The Lulu Plays Author:Frank Wedekind Earth Spirit — Pandora's Box — Death and the Devil — Frank Wedekind is rightly called the prophet of sexuality in modern drama. He himself wandered the world in the company of adventurers, libertines, perverts, and underground figures, seeking to "know love in all its manifestations." Society's antagonism toward the power of sex is the motivating f... more »orce in the entire body of his work. And yet Wedekind was a moralist in the strictest sense of the word: sex, he seems to say, is its own enemy.
His concept of morality was ambivalent; a child of the Victorian age, he was torn between conventional bourgeois morality and the new morality of sexual freedom. If the first of the Lulu plays is a hymn to the instinctual life, the other two reveal the darker vision if the inevitable descent into hell.
It is difficult to overestimate Wedekind's role in contemporary drama, as a vital force in modern expressionism and as a direct forebear of our Theater of the Absurd. Reacting against the bathos of neo-romanticism and the stolidity of naturalism, he struck deep roots...« less