Mother Courage and her children through twelve years of the holy war of the early seventeenth century through many European countries. Mother Courage's first son is a dolt, but he makes a dashing soldier and plunderer. Her second son is honest, and he meets an early death from a firing squad. So Mother Courage and her dumb daughter follow the armies as first one side then another wins, until one day, peace is declared. The plundering soldier son is brought to shame, and the daughter who would be married is shot instead. War is resumed; for it seems that, like love, it is perpetual.
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