Mother Courage and Her Children | Study Guide

Bertolt Brecht

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Mother Courage and Her Children | Scene Summaries

See Scene Summaries Chart

Timeline of Events

  • Spring 1624

    Mother Courage, with her cart and children, has been following the troops and selling her goods.

    Scene 1
  • Spring 1624

    Mother Courage foresees the deaths of her children.

    Scene 1
  • Moments later

    While Mother Courage haggles, the recruiter convinces Eilif to join the army.

    Scene 1
  • 1626

    While haggling with the cook, Mother Courage meets up with Eilif, praised for heroism.

    Scene 2
  • 1629

    Catholic forces capture the Finnish regiment of which Swiss Cheese is now paymaster.

    Scene 3
  • Three days later

    Mother Courage comes up with a devious plan to buy imprisoned Swiss Cheese's life.

    Scene 3
  • Shortly after

    With the plan unsuccessful, Swiss Cheese is executed.

    Scene 3
  • Days later

    Fearing reprisals, Mother Courage decides against complaining about vandalism to her cart.

    Scene 4
  • 1631

    Mother Courage refuses to provide linens for bandages to help injured peasants.

    Scene 5
  • 1632

    Drunken soldiers attack and injure Kattrin as she buys supplies.

    Scene 6
  • 1632

    Now rich, Yvette arrives and recognizes the cook as the man who abandoned her and broke her heart.

    Scene 8
  • 1632

    Eilif is executed for murder during peacetime.

    Scene 8
  • Shortly after

    The cook and the chaplain vow not to tell Mother Courage what happened to Eilif.

    Scene 8
  • Autumn 1634

    Mother Courage refuses the cook's offer to work with him at the inn he inherited.

    Scene 9
  • January 1636

    Mother Courage and Kattrin park the cart on a peasant's land.

    Scene 11
  • Shortly after

    While Mother Courage buys supplies, Kattrin is shot for trying to warn of the enemy's arrival.

    Scene 11
  • Later that day

    Mother Courage pays the peasants to attend to Kattrin's body and returns to business.

    Scene 12

Scene Summaries Chart

Scene Summary
Scene 1 It is spring 1624. An army recruiter and sergeant stand shivering on the road. Dejected about his failing numbers, the r... Read More
Scene 2 Two years pass. In the general's tent Mother Courage is haggling with the cook over the price of a capon. As they argue,... Read More
Scene 3 Three years later Mother Courage is traveling alongside the Finnish regiment. Swiss Cheese has taken a job as paymaster,... Read More
Scene 4 Shortly after Swiss Cheese's death, Mother Courage approaches an officer's tent to make a complaint about her cart being... Read More
Scene 5 Two years of the interminable war have passed. Mother Courage, with her daughter and her cart, has traveled extensively ... Read More
Scene 6 A year later commander in chief Tilly of the Imperial Catholic forces, who led the victory in the previous scene, has di... Read More
Scene 7 Shortly after, Mother Courage's business has picked up. With her cart full of new items, she wears a silver necklace as ... Read More
Scene 8 A young man and his elderly mother awaken Mother Courage hoping to sell her their bed sheets. In the distance bells ring... Read More
Scene 9 The following autumn ushers in a harsh winter. With business down, Mother Courage and the cook struggle to survive. They... Read More
Scene 10 As they pull the cart through the central part of Germany, Mother Courage and Kattrin pass a peasant's house. From insid... Read More
Scene 11 Twelve years have now passed since the play began, and two years since Mother Courage parted company with the cook. Moth... Read More
Scene 12 Mother Courage stands over Kattrin's body. The peasant family begs her to leave before the next regiment arrives. They p... Read More
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