Woyzeck

Definition

Theater

  • An uncompleted play by Georg Büchner, who diedof typhoid fever at the age of 23. It was written in 1836, but notpublished until 1879; the first performance was given in Vienna in1913. Since World War II it has enjoyed numerous successful revivals;the Austrian composer Alban Berg (1885 - 1935) used it as thelibretto for his first opera, the expressionist Wozzeck (1925).

    The play deals with an illiterate soldier's mental disintegrationand suicide after murdering his wife. It is one of the first dramasto sympathize with a working-class protagonist, anticipating the socialdramas of the 1890s with their concern for society's oppressed. Woyzeckforeshadowed both expressionism in its style and naturalismin its subject matter.

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