A play (actually just a [[AuthorExistenceFailure fragment]]) by [[UsefulNotes/DichterAndDenker Georg Büchner]], who died in 1837 while working on it. Revolutionary for its time because up until that period, {{tragedy}} as a genre was reserved for stories about the upper classes. Its companion piece is Büchner's play ''Leonce and Lena'', which conversely is a scathing comedy about the upper classes -- a concept that was just as taboo.

Franz Woyzeck is a soldier with a child out of wedlock. To help make his living, he does odd jobs for his commanding officer and participate in "medical" experiments. He's gone completely crazy - seeing apocalyptic visions everywhere - but no one seems interested in that. When his wife, out of a mixture of boredom and hopelessness, begins seeing a Drum Major, Woyzeck lashes out.

The unfinished manuscript was edited and "completed" by Karl Emil Franzos in 1879, and this version was first performed on stage in Munich in 1913. Alban Berg adapted the play into the Opera ''Wozzeck'', which received its first complete performance in Berlin in 1925.

In 1979, Creator/WernerHerzog had just finished filming a [[TheRemake remake]] of ''{{Film/Nosferatu}}''. After almost spending a week without making a movie, he got to work on ''Woyzeck'', which became one of his most beloved films.

Music/TomWaits and Robert Wilson have written a RockOpera based on the play. Waits' song "Children's Story" from ''Music/OrphansBrawlersBawlersAndBastards'' was also lifted from "Woyzeck". Alban Berg also composed an {{opera}}, titled ''Wozzeck''.
!! The unfinished drama by Georg Büchner provides examples of:
%% Zero Content examples have been commented out. Please write up a full example before uncommenting.
%%* AxCrazy: Woyzeck himself in the end.
* BasedOnATrueStory: ''Woyzeck'' is based on the case of the real-life soldier Johann Christian Woyzeck (1780-1824), who was executed in Leipzig after murdering a widow out of jealousy and a lengthy trial and several expertises on his mental state. Büchner however also incorporated elements from other murder cases that happened during his lifetime and the experiments conducted by Justus von Liebig with a pea diet.
%%* CharacterFilibuster: Every character agrees, being poor sucks! It probably works better on stage.
* FemaleGaze: "She [Marie] gazes through seven pairs of leather pants!" Said by another woman.
%%* FracturedFairyTale: The "fairy tale" the grandmother tells the children. You can listen to it [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2RQkTMDqW8 here]] as part of a WebAnimation/YouTubePoop, narrated by Music/TomWaits.
%%* HandsomeLech: Marie starts seeing a Drum Major. Bad idea.
%%* HumansAreTheRealMonsters
%%* HumiliationConga
%%* KnifeNut: Woyzeck can't afford a pistol, you see.
%%* MadDoctor: Woyzeck is going crazy partly because he volunteers for some very unusual medical experiments.
* MildlyMilitary: The military doesn't seem to do anything but drive Woyzeck crazy.
%%* MushroomSamba: Described by Woyzeck and a big part of [[BasedOnATrueStory the actual case study]].
* NoNameGiven: Drum Major. The Doctor. The Captain. The Workmen. This is important in the case of the first three, as they are authority figures who wield power over Woyzeck.
%%* OutDamnedSpot: [[spoiler:A fatal variety.]]
%%* ShootTheShaggyDog: The grandmother's fairy tale.
* ThereAreNoPsychologists: Woyzeck is clearly mad because of the abuse he's under, but no one seems to care, least of all The Doctor. His best friend tries to get him to go to the infirmary, to no avail. Justified in that psychology kind of ''didn't exist yet''.
* TestedOnHumans: Woyzeck's pea diet is based on an actual experiment conducted by chemist Justus von Liebig: For three months a number of soldiers of the Hessian army were fed nothing but pease porridge (in order to test if peas could be used as a cheap source of protein), resulting in symptoms very much like those displayed by Woyzeck in the play.
!! The movie by Werner Herzog provides examples of:

%%* AdaptationExpansion: Actually ''expected'' in adaptations of ''Woyzeck'', since the play was unfinished due to AuthorExistenceFailure.
* KickTheDog: The Drum Major beats up the tiny, underfed Woyzeck after he finds out Woyzeck knows about his wife's affair. And the Doctor throws his cat out the window to see how it lands on its feet.
* NietzscheWannabe: The Doctor:
--> '''Doctor''': ''Didn't I tell you that the'' Urethral Sphincter ''is subject to the will!?''
** Oddly enough, he seems to be the most cheerful of all the characters.
*** In Alban Berg's opera, he's listed as a buffo bass. ''Buffo.''
* SoundtrackDissonance: A string quartet plays the same song over Woyzeck's humiliating PT in the opening credit, Marie dancing with the Drum Major, and [[spoiler:Woyzeck's murder of Marie]].
%%* {{Yandere}}: Woyzeck
!! The Waits/Wilson rock opera provides examples of:
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: The organ grinder's mechanical monkey, which sings "Misery is the River of the World" from ''Music/BloodMoney''. Facially, it's a character of Music/TomWaits, and was voiced by a recording of him.
%%* IronicNurseryTune: "Lullaby"
%%* LyricalDissonance: "Woe"
%%* VillainSong: "Another Man's Vine" for the Drum Major, "God's Away on Business" for the Doctor, and "Starving in the Belly of a Whale" for the Captain.