Frank Wedekind

Michael W. Patterson (University of De Montfort)
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Wedekind was arguably the most innovative German dramatist of his day, a writer who helped change the direction of German theatre through his breaking of taboos and his revolution of traditional aesthetics, thus heralding German Expressionism (q.v.) and preparing the way for Bertolt Brecht (q.v.). Moreover, his challenge to conventional morality and the frank treatment of sexuality in his plays have lent him a lasting notoriety.

Benjamin Franklin Wedekind was born in Hanover on 24 July 1864, the son of Hungarian-born actress Emilie Wedekind (née Kammerer) and of Dr. Friedrich Wilhelm Wedekind, a physician with radical views. Frank was the second of six children. His parents had returned to Germany after an extended stay in the United States (hence the writer’s American forenames).

2107 words

Citation: Patterson, Michael W.. "Frank Wedekind". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 27 April 2006 [, accessed 13 June 2024.]

5786 Frank Wedekind 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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