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Woyzeck By George Buchner

.. s soon after this passage Woyzeck brutally murders her and leaves her body by the pond outside town. Here again, Buchner offers nothing but a dystopic and brutal end for this woman, a victim of her own birth into poverty and the society that broke her spirit. There is no freedom from her suffering, there is no way out. Maries despair is most profound in the play, and the pity for her character is strong, as with Woyzeck. Marie says: Im a bad bitch.

I could kill myself. Oh, whats the use? Were all going to the devil, all of us. (Pp.114) Marie too, like Woyzeck had accepted her fate. She has allowed herself to acquiesce to society around her. She is no longer responsible for he own actions as she accepts she will be going to Hell.

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She does not care any more because nothing has given her hope to do so. Woyzeck and Marie have fallen as far as they are going too, their lives and personas are Woyzeck says: bottomless pits: you get dizzy when you look down(pp.120) Marie and Woyzecks child is another innocent victim caught in the middle of everything. Woyzeck seems to not really know his son as he is always out and doing things. Marie too, displays a torrid relationship with her child, and she spouts out language such as: Youre only a whores brat but I love your bastards face. (Pp.110), and she frightens him with stories of child-thieving gypsys and bogeymans to make him sleep. The young child unfortunately will also be caught in the cycle, and probably grow up to become another Woyzeck, orphaned and stuck under the boots of everyone else. This childs destiny and end are shown as the conclusion for the in the operatic adapt ion of this play, Wozzeck by Alan Berg.

Woyzeck falls into insanity over Marie. When he is told of her dalliances with the Drum Major he replies, Woyzeck: Im a poor man Captain. Shes all Ive got in the world. If youre joking Captain Captain: Joking? I joke with you? Doctor: Your pulse Woyzeck. Your pulse.

Short, violent, skipping, and irregular. Woyzeck: Captain, the earths as hot as hell. But Im icy cold. Hell is cold, Id bet on that. It cant be true.

The bitch. It cant be A fine day Captain, Look. A nice solid gray sky. Makes you want to knock a nail in and hand yourself. All because of one little train of thought.(Pp118-119) The other two men, besides Woyzeck are heartless and cruel to him. The Doctor rambles on about his medical condition, totally disregarding his feelings, and the captain teases him about his wifes lover.

As in this passage, one can find many examples of apocalyptic language about hell and heaven, and the world ending. On Page 109, Woyzeck comments that the sky is on fire, and believes voices are speaking to him out of the ground. Woyzeck later recounts this experience to Marie quoting the Bible, And behold there was a smoke coming from the land like the smoke of an oven? This idea is again depicted when Woyzeck is about to stab Marie. Marie comments that the moon is rising red (the color of blood) and Woyzeck says it is like blood on an iron. It is at this moment that Marie realizes something terrible is about to happen, and senses her own death.

Woyzecks wading deeper, and deeper into the water is another symbolic element of his further descent into the bottomless pit. Perhaps the most haunting passage out of this entire play, is one in which the little children ask a Grandmother to tell them a story, her idea of a fairytale is the most despondent, apocalyptic tragedy one could recount: 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 he thought hed go up to heaven.

And the moon looked at him so kindly! But when he reached {it}he found it was a piece of rotten wood. And then he went to the sunand found it was a withered sunflowerand he wanted to go back to earth, but the earth was an upturned pot. And he was all alone. And he sat down and cried, and hes sitting there still, all alone (pp128) These are the kind of fairytales the children are exposed to and nothing can be bleaker. Buchner does not even let the children escape either, they are doomed along with their parents, and the apocalyptic and dystopic way in which the world is presented compounds these ideas, suggesting an even worse future for them than the one we have just seen. Buchner was a young man at the time of his death, only twenty-three, yet he managed to leave a legacy behind him, on that has been highly acclaimed in modern times.

Woyzeck was to be a working class tragedy, a slice out of real life. His protagonist, Woyzeck, is a man doomed to a pitiful existence, constantly plagued with questions that will never be answered. He has a psychosis in which he hallucinates, and this furthers his urge to murder his wife. Woyzeck is forced to deal with daily humiliation. This play is a tragedy, as there is no hope for Woyzeck. The murder of Marie forever breaks his lifeline; he is lost in the abyss around himself.

He falls deeper and deeper into madness. He is a murderer, but he is also a victim of his society, as with his wife. The very construction of the plays elements, the folk songs, the religious and secular language, all play a part in the overall dark motif that the play projects onto the viewer. Buchner wanted to portray real life, with very human characters, and his view is that society is to blame for all evils, that the world is essentially going to the dogs for these people, in a never-ending cycle of torment and affliction. Buchner also allows the reader no hope to fix this situation, as unfortunately the play was never finished and one shall never know, or feel, the complete conclusion and resolution of Woyzeck.


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