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Famous quotes by Bertolt Brecht on politics, theatre, art, life and other things.

88 Famous Quotes By Bertolt Brecht, The Author Of Life Of Galileo

Famous As: Poet

Born On: February 10, 1898

Died On: August 14, 1956

Born In: Augsburg, German Empire

Died At Age: 58

Eugen Bertolt Friedrich Brecht, better known as Bertolt Brecht, was a German playwright, poet and director of plays, who rose to prominence in the 20th century. He was one of the most influential theatre directors in Europe during his time and is credited for being one of the major influences on the evolution of theatrical production in Europe. He attended the University of Munich in 1917 in order to study medicine but at the university he came into contact with Arthur Kutscher and learnt the intricacies of dramatics. Brecht is regarded as one of the most important figures in the world of Epic Drama and throughout his career, he produced exemplary work that made him a darling of German and European audiences who flocked to see his plays. Some of his most famous plays include ‘The Caucasian Chalk Circle’, The Threepenny Opera’, ‘Mother Courage and Her Children’ and ‘Life of Galileo’ among others. Following the end of the Second World War, Brecht established his own theatre company named Berliner Ensemble and went on tours to several cities. Brecht was an iconoclast and is considered as one of the most significant theatre directors of the 20th century. Here are some of his most famous quotes.
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Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.

Bertolt Brecht

Hungry man, reach for the book: it is a weapon.

Bertolt Brecht

The human race tends to remember the abuses to which it has been subjected rather than the endearments. What's left of kisses? Wounds, however, leave scars.

Bertolt Brecht

In the dark times Will there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing. About the dark times.

Bertolt Brecht

The aim of science is not to open the door to infinite wisdom, but to set a limit to infinite error.

Bertolt Brecht

Sometimes it's more important to be human, than to have good taste.

Bertolt Brecht

Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life

Bertolt Brecht

What is the robbing of a bank compared to the founding of a bank?

Bertolt Brecht

Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.

Bertolt Brecht

He who laughs last has not yet heard the bad news.

Bertolt Brecht

People who understand everything get no stories.

Bertolt Brecht

Everyone chases after happiness, not noticing that happiness is at their heels.

Bertolt Brecht

All artforms are in the service of the greatest of all arts: the art of living.

Bertolt Brecht

Don’t be afraid of death so much as an inadequate life.

Bertolt Brecht

What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?

Bertolt Brecht

Intelligence is not to make no mistakes, but quickly to see how to make them good.

Bertolt Brecht

We attacked a foreign people and treated them like rebels. As you know, it's all right to treat barbarians barbarically. It's the desire to be barbaric that makes governments call their enemies barbarians.

Bertolt Brecht

Alas,we who wanted kindness, could not be kind ourselves.

Bertolt Brecht

Unhappy the land that is in need of heroes

Bertolt Brecht

Denn die einen sind im Dunkeln Und die anderen sind im Licht. Und man sieht nur die im Lichte Die im Dunkeln sieht man nicht.

Bertolt Brecht

Why be a man when you can be a success.

Bertolt Brecht

When something seems ‘the most obvious thing in the world’ it means that any attempt to understand the world has been given up.

Bertolt Brecht

For what's the use of talking with a man who has a disease and thinks about the stars?

Bertolt Brecht

If you join the rat race — you're in the race of rats.

Bertolt Brecht

As crimes pile up, they become invisible.

Bertolt Brecht

What is robbing a bank compared to founding one?

Bertolt Brecht

It is easier to rob by setting up a bank than by holding up a bank clerk.

Bertolt Brecht

For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the bitch that bore him is in heat again.

Bertolt Brecht

One must live well to know what living is.

Bertolt Brecht

Art is not a mirror. Art is a hammer.

Bertolt Brecht

Happy is the people who need no heroes.

Bertolt Brecht

What are you working on?” Mr. K. was asked. Mr. K. replied: “I’m having a hard time; I’m preparing my next mistake.

Bertolt Brecht

Everyone chases after happiness, not noticing that happiness is right at their heels

Bertolt Brecht

I want to go with the one I love. I do not want to calculate the cost. I do not want to think about whether it's good. I do not want to know whether he loves me. I want to go with whom I love...

Bertolt Brecht

Thinking is one of the greatest pleasures of the human race.

Bertolt Brecht

Such a lot is won when even a single man gets to his feet and says No

Bertolt Brecht

Every day, to earn my daily bread I go to the market where lies are bought Hopefully I take up my place among the sellers.

Bertolt Brecht

When the waters poured into Atlantis, the rich men still screamed for their slaves.

Bertolt Brecht

Art is not a mirror to hold up to reality, rather a hammer to shape it.

Bertolt Brecht

Corpses sour you. They are bad for objectivity.

Bertolt Brecht

The wickedness of the world is so great, you have to keep running so your legs won't be stolen from under you!

Bertolt Brecht

For once you must try not to shirk the facts: Mankind is kept alive by bestial acts.

Bertolt Brecht

Every time you name yourself, you name someone else.

Bertolt Brecht

He thought in other heads, and in his own, others besides himself thought

Bertolt Brecht

Sin is what is new, strong, surprising, strange. The theatre must take an interest in sin if the young are to be able to go there.

Bertolt Brecht

Grub first, then ethics.

Bertolt Brecht

Sitting and sedition don't mix.

Bertolt Brecht

In the dark times will there be singing? Yes. There will be singing about the dark times.

Bertolt Brecht

I'm teaching all the time. When am I to learn?

Bertolt Brecht

I won't let you spoil my war for me. Destroys the weak, does it? Well, what does peace do for'em, huh? War feeds its people better.

Bertolt Brecht

He was weak on philosophy and an excellent driver, but his driving was a lot more dangerous than his philosophy.

Bertolt Brecht

What kind of times are these, when To talk about trees is almost a crime Because it implies silence about so many horrors?

Bertolt Brecht

The rope has been torn; a knot Can tie it again, but It’s been torn. Perhaps we’ll meet again, but You won’t find me In the place where we parted ways.

Bertolt Brecht

The aim of science is not to open the door to everlasting truth, but to set a limit on everlasting error.

Bertolt Brecht

Weaknesses You had none I had one: I loved.

Bertolt Brecht

In my poetry a rhyme Would seem to me almost insolent. Inside me contend Delight at the apple tree in blossom And horror at the house-painter’s speeches. But only the second Drives me to my desk.

Bertolt Brecht

All the world says: yes we know what’s written in the books but now let’s see what our eyes tell us.

Bertolt Brecht

When the Chinese Wall was built, where'd the masons go for lunch? When Caesar conquered Gaul, was there not even a cook in the army? When the Armada sank, King Philip wept. Were there no other tears?

Bertolt Brecht

Art is not a mirror held up to society but a hammer with which to shape it.

Bertolt Brecht

For time is short and the unknown surrounds us; and it isn't enough just to live unthinking and happy, calmly bearing oppression and only learning wisdom with age.

Bertolt Brecht

It's all right to hesitate if you then go ahead.

Bertolt Brecht

Old Man, right (sighing): Death to the fascists!

Bertolt Brecht

A Man lives off his head. His head won't see him through. Inspect your own— What lives on that? At most, a louse or two . . .

Bertolt Brecht

Boy meets girl. So what?

Bertolt Brecht

Unhappily, my wife is expecting me in connection with a fish

Bertolt Brecht

Mixing one's wines may be a mistake, but old and new wisdom mix admirably. The Singer, in The Caucasian Chalk Circle, prologue (1944).

Bertolt Brecht

Mankind lives by its head Its head won't see him through Inspect your own. What lives off that? At most a louse or two.

Bertolt Brecht

THE POLICEMAN: I'm a policeman. I'm paid by those in charge to combat dissatisfaction.

Bertolt Brecht

Unhappy is the land that breeds no hero! No, Andrea....unhappy is the land that needs a hero.

Bertolt Brecht

Life is short and so is money.

Bertolt Brecht

It is many years ago and at times I know nothing about her anymore who was once all things to me but all things pass. (The Eleventh Psalm)

Bertolt Brecht

Proof seduces them. One of the greatest pleasures of the human race is thinking.

Bertolt Brecht

Von den Leben, die hellen. Von den Toden, die schnellen ORGES WNSCHLISTE

Bertolt Brecht

I hope I can pull the wagon by myself. Yes, I'll manage, there's not much in it now. I must get back into business.

Bertolt Brecht

I discovered our dear poet in my office, a simple clerk.

Bertolt Brecht

Chi sa perch il dubbio appare agli uomini come una felicit.

Bertolt Brecht

Girl Tractorist: As the poet Mayakovsky said: "The home of the Soviet people shall be the home of Reason"!

Bertolt Brecht

You who will emerge from the flood In which we have gone under Remember When you speak of our failings The dark time too Which you have escaped

Bertolt Brecht

Telling me there’s no difference between the moon and the Earth?

Bertolt Brecht

And you i beg make not your anger manifest. For all that lives needs help from all the rest.

Bertolt Brecht

Food comes first and then morality Bertolt brecht

Bertolt Brecht