Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Leben des Galilei : Schauspiel by Bertolt…

Leben des Galilei : Schauspiel (edition 2004)

by Bertolt Brecht

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,875103,682 (3.74)52
Title:Leben des Galilei : Schauspiel
Authors:Bertolt Brecht
Info:Frankfurt am Main : Suhrkamp, 2004.
Collections:Your library
Tags:2016-07, auf Deutsch, stageplay

Work details

Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht

Recently added byMyyst, laurzieowl, Robert_Weaver, private library, Embarquer, Lisa.Hof, Arrohlik, barelyamiable
Legacy LibrariesHannah Arendt

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 52 mentions

English (8)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  All (10)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
SAGREDO: Gott! Wo ist Gott?
zornig: Dort nicht! So wenig wie er hier auf der Erde zu finden ist,
wenn dort Wesen sind und ihn hier suchen sollten!
SAGREDO: Und wo ist also Gott?
GALILEO: Bin ich Theologe? Ich bin Mathematiker.
SAGREDO: Vor allem bist du ein Mensch. Und ich frage dich, wo ist Gott in deinem Weltsystem?
GALILEO: In uns oder nirgends!
schreiend: Wie der Verbrannte gesagt hat? [33]

Not many readers I'm acquainted with read plays at all, let alone regularly. I consider this typical, though of course there remains a significant minority who don't fit this profile. Among those typical, though, I assume a common response if confronted with Brecht's Leben des Galilei would be to wonder, what's the point? The accompanying frame of mind: It was silly for anyone to think the Sun went round the Earth, and it's a waste of time to read about people who thought that way.

I suspect Brecht wrote the play precisely to dispel that outlook. He draws parallels between the accepted hierarchy of Church over Science in Venice circa 1600, and that of owners over wage earners in the late 1930s. (It would apply today equally well.) We're just as resistant to reconsidering our accepted truths today as ever we were.

DER INQUISITOR: Es ist die Unruhe ihres eigenen Gehirns, die diese auf die unbewegliche Erde
übertragen! Sie schreien: die Zahlen zwingen uns! Aber woher kommen ihren Zahlen? Jederman
weiß, daß sie vom Zweifel kommen. Diese Menschen zweifeln an allem. Sollen wir die
menschliche Gesellschaft auf den Zweifel begründen und nicht mehr auf den Glauben?
[105] ( )
  elenchus | Sep 5, 2016 |
Considered by many to be one of Brecht's masterpieces, Galileo explores the question of a scientist's social and ethical responsibility, as the brilliant Galileo must choose between his life and his life's work when confronted with the demands of the Inquisition. Brecht examines the issues of scientific morality and the difficult relationship between the intellectual and authority
  DevizesQuakers | Apr 17, 2016 |
This play breaks most of the rules of American theatre (but, it's Brecht, so I state that which is redundant). It demonstrates what can be great about German theatre. It is talky, with long expositional speeches. It does not establish the high stakes conflict immediately or quickly. It is very erudite. It is well worth reading, as a dramatization of the life and heretical science of Galileo Galilei. It doesn't attempt to whitewash Galileo, make him a gold-plated hero with no flaws; instead, it tries to put his flaws in the context of a time and a place peopled by real human beings, not cardboard cut outs. And, unlike so many plays about science, the playwright does the hard work to get the science right. Well worth the time to read and think about. ( )
2 vote quantum_flapdoodle | Mar 25, 2013 |
The Foreword to one edition I read of this play (admiringly) calls Brecht's nature "cold, clinical" and tells us he consciously rejected what he called "Aristelian" drama that seeks its audience to feel empathy for the characters. Instead Brecht embraced alienation. He was also famously a Marxist and consciously sought to imbue his works with that philosophy. All things I'd ordinarily find off-putting. But then the Foreword goes on to call Galileo not just Brecht's "greatest" play but also "his most atypical and humanistic work."

Which may explain why overall I liked it. Not that Brecht's Galileo isn't in his way alienating. He's more anti-hero than hero, complex and definitely designed to make you feel ambivalent about his actions. This play is about a lot more than scientific truth versus religious dogma. That's embodied in two of my favorite lines from the play. The first, said by Galileo: As much of the truth gets through as we push through; we crawl by inches. And the play overall seems to condemn Galileo for not pushing enough. And then there's these trenchant lines, that condemn not so much an individual as society:

Andrea: Unhappy is the land that breeds no hero.

Galileo: No, Andrea. Unhappy is the land that needs a hero.
( )
2 vote LisaMaria_C | Mar 11, 2012 |
I have the Howard Brenton edition of this play, as performed at the National Theatre in London in 1980. Superbly spare, sinewy language with a constant flow of ideas. A wonderful dramatisation of the struggle between superstition and scientific truth. ( )
1 vote ponsonby | Jul 7, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (32 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Brecht, Bertoltprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bentley, EricEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laughton, CharlesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Has as a supplement

Has as a student's study guide

Has as a teacher's guide

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Information from the Swedish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
First words
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
In dem Jahr sechzehnhundertneun schien das Licht des Wissens hell zu Padua aus einem kleinen Haus.
Wer die Wahrheit nicht weiß, der ist bloß ein Dummkopf. Aber wer sie weiß und sie eine Lüge nennt, der ist ein Verbrecher! (Galileo)
Das Denken gehört zu den größten Vergnügungen der menschlichen Rasse. (Galileo)
Ich verstehe: freier Handel, freie Forschung. Freier Handel mit der Forschung, wie? (Galileo)
Last words
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Frutto di diverse stesure, la commedia nasce negli anni che precedono immediatamente la Seconda guerra mondiale e che vedono sperimentare e utilizzare a fini bellici la scissione dell'atomo, gli anni in cui si compie definitivamente una paurosa frattura tra progresso tecnico e progresso sociale. La figura di Galileo, lo scienziato che con le sue rivoluzionarie intuizioni rischia di mettere a repentaglio gli equilibri teologici e sociali del suo tempo e che si piega alla ritrattazione per timore della tortura e per mancanza di agonismo eroico, è la metafora dello scienziato moderno, dell'intellettuale perseguitato dall'inesorabile binomio scienza-fanatismo. Eppure, nonostante il suo intimo dissidio, la sua contraddittorietà, questo Galileo brechtiano è figura umanamente ricca, moderna proprio perché, pur asserendo in modo geniale la verità contro l'ignoranza, la superstizione e il conformismo, egli resta in bilico perenne tra due fronti. Dramma implicitamente antiatomico, "Vita di Galileo" mantiene oggi, al di là della sua straordinaria efficacia scenica, una notevole attualità proprio tematizzando la figura degli scienziati "deboli", subalterni al potere politico, "gnomi" venali, troppo spesso privi di coraggio etico.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802130593, Paperback)

Considered by many to be one of Brecht's masterpieces, Galileo explores the question of a scientist's social and ethical responsibility, as the brilliant Galileo must choose between his life and his life's work when confronted with the demands of the Inquisition. Through the dramatic characterization of the famous physicist, Brecht examines the issues of scientific morality and the difficult relationship between the intellectual and authority. This version of the play is the famous one that was brought to completion by Brecht himself, working with Charles Laughton, who played Galileo in the first two American productions (Hollywood and New York, 1947). Since then the play has become a classic in the world repertoire. "The play which most strongly stamped on my mind a sense of Brecht's great stature as an artist of the modern theatre was Galileo." - Harold Clurman; "Thoughtful and profoundly sensitive." - Newsweek.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:52 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Unrelenting in his search for "simple truth" Galileo Galilei shatters beliefs held sacred for two thousand years. But, under threat of torture by the Holy Inquisition, his scientific and personal integrity are put to the test as he argues for his very life in a passionate debate over science, politics, religion and ethics that resonates to this day. Includes an interview with Dr. E.C. Krupp, Director of the Griffith Observatory. An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Neil Dickson, Roy Dotrice, Jeannie Elias, Jill Gascoine, Stacy Keach, Peter Lavin, Robert Machray, Christopher Neame, Moira Quirk, Darren Richardson, Alan Shearman, Simon Templeman, Joanne Whalley and Matthew Wolf.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
28 avail.
23 wanted
10 pay5 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.74)
1 3
1.5 1
2 15
2.5 9
3 63
3.5 19
4 84
4.5 10
5 55


3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 113,762,782 books! | Top bar: Always visible