Frank Wedekind

Frank WedekindIn 1918, Bertolt Brecht attended the funeral of German playwright Frank Wedekind. He later wrote in his diary, "They stood perplexed in top hats, as if round the carcass of a vulture. Bewildered crows."

Wedekind was a prophet in the darkness. He had come before his time. A moralist who wore the mask of an immoralist, he had been the terror of the German bourgeoisie, alternately praised for being a saint and condemned for being a devil. He did not follow any group, or subscribe to any political ideology of the day. And his expressionistic visions preceded the rise of expressionism by several decades.

During Frank Wedekind's lifetime, his plays were persecuted and only performed in censored versions. They were considered pure pornography, for he dared to deal with issues of sexual freedom and release, problems of puberty, moments of ecstasy between the sexes, and moments of misunderstanding and violence. Wedekind's language was brilliant and poetic, constructed mainly of cascades of short one-line sentences often consisting of only one or two words, like verbal exchanges between pistols. His plays broke through all the clichés of the theatre of his time, and today he is considered one of the founders of modern drama.

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Wedekind's Plays  |  Biographies/Studies


Wedekind's Plays


Related Sites

Wedekind Monologues

German Theatre Index

Related Playwrights

Bertolt Brecht

Georg Büchner

Josef & Karel Capek


Odon von Horvath

Friedrich Schiller

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