Mother Courage and Her Children | Study Guide

Bertolt Brecht

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Mother Courage and Her Children | Characters

Character Description
Mother Courage Mother Courage is the verbally ironic nickname of Anna Fierling, a shrewd and resilient, yet selfish and cowardly woman who profits from war by following the troops and selling them her wares. Read More
Kattrin Kattrin is Mother Courage's daughter who hopes to find love once the war ends. lost the power of speech because of a violent act during the war Read More
Chaplain The chaplain is a hypocritical Lutheran clergyman who, when his safety is at risk, would rather hide his religious affiliation than practice his vocation as a spiritual leader. Read More
Cook One of the general's wartime workers, the cook befriends Mother Courage and most likely becomes her lover. Read More
Eilif Violent and selfish, Mother Courage's eldest child, Eilif, makes a name for himself as a brave soldier during the war. He later is executed for a similar act during peacetime when theft and murder are capital crimes. Read More
Swiss Cheese Swiss Cheese, whose real name is Fejos, is Mother Courage's honest, dutiful younger son who becomes paymaster for the Finnish regiment and is executed for his loyalty. Read More
Armorer In charge of military ammunition, the armorer sells stolen bullets to Mother Courage at a discounted rate. She plans to profit by selling them back to the army.
Clerk The clerk, employed at the officers' tent, realistically advises Mother Courage to refrain from making a complaint about her vandalized cart and later criticizes soldiers for spending their money on drink instead of going to their commander's funeral.
Colonel Yvette's rich, elderly lover, the colonel agrees to buy Mother Courage's cart before Swiss Cheese's execution.
Ensign The ensign is the Catholic officer who orders his men to shoot Kattrin because she won't stop drumming to interfere with their attack.
General The general is the cook's and Eilif's commanding officer who praises Eilif's murder of the peasants and theft of their livestock during the war.
Man with the patch Searching for Protestants after the Catholic army successfully captures the Finnish regiment, the man with the patch discovers that Swiss Cheese is the regiment's paymaster.
Young man The young man, accompanied by his old mother, tries to sell linens to Mother Courage in Scene 8.
Peasant 1 Among the wounded in Scene 5, the peasant has lost his arm and alerts Kattrin to the presence of a hidden baby.
Peasant 2 In Scene 11 the peasant climbs to the roof of his house and sees enemy troops in the distance. He later agrees to bury Kattrin's body after she is shot.
Peasant 2's son In Scene 11 the peasant's son at first refuses to show Catholic troops the way to the town but relents when the family's livelihood is threatened.
Peasant 2's wife Praying for the village children's safety, the peasant's wife inadvertently alerts Kattrin to the danger at hand, prompting her to climb to the roof and beat the drum.
Yvette Pottier A prostitute and friend of Mother Courage, Yvette Pottier seems ruined by the war. However, she marries her rich lover's brother and inherits his fortune. In a twist of situational irony, Yvette, unlike Mother Courage, makes a major, life-changing profit as a result of the war.
Recruiter The recruiter is the disheartened soldier who encourages Eilif to enlist.
Sergeant The sergeant haggles with Mother Courage over a belt buckle while the recruiter persuades Eilif to enlist.
Another sergeant In Scene 3 the sergeant arrests and questions Swiss Cheese.
First soldier The first soldier, in the Catholic forces, follows the ensign's orders in Scene 11.
Soldier in Bavaria 1 With a ladies' fur coat draped over his shoulders and ordering a drink from Mother Courage, the soldier laments he hasn't had sufficient time for looting after victory.
Soldier in Bavaria 2 Drinking with his companion in Scene 5, the soldier comments on the wounded peasants' religion.
Soldier in Bavaria 3 This soldier sings at Mother Courage's canteen bar.
Soldier 4 This soldier guards Eilif as he stops for a final visit with his mother before he is executed in Scene 8.
Older soldier At the officers' tent, the older soldier advises the younger one not to make a complaint against the captain, for the punishment might be worse than the loss of reward money, which the captain stole.
Young soldier At the captain's headquarters to make a complaint against the captain for stealing reward money, the young soldier is advised to refrain from dong it.
Old woman Accompanied by her son, the old woman tries to sell linens to Mother Courage in Scene 8.
Peasant woman In Scene 5 the injured peasant woman says she didn't leave during the fighting because of the farm, which was all she has.
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