Composers and their stage works 


Bertolt Brecht

Translated by Ralph Manheim

Play. - M 11 F3. Extras. Numerous settings on an open stage.

Brecht writes of his adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy, 'I don't believe the new approach to the problem would have prevented Shakespeare from writing a Coriolanus. I believe he would have taken the spirit of our time into account as much as we have done, with less conviction no doubt, but with more talent.' He follows the framework and shape of the play very closely, but adapts the general slant to his own purpose of commenting on the modern world.

Brecht emphasises class struggle rather than what he calls the bourgeois theatre's depiction of Coriolanus as a hero and the plebeians as merely comic figures. For Brecht, Coriolanus's tragedy lies mainly in the belief that he is irreplaceable.


Bertolt Brecht