The Real Woyzeck

I found this in the appendix section of the Danton’s Death, Leonce and Lena, and Woyzeck book, just after the Woyzeck play on page 133. It is interesting to see how accurate Büchner was being when he wrote the play about Woyzeck. I think some things may have been tweaked slightly to make it more of a liner story.

“The historical Woyzeck, according 10 the account of him by Dr J. C A. Clraus, published in 1825 in the Zeitschrift für die Staatsarzneikunde, was a rolling stone who lost his parents early and wandered all over Germany looking for work in the difficult 1790s. He became a soldier, was captured by the Swedes, and entered the Swedish armed service, only to be sent back to Germany and have his regiment disbanded by the French. He then joined the Mecklenburg army, but deserted to the Swedes again because of a girl in Stralsund, by whom he had had a child out of wedlock. Then came the Congress of Vienna, which gave Swedish Pomerania to Prussia; Woyzeck’s regiment was transferred en bloc to the Prussian army. This was not to Woyzeck’s taste, so be asked for demobilization and returned to his native city of Leipzig in search of work. He was a hairdresser. Unfortu­nately times were hard, and Woyzeck became more and more dependent on other people’s charity. He tried to enlist in the Saxon army but was turned down on the grounds that his demobilization papers were not in order. In the meantime he had formed a liaison with Frau Woost, the daughter of a surgeon; but she had a weakness for soldiers, and refused to appear in public with Woyzeck. In a fit of jealous despair he stabbed her on 21st June 1821″

Büchner. G. (2008) Danton’s Death, Leonce and Lena, and Woyzeck. Oxford world classics. Oxford

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