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The Awakening of Spring

Frank Wedekind

Book Overview: 

The Awakening of Spring is the German dramatist Frank Wedekind's first major play and a seminal work in the modern history of theatre. It is the source material for the contemporary rock musical Spring Awakening. The play criticises the sexually-oppressive culture of fin de siècle Germany and offers a vivid dramatisation of the erotic fantasies that it breeds.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Hans Rilow, but Hans Rilow had learned it all from his governess when he was a child.

Moritz.

I have gone through Meyer's Little Encyclopedia from A to Z. Words—nothing but words and words! [Pg 37] Not a single plain explanation. Oh, this feeling of shame!——What good to me is an encyclopedia that won't answer me concerning the most important question in life?

Melchior.

Did you ever see two dogs running together about the streets?

Moritz.

No!——Don't tell me anything to-day, Melchior. I have Central America and Louis the Fifteenth before me. And then the sixty verses of Homer, the seven equations and the Latin composition.——I would fail in all of them again to-morrow. To drudge successfully I must be as stupid as an ox.

Melchior.

Come with me to m. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Poor or non-existent sex education can lead to such undesirable results as rape, suicide and teen-age pregnancy. Illegal abortion can lead to death.

Well, preaching to the converted, there. The trouble is that the un-converted are the kind of people who would get outraged by a play like this and t...more

האביב מתעורר הוא טרגדיה על ילדים, שמעביר ביקורת קשה על חינוך לסקס בתקופה שבה נכתב - 1891.
המחזה עוקב אחרי 3 בני נוער: וונדלה, מלכיאור ומוריץ. הוא מראה את ההשפעה על מתבגרים כשלא מסבירים להם נושאים חשובים כמו סקס, הריון ואוננות.

"איך אני צריך לדעת? אני רואה איך התרנגולות מטילות ביצים, וגם סיפרו לי שא...more

Ein wichtiges Theaterstück heutzutage wie seinerzeit! Ich kann mir gut vorstellen, wie sogar das heutige Publikum eine getreue Aufführung des Stückes als skandalös bezeichnen würde.

Having read this after watching the musical, it frustrates me even further that the musical version turned the rape scene into a love scene.. (although I'm not really buying the love scene anyway because Wendla had no real understanding of what was going on in both the play and musical). The rest...more

A controversial play published in 1891, not performed until 1906, and adpated into a musical in 2006, Spring's Awakening is the story of children facing the beginning of adolescence within the repressed culture of 1892 Germany. This edition, translated and edited by Bentley, contains a number of...more

The only thing I found shocking about this was how completely the adults were willing to leave their children in ignorance because of how it would offend their own delicate sensibilities. Then again, I'm reading this in 2018 rather than 1918. In other news, I've never read a Franzen book (he come...more

The living are as such not to be pitied.

Don't let the title Spring Awakening fool you. This is an impressive piece about growing up. The underlying themes of this play are rather bleak. The issues are serious, deadly serious. Moral authorities –parents, school, church – are there to provide a com...more

An interesting play, that's probably as taboo now as it would have been a hundred years ago. Teen suicide, sadistic and masochistic acts, teen sex, murder, moping, masturbation and depression. On top of all these 'disturbing' elements are some very humorous moments and wonderfully written moments...more

Usually, I find reading plays a poor second to seeing them performed, but some plays are simply unplayable. Frank Wedekind’s Spring Awakening (Frühlings Erwachen) comes into that category. Apart from the problem of most of the characters being young teenagers (adults playing children never works)...more

This is genuinely a good translation, but as is always the case with Jonathan Franzen, does he really have to be such an asshole about it? No translation but his is worth reading; no interpretation of the text but his is valid. Get over yourself, dude.

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