Brecht-follows Mother Courage and her children through twelve years of the holy war of the early seventeenth century through Sweden, Poland, Finland, Bavaria, and Italy. 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. His name is Swiss Cheese. So now Mother Courage and her dumb daughter follow the armies with their wagon and wares, as first one side then another wins. They acquire in their train a chaplain and a cook. Until, one day, peace is declared. But it is too brief. 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.