Medea (Dea) Muskhelishvili

Anti-totalitarian Discourse in “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui” by Bertolt Brecht and “Kvarkvare Tutaberi” by Polikarpe Kakabadze in Comparative Analysis

Medea (Dea) Muskhelishvili

Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Tbilisi, Georgia

Shota Rustaveli Institute of Georgian Literature, Tbilisi, Georgia

Abstract: The paper deals with the phenomenon of the rise of the dictator starting from nowhere and achieving great power and success through the vicious and dishonest way. We are analyzing the presented problem through two plays: Bertolt Brecht’s political satire “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui” and comedy “Kvarkvare Tutaberi” by Polikarpe Kakabadze. The first play was written to mock Hitler and attack the society that did not stop him. As for the other one, Georgian playwright wrote an anti-socialist play in order to criticize in a playful manner the Soviet regime and especially those individuals, who took an advantage of the existing situation and rose to power. In both cases, we discovered quite a few similarities between the plays as well as anti-heroes. However, there are significant differences that present the major messages of the playwrights. Our goal is to identify both cases and study them in comparative typological analysis and answer the following questions: in which surroundings are dictators born? What are the main methods they apply to dominate the society? What is the role and responsibility of the society in their rise? Are such leaders extinct or are there still any chances of their rise?

Keywords: Bertolt Brecht; Polikarpe Kakabadze; Dictator; Totalitarianism

1. Introduction

The rise of leaders has always been a very interesting phenomenon not only from the political and historical perspective but also in terms of sociology, psychology, culture, and literature. Especially, if he turns into a tyrant as soon as taking over control. The objects of our study are such leaders and their transformation, rise to power. The paper deals with Bertolt Brecht’s (1873-1907), German dramatist, poet and director, play “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui” in comparative analysis of Polikarpe Kakabadze’s (1893-1972), Georgian playwright, play titled “Kvarkvare Tutaberi”, which was staged by Robert Sturua, Georgian theatre director, based on the Brechtian concept of a theatre. We consider the two plays presented in the work are unique as their authors independently created in absolutely two different environments such a psycho-type in dramaturgy and literature that can always arise in certain individuals both in totalitarian regimes (Bolshevism, “Kvarkvare Tutaberi” and Fascism, “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui”). The problem of medrove (“Medrove” is a Georgian word which in English may sound as a “temporizer”, an “opportunist”, a “trimmer” ( and means a person adapting to any socio-political environment for his better material well-being, privileges, and power (M.M.)) that the authors presented to the reader through the political satires will be actual forever. Furthermore, not only does the Georgian writer set the problem of the society through his play but he also emphasized the problem of nationality, which might eventually lead to the demoralization and destruction of the nation. As for “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui”, a history farce written in 1941 by Bertolt Brecht, an exiled writer, it turns German history into an American gangster melodrama, echoing Charli Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator” and referring to Shakespeare’s “Richard III” and “Macbeth”. Besides this, all the personages in Arturo Ui had their direct counterparts in real life, with the main character Ui representing Hitler. It is also noteworthy that Brecht made a big attempt to develop a new approach to the theatre: this is anti-mimetic theatre, a stage is only a stage and actors are just doing their job that spectators should never forget but judge and be able to communicate his version of the truth. As for the Brecht’s version of an anti-totalitarian discourse, as the writer said himself, “the play is not so much an attack on Hitler, but rather upon the complacency of the people who were able to resist him, but didn’t.” Last but not least, we believe totalitarian regimes can be established not only by an external force (as it was the case of Georgia – Russian Bolsheviks occupying it and making into a Soviet republic) but also an internal force like Nazi authority can create it through a monstrous system and make its nation live in a nightmare. In any case, “Kvarkvarism” and “Uiism”, which are almost identical concepts meaning an opportunist, can be born in any country under totalitarian regimes and bring an enormous threat to the society and the national identity. Thus, the aim of our paper is to study what are the similarities and differences of such leaders, who are “offspring” of two different totalitarian systems as well as what reasons stipulate this.

2. “Kvarkvare Tutaberi” and Polikarpe Kakabadze

Polikarpe Kakabadze (1893-1972) was a prominent Georgian playwright, who had to create his plays during the Soviet Union Regime, one of which, “Kvarkvare Tutaberi” (written in 1928) was the best creation of the Georgian Soviet Union comediography, which can be referred as a political satire against Bolshevism itself. The play has never lost its urgency despite different époques in Georgia as the protagonist dubbed as “Natsarqeqia” (Natsarkekia is the name of a famous Georgian folktale hero. The name is literally translated as “someone poking in the ashes”. Although physically Natsarkekia is rather weak and lazy, finally he defeats Devis (giants) with his slyness, sends them out of their own house and takes over their property _ M. M.) is a classical image of a person adapting to any socio-political conditions in order to gain power and achieve success. Kvarkvare has every characteristic that develops in certain individuals in totalitarian regimes. Indeed, in such a violent and authoritarian order when the concept of a human freedom is eliminated in every sense and it is very hard, a real bravery to succeed in an honest way; in the regime where a fear-factor prevails, it is more likely that such negative traits as laziness, cowardice, greediness, hypocrisy, immorality, trying to achieve a good material condition in a mean and sometimes inhuman manner will start developing in certain individuals. Hence, the main character of the play, Kvarkvare Tutaberi owns all these traits. Moreover, his plan is clear at the very beginning of the play: he dreams to build a railway station that will reach the destination directly through a tunnel rather than going past the mountain. At first glance, nothing is wrong with this plan yet the reader can clearly see the real nature of Kvarkvare – a person willing to achieve success without overcoming obstacles. Indeed, just by a struck of luck and absolutely by chance Kvarkvare appears in a very favorable situation, which he did not plan at all. So, the protagonist takes advantage of the existing chaos in the country and presents himself as a great revolutionary of Bolshevism, giving all the credits of achievements and deeds of others to himself. After this the anti-hero only follows the flow of luck and chance, taking every opportunity without neither deeply realizing the situation and consequences, nor striving hard and wisely to keep his sudden success and powerful condition. Very soon Kvarkvare becomes the leader of the people, a very ruthless, merciless dictator, intimidating and insulting his people and thinking just about his material well-being. His rising soon reaches the climax: once a lazy, miserable Natsarkekia goes through an astonishing metamorphosis and the reader is about to believe that his cruelty and mercilessness has no limits as the monster of the Bolshevism reaches the peak of brutality and starts imprisoning innocent peasants into the basement in order to severely punish them. However, the success achieved in this manner always has its end – destiny is inevitable. Soon the truth is revealed and the picaresque personage loses all his power and privileges. Interestingly, as soon as the luck and fortuitous circumstances do not help him/do not “play” in his favor anymore, the picaresque personage loses control over the situation and goes back from where he has started. Indeed, this is really interesting and amazing how masterfully the author of the play is sculpturing his character from a week, miserable person to a powerful, privileged, over-ambitious monster, finally drawing him back to where he has started – a loser poking in the ashes. This way he showed the reader that Kvarkvarism, which in Georgian language and culture became an identical term for medrove, opportunist that is the innate disease and ugliness of totalitarianism, only can spread like an epidemic in such a regime and stops existing as soon as such kind of system ends. The author would boldly speak out and criticize the existing order through his personages and the play, stating: “Socialists consider the only truth what they speak”; “People are enemies to themselves, if you do not shepherd them, they will fall into the ravine like brainless herds… If you are crafty enough and take the opportunity, they will give you the stick themselves but you should strike is in a clever way”; “The proletariat does not need a man with a weak heart, does it?! Now tell me, please, do you want the proletariat to be bothered?”

2.1 “Kvarkvare” on the Stage – Beginning of the Antimimetic Theatre in Georgia

As we have already mentioned, “Kvarkvare Tutaberi” was written during the Soviet Union regime and its author took a great risk, especially, after the play was staged in 1929 by Kote Marjanishvili, notable Georgian theatre director, a year after it had been written. As Manana Kakabadze, the daughter of the author recalls in her interview, a lot of people came to the premiere of the play, including all Soviet Central Committee, Communist officials and Lavrenti Beria, chief of the Soviet Security. Surprisingly, they became the “victims” of a wonderful comedy and could not help laughing boisterously during the play, calling one another “Kvarkvare” in jest (or maybe they really meant that as “Kvarkvare” was the exact embodiment of all of them). “Kvarkvare Tutaberi” became the favorite play of Beria too, he used to often attend the play in his theatre box, laugh and call his enemies “Kvarkvares”. Despite this, Polikarpe Kakabadze was in a big danger because of an open irony and boldness of his play, revealing a true nature of the Bolshevism. Many times was he interrogated for different reasons but surprisingly he survived even during the repressions of the 1930s and continued writing – Stalin could never make a decision to execute him. In Dr. Manana Kakabadze’s opinion, it was “Kvarkvare” that in fact saved Polikarpe Kakabadze from the executors of the regime. Indeed, the Georgian playwright, like Brecht, made the reader feel responsible for not only an improper behavior, existing unfavorable situation and environment but he also forced the reader to face it and feel responsible for the history, society and the universe itself.

2.2 The Birth of Antimimetic Theater in Georgia

In 1974 Robert Sturua, prominent Georgian theatre director, after a several-year thinking and planning, finally decided to stage “Kvarkvare Tutaberi” in the Rustaveli National Theatre. (Later he staged Brecht’s “Caucasus Chalk Circle”, which is included in the list of the 100 best-staged plays of the XX century). Unfortunately, the video-recording of the play was destroyed in the Soviet period and we can only do its research based on the study of the theatre critics, interviews and fragments of the theatre. “Kvarkvare” can be considered as a first play that is called a “Robert Sturua Theatre”. Before the director started working on the play, he had already discovered the Brechtian stylistics in “Kvarkvare”, as he noted in the interview. Sturua followed the method of the anti-mimetic theatre while staging the play. He connected Kvarkvare’s life to Christ’s devotion and he did it in the most ironical manner – he drew a parallel to Christ’s life and showed the audience Anti-Christ through this parallel. This way he managed to “explode” the play, to generalize it and give it a cosmic level/dimension. After the prologue, the actors dressed like circus clowns announced to the audience that the company would present a play about the passions of Christ. The scenography stylistically responded to the intentionally eclectic nature of the play: there were drawing fragments and real objects gathered in the yard of the destroyed church, which actually had nothing in common, no logical connection. In the middle of the stage, there was a huge wooden cross there – a gallows for Christ-Kvarkvare. Sturua presented a new montage of the different plays of Kakabadze: he applied other protagonists and quotations from Kakabadze’s plays, where variation images of Kvarkvare are demonstrated. Besides this, the sequence of the acts are broken and metaphoric thinking is presented, which an actor describes through a judgment rather than a psychological experience. Ramaz Chikvadze, who played the role of Kvarkvare, displays an amazing transformation of the personage from Christ to Anti-Christ as well as demonstrates his attitude towards his character, Kvarkvare. It is worth mentioning that before the premiere of the play, the actors had had to act 11 times in front of the Central Committee. Fortunately, the audience was finally able to see the play, yet with minor changes due to the Regime.

2.3 The Final of the Play

The final of the play is also very interesting and intriguing: following the law of nature and universe, the power gained in a dishonest and tricky way always ends or should be ended. Polikarpe Kakabadze considered this fact and decided not to falsify the history but stop the dictator from further cruelty. However, the author does not punish the tyrant after his true face is revealed but lets him go free as the society considers such persons are not dangerous but fools, the very epithet the actors call Kvarkvare in the end and send him off the stage with this nickname. So, the main person responsible for all this chaos and brutality is not punished for his crimes but just left without all the guises he applied for his rise. Thus, the final of the play indicates that the “illness” called Kvarkvarism, as in Georgia people call is not eradicated at the end of the play and as soon as he is given a new chance, Kvarkvare will take advantage of the favorable situation and rise to power again. That’s why it can be inferred that the play does not have a happy end as some of the scholars argue. Sadly, the society never believes how dangerous Kvarkvares can be for them but just dub them as a “fool”. And what’s Kvarkvare’s response to this? He refers to himself: “Do not get discouraged, Kvarkvare. Died the one, who crept into the hole ashamed, but me, I will creep up” (Kakabadze, 1936, p. 146).

3. “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui” by Bertolt Brecht. Brief Introduction

Brecht was born in 1898 in the city of Augsburg, Germany, and grew in the world where war and fascism dominated. Brecht was very interested in Marxism and Piscator. As he was in Hitler's "blacklist" because of his work that did not support the fascist spirit, he had to leave the country and emigrate to Europe. From the very beginning, Brecht decided to revolutionize the theater, relying on the idea that the theater should not only entertain the audience but also teach. The German playwright made the audience face a spectacular challenge of the development of epic, didactic and dialectical theater. Brecht wrote more than 50 theatre and television plays. He died in Berlin in 1956.

The German playwright, who lived in a real nightmare in a Nazi Germany, fled the country the night of Reichstag Fire, in 1933,

“with the inspiration of writing a play depicting the rise to power of vicious and violent leaders incarnated either by kings such as Richard III or by dictators, statesmen, politicians such as Hitler. Brecht’s real purpose is to destroy the romantic view on history and together with it the aura of importance surrounding the type of characters we have just mentioned” (PALIŢĂ, 2013, p. 43).

In fact, the writer intended to stage his play in the States, as he believed the German audience was not yet ready to face the Nazi leader being demonstrated in the ironical context. Brecht wrote about his play:

“Ui is a parable play, written with the aim of destroying a dangerous respect commonly felt for great killers...Plain everyday logic must never let itself be overawed once it goes strolling among the centuries; whatever applies to small situations must be made to apply to big ones too. The petty rogue whom the rulers permit to become a rogue on the grand scale can occupy a special position in roguery, but not in our attitude to history...If the collapse of Hitler’s enterprises is no evidence that he was a half-wit, neither is their scope any guarantee that he was a great man” (Willett and Manheim, 1981, p. 109).

Brecht finished working on "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui" in Finland and took it to America hoping that it would have been very much appreciated. However, things did not go as he expected: he could not establish in America and succeed. So, the play was not staged for its initial target-audience as the German playwright had planned but in 1960 it was Berliner Ensemble that performed the play.

3.1 Epic Theatre and “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui”

The specific feature of the Brechtian Theater is an epic style that is radically different from traditional, so-called Aristotelian theater. Unlike the latter, the epic theater emphasizes the rationalism of the audience, which implies observation, analysis, argumentation, objectivity rather than its sensibility, assumptions, subjectivity. In this case, the person is ruled by the ability of thinking, which is flexible, obeying the changes of life, unlike the ones determined by destiny, which accordingly is insurmountable. Brecht believed that the theater is the very place where viewers can approach the problems critically, search for solutions and act effectively. He believed that the audience members should have a sense of social responsibility: "For Brecht, the audience is an essential part of the work; the work is open and unfinished . . . and calls on productive capacities of the audience" (Wright, 1989, p. 75).

In order to prevent the audience from being indulged in deep emotions at the theatre, Brecht developed a method through which he could distance the audience and the play: its main method was to use the epic theater and verfremdungseffekte or V-effekt (loosely translated as the effect of alienation and distillation). Willett explains the shortness of the translation for the term in his book, Theatre of Bertolt Brecht: A Study from Eight Aspects as follows:

“Verfremdungseffekt, in fact, is not simply the breaking of illusion (though that is one means to the end), and it does not mean ‘alienating’ the spectator in the sense of making him hostile to the play. It is a matter of detachment, of reorientation: exactly what Shelley meant when he wrote that poetry ‘makes familiar objects to be as if they were not familiar’, or Schopenhauer when he claimed that art must show “common objects of experience in a light that is at once clear and unfamiliar”. The value of this conception for Brecht was that it offered a new way of judging and explaining those means of achieving critical detachment which he had hitherto called ‘epic’. (Willet, 1959, p. 177).

The actors of the epic theater were only supposed to demonstrate rather than “becoming” the personages. They were also allowed to show their attitude towards the character and situation (Gestus) too. Brecht's subversion of the G-werk's treatment of dialogue is also significant. Traditionally dialogue is considered the raison d'etre of drama. It is through the dialogues that the theatrical narrative is built up. Brecht was aware of the use of dialogue in propping up a preconceived reality. Therefore, through a variety of disjunctive techniques in the structuring of the dialogues he tried to abandon the narrative in favor of discourse. Elizabeth Wright notes:

"Wherever Brecht used dialogue he used it in a critical subversive way, showing that the speaker's voice did not originate in a pure and pristine selfhood, but was the effect of an intersection of many codes"(Wright, 1989, p. 114).

As we have already noted, the play "The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui" is an epic genre play, which is expressed in many ways of this type of theater. The action takes place in Chicago where basically only corrupt cauliflower businessmen and gangsters are presented. There is no positive character in the play but the world of criminals in order to create an exotic fantasy world and thus to distance the audience from the characters. There are quite a few methods of epic theater applied in the play: the play begins with a prologue where the announcer appeals to the audience with an opening sentence attempting to exclude them from the play. Almost all the characters in the play have their own historical counterparts (politician, military personnel, etc.), and each act refers to historical, real events. Moreover, at the end of each act, the author provides the reader with a note through which he explains to him which historical event the act echoes. After that, the presenter will introduce the characters to the audience giving it a brief description of each of them, mostly negative. Finally, he introduces the main anti-hero to the reader so that Brecht blames the society for his existence as this happened due to the weakness and stupidity of the society. The author through this method tries to make the reader feel guilty and self-critical – they are not just outsiders but direct participants, actors of the events taking place here:

“And lastly Public Enemy Number One

Arturo Ui. Now you’ll see

The biggest gangster of all times

Whom heaven sent us for our crimes

Our weakness and stupidity!” (Brecht, 1941, p. 5).

3.2 Arturo Ui’s Psycho-type

It is very interesting that, unlike the Georgian play, where the protagonist appears in the play pompously, Brecht leads in his anti-hero very unhurriedly, with great caution. Ui does not transform so swiftly into a leader as it is shown in the Georgian play but rather gradually and splendidly. The author makes the appearance of Ui for the first time only on page 10, and he does it very minimally, almost unnoticeably _ it is difficult to believe that he is the main character. Brecht describes Ui with the only sentence: “He’s smelled the stink and thinks he sees the opening”. (Brecht, 1941, p. 10)

In German play as well as in Georgian, such human values as loyalty, honesty, friendship are absolutely degraded. However, unlike Georgian personage, who is rather crude and ruthless, Ui is quite gallant at one glance, patient and smart: he does not directly threatens the victim but first educates him how to take the “right” decision. Indeed, the entire play is built on the concealed threat, whose representation is not brutal but paradoxically polite:

“Ui: That’s how people talk to me.

It was the same with Dullfeet. He mistook

My warm, my open-hearted offer of friendship

for calculation and my generosity

For weakness. How, alas, did he requite

My friendly words? with stony silence. Silence

Was his reply when what I hoped for

Was joyful appreciation. Oh, how I longed to

Hear him respond to my persistent, my

Well-nigh humiliating pleas for friendship, or

At least for a little understanding, with

Some sign of human warmth. I longed in vain.

My only reward was grim contempt. And even

The promise to keep silent that he gave me

So sullenly and God know grudgingly

Was broken on the first occasion. Where

I ask you is this silence that he promised

So fervently? New horror stories are being

Broadcast in all directions. But I warn you:

Don’t go too far, for even my proverbial

Has got its breaking point.” (Brecht, 1941, p. 109)

There are many dialogues like this in the play, which contain the messages of hidden violence and menace, and, eventually, an object who is harassed, and who is absolutely aware of this, surrenders as there is no other way. In the Georgian play, there are no such tactics applied by the abuser - violence is obvious, which is more direct and brutal there.

This is very interesting that at first glance Ui does not appear in the play as a monstrous figure but he seems very cautious, persuasive, sensible and patient, tactful and tactical, good planner and manager, a great decision-maker. Moreover, Ui’s manner of talking is always grandiose and careful, almost never applying the hate speech. He is not directly represented in the text as an aggressor, a brutal attacker as Georgian protagonist is. However, it is surprising that the greatest monster ruthlessly kills anyone preventing him to achieve his goal, which is clearly presented throughout the whole play. Ui, who will soon become a big leader, or rather the tyrant, criticizes the city itself and accuses it of having no memory, therefore, it cannot live long as everything is forgotten too soon here. Furthermore, the author often speaks through the characters that morale and honesty fall in the crisis and the weak will always die, and the one “who holds the purse strings holds the power”. The Nazi leader is very different from the Georgian socialist protagonist, who does not actually create or achieve anything by himself, his "success" in each case is not achieved due to his merit, but rather because of the favorable situation, luck, chance, and coincidence. Ui’s attitude towards work is also very interesting: he takes his time to start "revolt" but is waiting for the right moment to come to the broader stage not as an offender but as a savior; who takes revenge not for personal interests but for the people. Such attitude is not at all surprising as the morality of Ui is as follows: "It's not the beginning but the beginning of the end." He is waiting patiently when the victims of the existing unfair situation will come to him and ask for help. Only after this will he take radical measures to take "revenge" on behalf of the oppressed people. But in fact, he will carry out his original brutal plan.

3.3 Resistible Rise

Brecht presents Ui's rise to power as being controlled by human forces of abuse and dupery, and therefore "resistible". However, the process of the transformation into the tyrant, the metamorphosis of the gangster into the leader of people is presented in a very interesting manner by the founder of the epic theater: Ui is getting ready as a great politician and is diligently working on his public image, i.e. how to walk, how to sit and how to speak publicly. A former gangster goes through a complete transformation in both external and internal manner. It is important to once again note that there is no such a thing in the Georgian play: even though the character is transformed from the “digger of the ashes” to the leader, the great revolutionary, he does not change on the level of the personality, mind and intellect but remains the same stupid specimen _ that's exactly the very epithet with which the actors send Kvarkvare off the stage at the end of the play.

Thus, the former illiterate gangster soon becomes an amazing orator and holds public speeches for "little people" that is his “target audience” as his goal was “to master the owner of a small man, patron”. Again, there was no rhetoric in the case of Georgian anti-hero, he directly started violent acts as he was only lead by his brutal instincts. Ui masters sophistry and he very wisely drags people into the cruelty that he had started, especially, after giving a speech about belief, peace and the sacrifice made for this, as well as about success, violence, and chaos and blamed the society for the lack of belief: "You have lost faith, where there is no faith everything is lost ". It is very interesting what is the attitude of the society towards this injustice. Although they quite well understand that “this plague will sweep the country” and call on for a fight and rise against Ui to stop his ruthless leadership, no one wants to take the first step against injustice: “Why us? We wash our hands in innocence”. (Brecht, 1941, p. 95)

The final of the play is also very interesting: “free” elections are held and people choose their leader “by themselves” as the gangster partners of Ui declare: “Each man is free to do exactly as he pleases” (Brecht, 1941, p. 97). In this case too all standards of just elections are preserved at first glance: the monster leader insists that the city has to choose him in full freedom, without any grudging, and his gangster partners convince people that they are free in their choice, which is very cynical because there is no choice in fact. And as soon as the society believes in having a free will and one of them leaves the hall in protest as he does not want to participate in fake elections, Ui's people kill him just as soon as he leaves the hall so that others can hear the shooting, a sign of threat and remain silent under terror. Thus, the society chooses the dictator as they have no other way. On the other hand, the author is presenting this situation as if people had another alternative but did not try hard to change the situation. Indeed, Brecht’s intention is to make the reader/audience feel guilty: he blames people for the rise of Hitler and other tyrants like him - they are people's favorites! In fact, this is the main message Brecht wanted to communicate through his play: “The play is not so much an attack on Hitler, but rather upon the complacency of the people who were able to resist him, but didn't."

4. Conclusion

In general, both plays present a human’s rise to power in a violent and unjust manner. However, there is an obvious and substantive difference between the anti-heroes. What is more, Brecht presents the process of evolution/transformation not in a pompous way like the Georgian playwright did this.

The finals of the plays are also very interesting: in the case of the Georgian play, the story ends with the inevitability of fate – undeserved success gained through violence always ends or should be ended. Thus, Kvarkvare, the evil is defeated at the end of the play and the society wins. Strangely, neither German nor Georgian playwright punishes the anti-hero: in the first case the dictator wins and in the latter, only Kvarkvare’s true face is revealed but the society lets him go unpunished thinking that he is just a fool and cannot do any harm to anymore. We think this attitude is of the central importance in the play – Georgian society could not realize the scales of threat that such a personality type can cause in certain circumstances. So, the final of the play demonstrates that such persons will always exist among us in any type of totalitarian system, due to our ignorance. As for Brecht, instead of ending the play with the fall of the vicious leader, in the epilogue Brecht begins to debate with the reader about how to stop the rise of such a person in the future:

„Therefore learn how to see and not to gape.

To act instead of talking all day long.

The world was almost won by such an ape!

The nations put him where his kind belong.

But don’t rejoice too soon at your escape –

The womb he crawled from still is going strong.”

So, it is quite clear that Bertolt Brecht and Polikarpe Kakabadze invented such an anti-hero in order to confront the society’s ignorance and negligence towards the regime and tyrants. In both plays, the playwrights stress on the responsibility of the society in the existing situation, the society that often turns a blind eye or avoids to face unfavorable situations in the country. Thus, historically there have always been tyrant leaders, even in the Modern Era. Accordingly, the topic presented in the two political satires have always been urgent. Although those responsible have been revealed, the question is still unanswered after a long-standing history and experience in this sphere: how can such dictators be stopped from rising?


Charkhalashvili, Z. (1981). Epic Drama and Theatre of Bertolt Brecht (in Georgian). Tbilisi: Khelovneba.

Kakabadze, P (1971). Dramatic Poetry. Vol. I, Tb.: Khelovneba.

Kakabadze, P. (1936). Kvarkvare Tutaberi. Tb.: Federatsia.

PALIŢĂ, E. (2013). BRECHT’S ADAPTATION OF RICHARD III. Annals of the „Constantin Brâncuși”, University of Târgu Jiu, Letters and Social Sciences Series, Issue #2, p. 44-47.

Sturua, R. (1994). Theater and Life, 4, Tbilisi.

Willett and Manheim (1981). "Notes and Variants", p. 109

Willett, J. (1959). Theatre of Bertolt Brecht: A Study from Eight Aspects. New York: New Directions.

Willett, J. (1998). Brecht in Context Comparative Approaches. London: Eyre Methuen Ltd.

Wright, E. (1989). Postmodern Brecht: A Representation. London: Routhledge.