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 state at the time of his early death in 1837. Woyzeck was first published in 1879.
Woyzeck deals with the dehumanising effects of doctors and the military on a young man’s life. It is often seen as ‘working class’ tragedy, though it can also be viewed as having another dimension, portraying the ‘perennial tragedy of human jealousy.
Woyzeck (1994) Director: János Szász
Writers: Georg Büchner (play), János Szász
Stars: Lajos Kovács, Diana Vacaru, Éva Igó
“Once upon a time there was a poor little boy who had no father or mother. Everything was dead, and there was nobody left in the whole wide world. Everything was dead, and he went away and searched day and night. And because there was nobody left on earth he thought he’d go up to heaven. And the moon looked at him so kindly! But when he reached the moon he found it was a piece of rotten wood. And then he went to the sun, and when he reached the sun he found it was a withered sunflower. And when he came to the stars they were little golden gnats that a shrike had stuck on a blackthorn. And when he wanted to go back to earth, the earth was an upturned pot. And he was all alone. And he sat down and cried, and he’s still there, all alone.”