Mother Courage

Mother Courage (German Mutter Courage) is a character from a Grimmelshausen novel Lebensbeschreibung der Ertzbetrügerin und Landstörtzerin Courasche (The Runagate Courage)[1] dating from around 1670. The character had played a cameo role in Der abentheuerliche Simplicissimus[2] in 1669.

The Bertolt Brecht play Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder (Mother Courage and Her Children) gave her currency in the 20th century. Mother Courage is cast as a walking contradiction by Brecht. She is torn between protecting her children from the war and making a profit out of the war.

Cúruisce (Courasche) appears in Ireland as a fictional character in Darach Ó Scolaí's Irish language novel An Cléireach. After travelling from Flanders in the company of a junior officer in the Tyrone regiment she serves in 1650 as a camp follower of the regiment of colonel Edmund O'Flaherty in the Royalist army.[3]


  1. Germany, SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg. "Kapitel 1 des Buches: 1. Buch 3. Kapitel von Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen - Projekt Gutenberg".
  2. Grimmelshausen, H. J. Chr. (1669). Der abentheurliche Simplicissimus [The adventurous Simplicissimus] (in German). Nuremberg: J. Fillion. OCLC 22567416.
  3. "Leabhar Breac - Siopa Leabhar - Irish Language Book Shop - Leabhar Breac".


  • Cara M. Horwich (1997), Survival in Simplicissimus and Mutter Courage
  • John W. Jacobson, A Defense of Grimmelshausen's Courasche, The German Quarterly, Vol. 41, No. 1 (Jan., 1968), pp. 42–54

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