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Essay on Bertolt's play ''Life of Galileo"

Feb 5, 2008   #1

I'm writing a essay based on Bertolt's play "life of galileo.

the Question: What attitudes towards work and duty does the play celebrate and what attitudes towards work and duty does it criticize? Choose a character (other than galileo) that represents each camp and analyze the role of each of those characters in the play in terms of his or her attitude toward work.

I wanted to compare Sagredo and Ludovico but I'm not sure if I'm handing in the right direction.

The essay below:

Life of Galileo

In Bertolt Brecht's 1943 play "Life of Galileo", tells the story of a man named Galileo Galilei, a teacher of mathematics at Padua University and a philosopher who was persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church for his scientific discoveries. Mrs. Sarti's son, Andrea, has lessons from Galileo who examines the model of the solar system and he challenges the belief that states that "I have made discoveries which we can no longer hold back from the world."(10). Galileo's daughter, Virginia is engaged to Ludovico Marsili who is a rich man from Holland who hopes to learn more about science. By the end of the story, we would probably have made a judgment on the attitudes towards work that were celebrated and criticized. How this relates to the role of the characters in terms of their attitudes towards work. I would believe that these characters have experienced that research can become your life and the society would not always expect your experiments or theories as a scientist.

Sagredo, one of the characters from the play, who examines Galileo's discovery through a telescope, seems to be the friend that watches out for Galileo but he doesn't have the knowledge about science but he learns from his friend who has discovered something tremendous. Sagredo learns from Galileo about science that he knew that the nobilities would not agree with his theory. Sagredo works alongside with Galileo and probably wasn't well educated but Galileo is more interested in putting his science before his discoveries which might have cost him in the end because the church disagreed with his discoveries. Works illustrated in the play were very important for Galileo because it was his life and he wanted to prove his evidence to the Roman Church. His friend played a role of warning the consequences for example, if you are a scientist and you predict a hypothesis you must show your results even though people will disagree and it is just the same as gathering data and it can be based on your interpretations. The importance of work for Sagredo was to learn from Galileo and to discuss things in science that he was not clear about and he knew that Galileo was a smart man who could come up with the ideas and find evidence. It carried points that science and religion contradicts itself because you need a little more faith then reason to understand science. The second evidence work celebrated in this plays states "He doesn't see the object in the telescope?" (27). Galileo explains to him that the missing star that goes around Jupiter is the sun. It celebrates new research and you can test and present to others. It caused sagredo to think about the research and to question whether God was in his scheme since God was not a part of it, it would probably raise questions.

In the play, the character are involved in some way in Galileo's research that work is the need for caution you have to be careful of the evidence that you bring before people because they will always disagree with you if they don't believe it. Some characters such as Andrea, Virginia & Ludovic helped Galileo in his research and they believed the theories that were carried out but Galileo told them that they should have a hypothesis.

Other scientists argued that the evidence found by Galileo was rubbish and that they didn't believe in it. Today, Scientists have said who strongly believe in religion and science has a problem with finding evidence that could go against their beliefs. It affects everyone and it contradicts work because the court found out that he carried out plagiarism. I am dealing with the characters of Sagredo and Ludovico who were well respected by Galileo and how they were interested in understand in science. Another character, Ludovico was a rich man from Holland and Galileo's student who believed in traditional values than science. It came from a middle class family who thinks science is not important and it makes him think more about science. He states that "He begins to learn or two about science" (22). I don't think that Ludovico worked but he upholds his traditional values of work such as horse breeding. He might look like he lived a better life than Galileo and Sagredo. The lower class people had to find something that they could make money quick or wouldn't lead them to bankruptcy. It caused Ludovico to help out Sagredo and Galileo with a new invention seeing that Galileo did not have much money.

In the play, it criticizes the hardship and disappointment of work that other characters such as Ludovico, Virginia, Sagredo and Andrea were amazed by Galileo's work but at some point, he had pushed God out of the scheme and used his worldview. It seemed he was selfish towards Ludovico, Andrea and Virginia but mostly he pushed Ludovico away from Virginia because Galileo is proud of what he achieved and Ludovico were guided from Galileo and he probably did not believe in his theories. At the end, it created new foundations for science in the world. Some scientists have praised Galileo for his work and they have always questioned if science is based on faith and reason.

Works Cited Page
Brecht. Life of Galileo. 1st Ed. 1943. 10, 22, 27.

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