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By Ronald Speirs (auth.)
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Extra info for Brecht’s Early Plays
In Eichendorff's more truly romantic version, "Die Hochzeitsnacht", the vengeful knight carries off, on the very night of her wedding, the woman who has been unfaithful to him. This is the variant of the tale Brecht follows when he has Andreas Kragler, who has been reported dead, return from the war on the evening of Anna Balicke's engagement to Friedrich Murk. The premonitions, the moonlit night, the idea of spectral revenge, the "ride" in the dark, all these elements are taken over by Brecht from the ballad tradition, but his treatment of them is characteristically ironic, even grotesque.
His beating on the drum both punctuates in fairground style his sarcastic list of melodramatic subtitles for his "story" and expresses anger, as much with himself as with his companions and would-be exploiters. His struggle to overcome emotionalism is itself evidently strongly coloured by emotion. Thus his mocking laughter almost chokes him as he stumbles about before hurling the revolutionaries' drum (torn from the orchestrina in the cheap pub) at the red paper-lantern which has glowed throughout the play to suggest a connection between the hero and the romance of revolution or bloody revenge.
Lieber Baal. [Schaif] Ich bin keine Ratte. Es muB drauBen hell sein. Lieber Baal. Zur Tiir kommt man noch. Knie hat man noch, in der Tiir ist es besser. Verftucht! Lieber Baal! [Er kriecht auf allen Vieren zur Schwelle] Sterne ... hm. [Er kriecht hinaus] (B, 92) [Silence] Baal: Mamma! Tell Ekart to go away, the sky's so damned near, close enough to touch, everything's dripping wet again. Try sleeping. One. Two. Three. Four. You can't breathe in here. It must be bright outside. I want to go out.
Brecht’s Early Plays by Ronald Speirs (auth.)