Bertolt Brecht: Leben des Galilei [The Life of Galileo] (2454 words)

  • Alfred D. White (University of Wales, Cardiff)

This is the first of the major plays Brecht wrote in the hope of securing performances in important theatres of the Western world. In these plays, Marxist theory and communist practice are not referred to overtly, though messages about the inequities of capitalist world are intended. Galileo, the historical drama, was in Brecht’s view the least innovative, a step backward from the preceding didactic plays, but it still offers a great deal.

The first version, written in November 1938, revised early in 1939, was premiered in Zurich on 9 September 1943. A second version in English, created by Brecht and Charles Laughton in 1944/45, was performed in Beverly Hills on 31 July 1947. Translated into German by Elisabeth …

White, Alfred D.. "Leben des Galilei". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 February 2005
[, accessed 25 October 2016.]