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How Fortunate The Man With None Analysis



Author: poem of Bertolt Brecht Type: poem Views: 10

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From the play "Mother Courage"

You saw sagacious Solomon
You know what came of him,
To him complexities seemed plain.
He cursed the hour that gave birth to him
And saw that everything was vain.
How great and wise was Solomon.
The world however did not wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It's wisdom that had brought him to this state.
How fortunate the man with none.

You saw courageous Caesar next
You know what he became.
They deified him in his life
Then had him murdered just the same.
And as they raised the fatal knife
How loud he cried: you too my son!
The world however did not wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It's courage that had brought him to that state.
How fortunate the man with none.

You heard of honest Socrates
The man who never lied:
They weren't so grateful as you'd think
Instead the rulers fixed to have him tried
And handed him the poisoned drink.
How honest was the people's noble son.
The world however did not wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It's honesty that brought him to that state.
How fortunate the man with none.

Here you can see respectable folk
Keeping to God's own laws.
So far he hasn't taken heed.
You who sit safe and warm indoors
Help to relieve our bitter need.
How virtuously we had begun.
The world however did not wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It's fear of god that brought us to that state.
How fortunate the man with none.

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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||




.: :.

While there are many ways to interpret this work, I\'m most interested in the final verse and how it compares to the others. The initial verses are about a single, famous, figure from history; This figure is betrayed and destroyed for the virtuous principle they are most identified with. Each time we are asked to consider whether the principle they clung to was, indeed, virtuous.
In the final verse we are, by extension, seeking to identify an iconic figure, betrayed by some group of people, holding to and being destroyed by some supposed virtue. And we are asked to consider whether the world is improved by that virtue.
The supposed virtue is directly stated: \"fear of God\".
The icon? The respectable folk who follow \"God\'s own laws\", or, more succinctly: the religious.
The betrayers? \"You who sit safe and warm indoors\"
In the end Brecht asks us to consider whether following God\'s law is a virtue in the face of those who sit idly by.

| Posted on 2012-02-05 | by a guest


.: :.

In part the poem is of the paradox of virtue. How great we praise it when it suits our need. How soon we condemn it when it does not. How soon we abandon it when we fail,
The world merely observes without care or concern. We are insignificant after all.

| Posted on 2009-01-03 | by a guest




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