Study Guide

Mother Courage and Her Children Scene V

By Bertolt Brecht

Scene V

TWO YEARS HAVE GONE BY. THE WAR IS SPREADING TO NEW AREAS. CEASELESSLY ON THE MOVE, COURAGE'S LITTLE CART CROSSES POLAND, MORAVIA, BAVARIA, ITALY, THEN BAVARIA AGAIN. 1631. TILLY'S VICTORY AT LEIPZIG COSTS MOTHER COURAGE FOUR OFFICERS' SHIRTS.

  • MC and Kattrin are serving two soldiers at the bar. The wagon is stopped in a war-torn village. Military music from a victory parade can be heard in the distance.
  • One of the soldiers can't pay for his drink. MC complains that there's money for victory parades, but none to give to the soldiers. What gives?
  • The general didn't even allow the soldiers to loot the village, the soldier adds. No looting? Seriously, what is this? A holy war or something?
  • The chaplain comes in, saying he needs linen to bandage up some wounded peasants.
  • The other soldier heads off with the chaplain to help. Kattrin makes a fuss, trying to get her mother to hand over some linen.
  • MC won't sacrifice any more of her shirts for bandages.
  • The chaplain brings in a peasant woman, who was injured when she refused to leave her farm.
  • MC still says she won't "foot the bill." Tough luck.
  • The soldiers can't figure out if peasants are Protestants or Catholics. They decide it's too hard to tell them apart during battle.
  • The chaplain brings in another peasant. This one has lost an arm.
  • Kattrin tries to hit MC with a plank, to convince her to give over some linen. How's that for blunt?
  • The chaplain takes the shirts from her wagon.
  • Kattrin runs into the peasant home and brings back a baby that was trapped there.
  • MC tells Kattrin the hand the baby over to its mother. Last time she found a baby, MC says, Kattrin tried to keep it.
  • MC catches a soldier trying to make off with a bottle of booze. She takes his fur coat as payment.
  • The chaplain says there's still someone trapped in the peasant house.