Characters[ edit ] Wendla Bergmann: A girl who turns fourteen at the beginning of the play. She begs her mother to tell her the truth about how babies are born but is never given sufficient facts. In the middle of Act Two, Melchior rapes Wendla in a hayloft. She dies after an unsafe, botched abortion. Melchior Gabor: A fourteen-year-old boy.
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He had it published at his own expense in , but it was not performed until Wedekind started his own repertory company in The first production in the United States took place in , but since the play was in German it failed to attract widespread interest.
The play was finally performed in English in Almost immediately, Wedekind was able to secure an injunction from the Supreme Court that allowed the play to go on. Unfortunately, the audience seemed to agree with the Commissioner, and the play closed after a single show. The play finally returned to America in , where a new translation was performed by the University of Chicago Theatre.
Many supporters claim that the play is fundamentally autobiographical in nature. Some evidence supports this view, for Wedekind said of Spring Awakening: "I started to write without any sort of plan, merely aiming to set down whatever appealed to me.
The plan emerged after the third scene and was compiled from my own personal experiences or the experiences of my class-mates. Whether or not the events of Spring Awakening were personally experienced by Wedekind, many of the most startling implications of the play are supported by the historical record. Around the time that Wedekind was beginning to write, there was a "marked increase of suicide among schoolchildren" Boa, During the late nineteenth century Germany also saw an explosion of the population, which, coupled with migration from the countryside, lead to a vast increase in the number and size of cities.
Repeated economic crises in , the s and the s led to a period of obsession with imperial control embodied in the Kaiser, the symbolic father of the nation who stood for the "authoritarian ideology of law, order and conservative morality" Boa, 6. In Spring Awakening Wedekind not only dramatizes one such suicide, but also critiques the damaging effects of authoritarian, paternalistic culture.
Spring Awakening addresses a large number of loosely related themes primarily through a series of dialogues. The plot lacks a clear structure, and many of the characters are indistinguishable from one another. Furthermore, Wedekind seems to undermine and satirize a number of ideas without providing positive counterparts to replace them. In many ways Spring Awakening is a satire with a strong political message; however, Wedekind never directly or implicitly blames "the government," "German society," or even specific characters.
Wedekind seems to be shooting arrows in all directions, lacking a single, clear target. A fuller understanding of Spring Awakening can be achieved if the work is viewed as a chronicle of the damages done rather than as a polemic meant to inspire action. Wendla , Moritz , and Melchior are best viewed as a triangle.
The three characters both interact with and act in parallel to each other as each struggles to make the transition to adulthood. Both meanings suggest beginnings, the promise of the future, and a period of warmth and peace. What may seem like a peaceful development is actually difficult, frightening, and fraught with danger. Only Melchior survives, aided by the mysterious man in a mask.
Spring Awakening Study Guide
He had it published at his own expense in , but it was not performed until Wedekind started his own repertory company in The first production in the United States took place in , but since the play was in German it failed to attract widespread interest. The play was finally performed in English in Almost immediately, Wedekind was able to secure an injunction from the Supreme Court that allowed the play to go on.
FRANK WEDEKIND SPRING AWAKENING PDF
Almost for a year. MORITZ: Only for a little while -- of legs in light blue tights, that strode over the cathedral -- to be correct, I thought they wanted to go over it. I only saw them for an instant. I thought I was incurable. I believed I was suffering from an inward hurt.
Spring Awakening is generally considered a modernist work. She later wanders her garden, distraught, begging God for someone who would explain everything to her. Back to Frank Wedekind. You must not die—Great heavens, you must not die! Better twenty boys than three girls. I framk furnish you with the necessary amount for the voyage to America—I give you my word of honor. The reason I am going away!