What is catharsis from Brecht's point of view?

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In classical theater, often called Aristotelian theater, catharsis was one important objective, even the primary objective—especially of tragedy. This goal continued strong in the naturalism of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The audience should identify with the characters and their plights, get drawn into the emotion and forget their own lives, and then experience a purge of emotion at the end.

Brecht developed a different kind of theater, usually called "epic." He opposed the idea of catharsis as a goal of theater. Instead, he thought that the audience should stay distant from the action onstage rather than become emotionally involved. It was preferable for the audience to think about the performance; by staying objective and distant, they could make rational judgments about social issues that he usually raised in his work. The performers and setting constantly reminded the audience that they were watching theater.

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