Representative Works from Expressionism

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Spring's Awakening

Wedekind's Spring's Awakening, published in 1891 but not performed until 1906, explores the theme of adolescent sexuality in a distinctly modern and expressionistic manner. In nineteen episodic scenes, Wedekind presents the stories of a few teenagers as they struggle through sexual maturity because of the ignorance of their teachers and parents who themselves are sexually repressed. Wedekind's Expressionism is evident in his use of heavily stylized dialogue, which mixes lyrical and cutting irony with prosaic speech to create a seriocomic tone. He also has a character return from the dead, something that could not happen in naturalistic theater. A satirical indictment of the hypocrisy and prudery of middle-class German society, Wedekind's play was heavily censored, though it was also one of the playwright's most successful works.

The Citizens of Calais

The Citizens of Calais catapulted Kaiser into the literary limelight virtually overnight in 1917. Opening just as World War...

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This section contains 936 words
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Literary Movements for Students
Expressionism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.