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Volume :2 Issue : 7 1982      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Brecht Between The Aristotelian "Katharsis" And The Intellectual Enlightenment (in Arabic)

Auther : Ahmed Etman

Brecht used to say that he intended to invent a new dramatic theory and a non-Aristotelian theatre. This paper tries to throw light on some elements common to both Brecht and Aristotle. Our first step is to stress a point which escapes the notice of many critics in spite of its importance, we mean that the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides were composed – generally speaking-about a century before Aristole, this, in a way, means that those who insist on applying the rules of Aristole to these tragedies must take this chronological gap in consideration. In other words, it is wrong to classify all the Greek tragedies as Aristotelian.

 

We must not neglect another fact, namely, that the Greek theatre contains, or rather inherits many epic elements which can be easily adapted to the Brechtian technique, from these elements we mention here the masks, the prologues, the choral odes, the narrative parts, etc. Noteworthy also is that the theatrical illusion is perfectly broken in the “parabasis” or the direct address delivered by the leader of the chorus to the audience in any Aristophanic comedy.

 

Yet Brecht’s attitude towards the Aristotelian “katharsis” is the main point in this paper . Did Brecht actually succeed to banish “Katharsis” out of his plays? We cannot answer this question before clarifying some points in Brecht’s conception of “Katharsis”. In fact this puts us in a difficult dilemma. We are either to approve the Brechtian explanation of “Katharsis” as a kind of hypnotism, or to omit it entirely together with the greater part of human nature itself from drama. The conception, however, of “Katharsis” as “hypnotism” has been disapproved, being a Brechtian exaggeration.

 
 

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