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Title: Reality and Fantasy in the Works of Frank Wedekind.
Author: Boone, C. C.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3470 3052
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 1970
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This study attempts to illuminate the way in which the realities of Wedekind's experience are transmuted in their imaginative re-enactment in the plays, an important subsidiary aim being to dispel some of the obscurity and apparent contradictions the contain, particularly as disguise is seen as typical of Wedekind's statements, both dramatic and otherwise. The analysis undertaken involves an examination of the relationship between the 'reality' of life and the 'fantasy' of the stage in general, and in particular of that in Wedekind's work which seems to lie outside dramatic conventions of the imitation of reality. Wedekind is commonly seen as propagating a 'revaluation of bourgeois morality' (particularly in the sexual sphere); some modern critics have characterised this undertaking as itself 'typically bourgeois', but this study attempts to demonstrate it to be doomed on logical grounds to be a failure, and, further, to have as its origin certain psychological experiences. In order to clarify these, the paper examines the functions of the drama with relation to the psyches of dramatist and audience. This leads to a view of Wedekind as involved in, and profoundly affected by, an 'Oedipal' situation (aggravated, it seems, by a supplementary feeling of 'rejection') which is reflected in his plays in recurring patterns of character consisting basically of a 'brutal' father-figure, an attractive, but 'victimised' mother-figure, and a son-figure, sometimes triumphantly 'rebelling', sometimes also in the role of victim. These patterns are present throughout most of the works until the final plays, in which 'identification of 'son-figure' with 'father-figure' takes place. Within this framework, tragedy subsists in the inevitability of the disharmony between basically admired protagonists of the two sexes. The relation of the 'marionette-like' in Wedekind's plays to 'tragedy', and of both to truth about reality, is also examined.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available