Written in 1836, Woyzeck is often considered to be the first truly "modern" play. The story of a soldier driven mad by inhuman military discipline and acute social deprivation is told in splintered dialogue and jagged episodes which are as shocking and telling today as they were when first performed, almost a century after the author's death, in Munich 1913. This volume contains an introduction and notes by Michael Patterson. The introduction provides biographical background on Buchner, as well detail on the discovery of Woyzeck after so many years of it lying dormant as an apparently 'unreadable' manuscript. It also provides a brief analysis of the play, a study of the historical source that influenced Buchner, the tragic character of Woyzeck and his motivations, the social dimensions of the play, and notes on specific productions, and Mackendrick's translation. This is the version of the text prescribed by Edexcel for Unit 4 (Theatre Text in Context) of the 2008 GCE Drama and Theatre Studies Specification.
Georg Buchner is widely acknowledged as the forefather of modern theatre. On his death at the age of 23, he left behind some outstanding dramatic works: his historical drama, Danton's Death, 'the most remarkable first play in European culture' (Guardian), the innovatory tragedy, Woyzeck, and the absurdist comedy, Leonce and Lena. He also left a powerful short story, Lenz, an important account of his research into cranial nerves, and his revolutionary pamphlet, The Hessian Courier.
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