Subjugated to Manipulation: The Freedom of Will in Büchner's Woyzeck College

Karl Georg Büchner (17 October 1813 – 19 February 1837) was a German playwright, natural scientist, poet, and writer, who was a member of the literary group Young Germany. To this end, he was also considered a revolutionary, as the liberal movement was against the reactionary politics of the Restauration. In 1831, Büchner was introduced to politics and furthered his understanding of political history through French literature. His studies also took him to Gießen and Zurich, and proved so successful that medical dissertation, Mémoire sur le Système Nerveux du Barbeaux (Cyprinus barbus L.), was published and distributed in several cities and universities. With this publication came the award of his M.D. and Büchner’s final months were spent writing and lecturing at the university in Zurich before he succumbed to typhoid fever at the young age of 23 (Helock).

The play Woyzeck was written by Georg Büchner shortly before his death and is considered an important reflection of Naturalism. This disjointed theater piece involves a poor soldier, Woyzeck, and his common-law wife, Marie, with whom he has a child and whom he kills at the end of the story, due to her affair with the Drum Major. Of the many themes in this play, it is mental...

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