments and multiple realities of experience at work. The given universe may be moral or immoral, and indeed the found reality may foster a kind of behavior that exposes the moral (immoral) truth of that reality to the spectator. This explains why so many scenes in Brecht's plays are accompanied by scene headings that function as placards or screen projections and that so often have an ironic or jarring tone. For example, the placard in Scene Two of Mother Courage is jarring because of the combination of "the successful sale of a capon [insignificant in the scheme of history] and great days for brave son [who is not brave and whose day is accidentally great because he slaughters the enemy via subterfuge]" (Brecht 849). Indeed, epic theatre exposes the absence of abiding truths, showi


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