CategoryPlay with music
Cast22 total (8 F and 14 M)
Variable cast sizeNo
RepresentationNordic representation
A radio play written in 1939 before the outbreak of the Second World War and while Brecht exiled in Sweden. General Lukullus is given a pompous funeral in Rome amid the comments of the soldiers, slaves, and women who have suffered through his wars, and of the businessmen who have gained by them. On entering the underworld he has to doff his imposing helmet and submit to trial before a jury introduced by the speaker of the court of the dead and consisting of a peasant, a slave, a fishwife, a baker, and a courtesan. The accused is reminded that in the underworld no one fears the names of ‘the Great’. Thus humiliated, Lukullus finds that all the witnesses, including the figures stepping forth from his grand triumphal frieze, speak against him; only the peasant has something to say in his favour, since Lukullus introduced the cherry-tree into Europe. The original version ended with the withdrawal of the jury. The judgement, committing him to annihilation, was later taken over from the opera Die Verurteilung des Lukullus, but the original title was retained to distinguish the two versions.