A STAGE CLASSIC: GEORG BÜCHNERS “WOYZECK” ABOUT A SOLDIER WHO THINKS TOO MUCH – AND MURDERS HIS GIRLFRIEND…

Munich, Germany. 1913. 76 years after writer and dramatist Georg Büchner had died, his stage-play and drama of jealousy “Woyzeck” had its premiere at Residenztheatre. And critics loved it. The audience not as much – at first.

Today the drama about soldier Franz Woyzeck is a classic. With words like those spoken by the captain, while Woyzeck shaves his beard: “Woyzeck, you are always rushed. You think too much.

The doctor and Franz Woyzeck (r.) - Büchner's "Woyzeck" as staged by a German group of young students.
The doctor and Franz Woyzeck (r.) – Büchner’s “Woyzeck” as staged by a German group of young students.

The plot in a few words: Soldier Woyzeck is struggling. Too much work. An, according to the church, misbegotten son and a medical experiment that forces him to eat peas only – the latter done for monetary reasons. And then Woyzeck thinks too much. He considers his girlfriend a cheater and kills her…

Georg Büchner, who died early aged 23, could otherwise have joined such central German literary figures as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Schiller at the summit of their profession, as historics say. He left behind 27 fragments of the stage-play “Woyzeck.” Pieces that are now often changed in its order when directed.

Also: Büchner’s “Woyzeck” bases on a true story. The story of Johann Christian who stabbed a woman in Leipzig. And then was sentenced to death. And even the experiment of eating peas has a true background. German chemist Justus von Liebig tried to feed soldiers with peas to save the more expensive meat. The result: The tested people started to hallucinate.

More about that:
Georg Büchner information

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