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We sense that the notion of sin upheld by the characters in this play is a noxious delusion: It occurs to us then that the sin of the Captain and Doctor, as of the biblical Pharisees, may consist in using the lives of these people as a means to the end of maintaining a status quo — and that we may share the same Pharisaic investment.

Woyzeck : a record and analysis of a production - UBC Library Open Collections

For Enlightenment jurists, the problem of crime was above all a question of causal explanation — in other words, of locating human motivation somewhere between freedom and determination. The name most often linked to this problem is and was that of Spinoza. Why is that red thread around your neck?

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Who helped you earn that necklace, with your sins? They made you black, black! The Ethics and Other Works, ed. Princeton University Press, , pp. Explorations in Cosmology London: Hence, they consider all natural things as means to their own advantage. And knowing that they had found these means, not provided them for themselves, they had reason to believe that there was someone who had prepared those means for their use.

Dieter Borchmeyer et al. Deutscher Klassiker Verlag, , vol. Friedrich Meinecke, Die Entstehung des Historismus ed. Oldenbourg, , p. Princeton University Press, , p.


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Throughout the novella, but especially after the Kunstgesprflch , the conflict between Lenz's inner reality and the external world worsens, and Oberlin is unable to prevent this from happening. Even if one ignores all of Lenz's perturbations between the departure of Oberlin for Switzerland which produced a devastating effect on Lenz and his subsequent return, Lenz's hopes for peace through his kind friend are dashed when Oberlin ad- monishes Lenz to follow his father's wishes and return home.

Sobbing and speaking disjointedly because of emotion, not irrationality , Lenz replies with perhaps his most lucid and honest statement in the novella following the Kunstgesprach and, at the same time, his last, most rational appeal: Nur in Ihnen ist der Weg zu Gott. Doch mit mir ist's aus! Ich bin abgef alien, verdammt in Ewigkeit, ich bin der Ewige Jude. In his figurative self- comparison to the Wandering Jew, Lenz rationally expresses his feeling for probably mistaken inner guilt.

MOON, MADNESS AND MURDER. THE MOTIVATION OF WOYZECK'S KILLING OF MARIE

Lenz believes that not even God or Christ's redemption can save him; yet Oberlin suggests this very solution: From this point on Oberlin becomes an increasingly negative influence for Lenz, with the pos- sible exception of one instance when Lenz perceives he is welcomed back to Oberlin's with love and friendship.

Instead of offering positive support, 19 Oberlin becomes vexed at Lenz's irrational conversation. When Lenz's con- dition worsens, Oberlin can no longer provide any tranquility, indeed, to the contrary, accuses him of blasphemy. Although most Btichner scholars seem to agree that Lenz's intellect exceeds that of Oberlin 1 s, John Parker infers a wiser Oberlin who rather chooses whether or not to participate in conversations with Lenz out of Pharisaical or outright malevolent intent: Yet the same Oberlin, on another occasion, shows Lenz little cakes of paint and explains to him in what re- lation each colour stands to mankind, and how each apos- tle can be represented by a colour.

Of course Lenz elabo- rates this in his mind and falls into anxious dreams. The point is that Oberlin, who refuses to talk things out be- cause it 'leads him too far away from his own simple manner', does not hesitate to broach a topic dangerous to Lenz when this suits him. There is in the whole Novella no evidence that Oberlin really discusses Lenz's problems with him. All we read is that Oberlin advises Lenz to turn to God, to pray to Him. Although there can be no question of Ober- lin 's value to his flock "In den Htitten war es lebendig, man drSngte sich um Oberlin, er wies zurecht, gab Rath, trflstete; tlberall zutrauensvolle Blicke, Gebet.

Lenz, on the other hand, in a passage where he and Oberlin are united in religious obligation more closely than at any other point in the novella — Lenz's substitution for Oberlin at the church service — seems much more compassionate and understanding than Oberlin: Lenz sprach, er war schflchtern, unter den TOnen hatte sein Starrkrampf sich ganz gelegt, sein ganzer Schmerz wachte jetzt auf, und legte sich in sein Herz.

Der Hessische Landbote to go (Büchner in 4 Minuten)

Ein stisses Geftihl unendlichen Wohls beschlich ihn. Er sprach einfach mit den Leuten, sie litten alle mit ihm, und es war ihm 20 ein Trost, wenn er tlber einige mfldgeweinte Augen Schlaf, und gequaiten Herzen Ruhe bringen, wenn er uber dieses von materiellen Bedtlrfnissen gequalte Seyn, diese dumpfen Leiden gen Himmel leiten konnte.

In any case it is certain that notwith- standing several possible intents Btlchner may have had in writing Lenz , one plausible reason could have been the condemnation of religion in general as a means of solving man's problems or even of bettering the human condition.

Yet Lenz was not sent to Oberlin for religious training but to extend greetings from Kaufmann; and one of the few positive inci- dents at Oberlin's was the stimulated recall of good memories from the past and not necessarily tied to the religious element. Benno von Wiese concurs: Aber sogleich setzt auch wieder die Gegenbewegung ein. Parker, who finds Oberlin guilty of "dangerous over-simplification," presents a typical view: The judgment which Btlchner indirectly passes on Oberlin is all the more valid, as the 'atheist' Btlchner is so impartial in his presentation of the situ- ation; he is at pains to show that Oberlin's religion does satisfy the 28 needs of certain people.

In his literary treatment of Lenz's sojourn with Oberlin, Buchner points both to this core of personality in conflict with its pathogenic context and to the particular unsuitability of the man to whom the task of therapy fell. Sporadic dissension through the format of literary criticism has arisen over the question of atheism versus anti-theism as applied to Lenz's attitude toward God. When Benno von Wiese, for example, even equates atheism with nihilism a much-abused term , he is on dangerous ground. Lenz might be called nihilistic in a non-political sense , if he consci- entiously weighed and rejected certain values.

First of all, however, Lenz's increasingly irrational mind, especially at the end, was incapable of a sustained belief in nothing; secondly, what might have outwardly appeared as nihilism was really a reflection of the battle Lenz desper- ately waged to preserve his inner reality and consciousness.

Those, including Maurice Benn, who adhere to the "atheist" interpre- tation largely base their opinions on the lines "Lenz musste laut lachen, und mit dem Lachen griff der Atheismus in ihn und fasste inn ganz sicher und ruhig und fest. Er wusste nicht mehr, was ihn vorhin so bewegt hatte, es fror ihn But only three sentences later Btichner writes: To the extent that Lenz's mind allows and Lenz is "rational" enough to question the suffering of man as a duty to God , his instinctive anger lashes out against God, taking on anti-theistic proportions.

As Hauser puts it: The cruelty of God's seeming indifference to human suf- fering is unbearable to Lenz. Yet atheism, the intellec- tual alternative, shakes the very foundation of his being. He is trapped in an irresolvable conflict. Facing the void of a Godless world is as impossible for him as is blind faith in a God who is capable of inflicting pain and suffering upon His creatures. This is not to say that Lenz wants to dethrone God or put man in His place, as was the case later with certain nineteenth- century Russian radicals; Lenz desperately questions man's suffering at the hands of an uncaring God.

Though not as intense as the dead child episode, there is another passage once after Oberlin told Lenz to turn to God in which anti-theism characterizes Lenz's belief when Lenz says that his suffering is caused by the light of God Himself [p. No discussion of the religious theme in Lenz is complete without treating the scene in which Lenz's last hopes for religious reconciliation are destroyed and he is plunged more quickly toward the abyss, the scene in which Lenz fails in his attempt to resurrect the dead child.

The child's name, Friederike, suggests that Lenz in his distorted reality also hoped to save the girl the historical Friederike Brion from his past. The failure to awaken the child was so complete that it elicited the response and condition atheism discussed above, a resonse which Benn calls "the mightiest and fiercest outburst of metaphysical revolt in all of Buchner's 23 31 writings. He [Lenz] believes that he can counteract the menacing sensation of inner deadness and resurrect his own inner life by resurrecting the dead girl.

His appeal to the supernatural fails on both counts. He is unable to re- produce the direct link between heaven and earth which he sensed in Oberlin' s life. While Lenz's act signifies a blasphemous imitation of Christ, it also reflects an exaggerated conception of Oberlin 's powers.

The unsuc- cessful attempt crushes his belief in a divine principle and the resulting atheism brings guilt feelings in its wake. Oberlin 's heaven has become an abyss drawing the endangered Lenz deeper into madness. Every scene has its own individual value undistorted by what comes before or after it. Parallel to his technique in choice of vocabulary, there is great economy in the entire novella; nothing unessential is inserted.

Btlchner was greatly influenced by Shakespeare, who appears as a model in the KunstgesprSch. Btlchner 's concentration on the phenomena of the subject is indeed the essence of his realism. Doch wird immer wieder das durch Innensicht gelieferte detaillierte Bild von Einbildungen, Zwangsvorstellungen, Angsten und Visionen als psychologischer Befund in den Bericht eingeordnet. Die Wahnvorstellungen tiberlagern und zerlflsen nicht die Aussenwelt; unsere Ortungskategor- ien bleiben erhalten.

WOYZECK - Definition and synonyms of Woyzeck in the German dictionary

This novella intentionally has little plot and, indeed, depicts the discontinuity of life in a realistic way. By the same token, Lenz's madness is not sustained at the same level throughout the work see the charts at the end of this chapter ; this lack of uniform intensity is evident if only from the lucid Kunstgespr3ch.


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As the charts indicate, Lenz's madness does progress in vacillated stages, but it is also spas- modic. Certainly a valid question is why Btlchner chose to tell the story of a deranged mind. He apparently wanted to examine man in a Grenzsituation , or extreme human condition. Btlchner's distortion of reality through mad- ness in Lenz magnifies human problems in general. As Roman Struc puts it: Hauptmann later followed Btlchner's lead. The choice of Btlchner's pro- tagonist underscores the value and need for this type of bond. The disquieting implication is that the whole question of sanity is a nebulous one indeed.

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Chicago Brandt, Lindsey. Last Modified March 19, Creator Brandt, Lindsey Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures Abstract This dissertation explores the relationship between literature and science in German-speaking Europe of the s and s against the backdrop of large shifts in conceptions of nature and natural inquiry.

Many scientific and literary writers of this period reflected on the increasing tensions between early 19th century Romantic science and modern empirical science, as well as the implications of these tensions for fields such as biology and geology. As such, the writers in question often advocate for aesthetically inspired ways of knowing nature i. Defending the aesthetic perspective was especially important at this time, as a rising trend toward disciplinarity threatened to isolate modes of knowledge—such as poetry and science—that were previously considered inextricable from one another.

When a BBC Worldwide poll found that Germany was considered the most positively viewed nation in the world, it surprised many people, most of all the Germans themselves — having long been called arrogant, aggressive and humourless, they were hardly used to such positive feedback.

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But the poll shows that times are a-changing, proving that modern leadership, a belief in the power of diplomacy and, let's not forget, a pretty good national soccer team can ultimately make a difference. They cannot claim to have invented environmentalism, but they were there at the outset and it was they who coined the word to describe the movement. They gained a strong foothold in Bremen, and other political groups across the world decided they quite liked the moniker.