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Theatre: Woyzeck
A play (actually just a fragment) by 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.

In 1979, Werner Herzog had just finished filming a remake of Nosferatu. After almost spending a week without making a movie, he got to work on Woyzeck, which became one of his most beloved films.

Tom Waits and Robert Wilson have written a Rock Opera based on the play. Alban Berg also composed an opera, titled Wozzeck.

The unfinished drama by Georg Büchner provides examples of:


The movie by Werner Herzog provides examples of:

  • Adaptation Expansion: Actually expected in adaptations of Woyzeck, since the play was unfinished due to Author Existence Failure.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Averted, but not to the point of The Dung Ages.
  • Kick the Dog: 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.
  • Nietzsche Wannabe: 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.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: A string quartet plays the same song over Woyzeck's humiliating PT in the opening credit, Eva dancing with the Drum Major, and Woyzeck's murder of Eva.
  • Type Casting: Just like in Stroszek, Eva Mattes plays a woman who temporarily has a crazy husband.

The Waits/Wilson rock opera provides examples of:


Woman in the MoonGerman Films    
The Women of TrachisTheatrical ProductionsThe Yeomen of the Guard
The Wizard of Speed and TimeFilms of the 1970sZombi 2

alternative title(s): Wozzeck; Woyzeck; Woyzeck
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