The Life of Galileo

The Life of Galileo (also known as Life of Galileo or Galileois a play by Bertolt Brecht with music by Hans EislerThe drama was written in 1938, and it premiered on 9th September 1943 at the Schauspielhaus Zürich in Switzerland. The play explores the life of the 17th-century astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei, focusing particularly on his clashes with the Catholic Church over his support for Copernican astronomy. The play is a dramatic examination of the tension between the pursuit of scientific truth and the power of institutional authority. 

The Life of Galileo The Life of Galileo

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Table of contents
    Frequently Asked Questions about The Life of Galileo

    What is the story of The Life of Galileo?

    Set during Renaissance Italy, The Life of Galileo follows the famous astronomer and physicist Galileo Galilei as he makes extraordinary scientific discoveries that are opposed by the Roman Catholic Church.

    What is the main theme of The Life of Galileo?

    The main theme of the play is the social responsibility of scientists.

    What kind of play is The Life of Galileo?

    The Life of Galileo is an Epic theatre play and an agit-prop play. It is also a historical drama.

    What kind of a man is Brecht’s Galileo?

    Brecht’s Galileo is a man torn between science and religion, between the desire and ambition to make his discoveries and his loyalty and fear of the Roman Catholic Church.

    Why did Brecht write The Life of Galileo?

    Brecht wrote The Life of Galileo to offer a critique of the political and social situation in 1930s Germany. By exploring the censorship of free thought and speech imposed on Galileo by the Inquisition, Brecht alludes to the censorship in his own time and country. Additionally, as a Marxist, Brecht used Galileo’s fight to refer to his own opposition to Capitalism. For Brecht, reason was the ultimate weapon against any oppression, be it the Inquisition or capitalist society.

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