Who is Andrea ?

Andrea is one of Galileo's students in Bertolt Brecht's play "Life of Galileo". At the beginning of the play Andrea is an eleven year old boy, who is curious to learn Galileo's new physics. We hope that a visit to our museum will arouse the curiosity of the visitor to learn more about this subject.

Bertolt Brecht is one of the most important playwrights of the twentieth century. Born in Germany in 1898, he began writing plays in the twenties. Following the rise of the Nazi regime, in 1933, he went to Denmark. In 1938-39 he wrote the "Life of Galileo" , as a play against dictatorship of thoughts and deeds. Two passages from the play will give you some flavor of Brecht's Andrea, after whom we choose to name this section of the virtual museum.

Galileo teaches Andrea that the earth moves (p. 6-7)

Galileo : Did you figure out what I told you yesterday?
Andrea : What? You mean Kippernick and all that turning business?
Galileo : Yes.
Andrea : No. Why do you want me to figure it out? It's too hard for me, I'll only be eleven in October.
Galileo : I want you to understand it, you in particular. To make everybody understand, that's why I work and buy expensive books instead of paying the milkman.
Andrea : But I can see that the sun's not in the same place in the evening and morning. So it can't stand still. It just can't.
Galileo : You "see"! What do you see? You see nothing at all. You're just gaping. Gaping isn't seeing. (He places the iron washstand in the center of the room.) Now, that's the sun. Sit down. (Andrea sits down in the only chair. Galileo stands behind him) Where is the sun, right or left?
Andrea : Left.
Galileo : And how does it get to the right?
Andrea : When you carry it over to the right. Naturally.
Galileo : Only then? (He picks up the chair with him in it and urns it halfway around.) Where's the sun now?
Andrea : On the right.
Galileo : Has it moved?
Andrea : I guess it hasn't.
Galileo : What moved?
Andrea : Me.
Galileo : Wrong! Stupid! the chair!
Andrea : But me with it!
Galileo : Obviously. The chair is the earth. You're sitting on it.
Andrea's disappointment of Galileo, after the latter recanted (p. 84-5)

Andrea : (loudly) Unhappy the land that has no heroes! (Galileo has come in, completely, almost unrecognizably, changed by the trial. He has heard Andrea's exclamation. As none is forthcoming and his pupils shrink back from him, he goes slowly and because of his bad eyesight uncertainly to the front where he finds a footstool and sits down)
Andrea : I can't look at him. I wish he'd go away.
Federzoni : Calm yourself.
Andrea : (screams at Galileo) Wine barrel! Snail eater! Have you saved your precious skin? (Sits down) I feel sick.
Galileo : (calmly) Get him a glass of water.
Andrea : I can walk now if you'll help me. (They lead him to the door. When they reach it, Galileo begins to speak)
Galileo : No. Unhappy the land that needs a hero.

Galileo gives Andrea his Discorsi to smuggle from Italy. Andrea comes to visit Galileo in his home near Florence before he leaves Italy (p. 91-92)

Andrea : The Discorsi! (He leafs through the manuscript. He reads) It is my purpose to establish an entirely new science in regard to a very old problem, namely, motion. By means of experiments I have discovered some of its properties, which are worth knowing."
Galileo : I had to do something with my time.
Andrea : This will be the foundation of a new physics.
Galileo : Put it under your coat.
Andrea : And we though you had deserted us! My voice was the loudest against you!
Galileo : you were absolutely right. I taught you science and I denied the truth.
Andrea : That changes everything. Everything.
Galileo : You think so?
Andrea : You were hiding the truth. From the enemy. Even in ethics you were centuries ahead of us.
Galileo : Explain that to me, Andrea.
Andrea : With the man on the street we said? He'll die, but he'll never recant. -- You came back and said: I've recanted but I shall live. -- Your hands are stained, we said. -- You said: Better stained than empty.
Galileo : Better stained than empty. Sounds realistic. Sounds like me. A new science, a new ethics.
(From : BERTOLT BRECHT Collected Plays Vol. 5 ,Life of Galileo, Editing By Ralph Manheim and John Willett ,1972)
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