Historical background to Buchner and Woyzeck

1804 Friedrich Schiller writes his last play, William Tell.   1812 Napoleon reaches Moscow but is forced to retreat, losing almost 600,000 men in battle.    1813 Georg Buchner is born in Hessen, Germany.    1814 Prussia invades France after Napoleon’s defeat at Leipzig. Two million lives are lost in the wars.    1815 The German Confederation is established.    1819 August Friedrich von Kotzebue, … Continue reading Historical background to Buchner and Woyzeck

Biography of Georg Buchner

Georg Buchner (pronounced Buechner) was born on October 17, 1813 in the small town of Goddelau, in Hessen, Germany. His father, a scientist and rationalist, primed him from an early age with a scientific approach to the world, which would later manifest itself in the sharp, realistic, and critical nature of his writing. Buchner grew up in a stable, pleasant household, though he eventually became … Continue reading Biography of Georg Buchner

Woyzeck: Brief Synopsis and Background

Woyzeck is a stage play written by Georg Büchner. He left the work incomplete at his death, but it has been variously and posthumously finished by a variety of authors, editors and translators. Woyzeck has become one of the most performed and influential plays in the German theatre repertory. Büchner probably began writing the play between June and September 1836. It remained in a fragmentary … Continue reading Woyzeck: Brief Synopsis and Background

Religious Imagery in Woyzeck

There is a tremendous amount of religious imagery in the play, which I think is often overlooked by some. Specifically, Buchner uses the figures of Christ, the Virgin Mary to underscore his points about human nature and suffering. After all, Woyzeck is born on the day of the Feast of the Annunciation, which celebrates Christ’s conception. Also, he is the same age Christ was supposed to be … Continue reading Religious Imagery in Woyzeck