“Ignorance and innocence are not always synonymous” (Ziegler 5) is the moral of Frank Wedekind’s play, Fruhlings Erwachen, which was first performed in 1906. Wedekind employs satire to warn against the dangers of lack of education for the youth of the play. Spring Awakening, as it is known to English audiences, tells the story of three teenagers, who are being awakened to their sexual desires. However, they are entirely unprepared to deal with these desires. Thus, “the awakening leads to death” (Boa, Spring Awakening 27) in the case of two of the characters and leads the third character to become “imprisoned as a moral degenerate.” (Ziegler 5) In 2007, Spring Awakening: A New Musical, based on Wedekind’s play, premiered on Broadway. It went on to win eight Tony Awards. This musical took most of the original scenes and interlaced modern, pop musical numbers into it. The songs served as a way to show the modernity of the issues raised in the play and to show the innermost thoughts of the characters.In the original play, the problem lies with the parents, who have failed to educate their children on matters of sex and their bodies. This leaves their children ill prepared to deal with their sexual urges for one another. The adults attempt to mold their children into their own “ideal self-image” (Boa, Spring Awakening 35-36) They do all of this “in the name of morality, but in reality to satisfy personal desires.” (Boa, Spring Awakening 35-36) One could make the argument that the tragedy of the play occurs because of the adults. Moritz commits suicide only after his father disowns him for failing in school. Wendla dies at the hand of an abortionist only after her mother forces her to get an abortion for fear of what people would th…
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Boa, Elizabeth. “Wedekind and the ‘Woman Question’.” Boa, Elizabeth. The Sexual Circus: Wedekind’s Theatre of Subversion. New York : Basil Blackwell Inc. , 1987. 167-202. Print.
Sater, Steven and Duncan Sheik. Spring Awakening: A New Musical. New York: Theatre Communications Group, Inc. , 2007. Print.
Sater, Steven. “Preface .” Sater, Steven and Duncan Sheik. Spring Awakening: A New Musical. New York: Theatre Communications Group, Inc. , 2007. VII-XV. Print.
Spring Awakening: A New Musical. By Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik. Perf. Lea Michele, Jonathan Groff and John Gallagher Jr. Eugene O’Neil Theatre, New York. 2 February 2007. Video.
Wedekind, Frank. Fruhlings Erwachen (Spring Awakening). Start Publishing LLC, 2012. eBook.
Ziegler, Francis J. “A Poem for Prudes.” Wedekind, Frank. Spring Awakening . Start Publishing LLC, 2012. 5-15. eBook.