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Every human being is an abyss - no one knows this as well as those who stand inexorably before him. Like the penniless soldier Woyzeck, who takes on everything humanly possible in order to be able to feed his girlfriend Marie and their common child. He is the henchman and barber of his captain and the guinea pig of a doctor. At the mercy of his poverty, Woyzeck suffers his daily life, which is determined by mockery, badgering, drill, contempt and violence. His friend Andres suffers similarly, but at least he does not give up hope for a revolution from below. Marie rarely hopes, most of the time she functions. Alone, she takes care of Woyzeck and her child, whom she barely manages to get by. Her neighbor Margarete is not much help to her, but behind her inconspicuous facade there is more than meets the eye.
In Büchner's drama fragment, all characters are driven, are oppressors and oppressed, victims and perpetrators. Woyzeck's attempt to be a good person fails mercilessly. Ever more harried and barely sane physically and mentally as a result of the medical experiments, Marie's alleged deception gives him the final decisive push into the abyss - he falls, dragging down with him the only person who has given him any value in a world in which he is considered worthless.
Büchner demonstrates the system of dehumanization and the consequences for the victims in order to mobilize against it and to evoke awareness for it in the most emphatic sense of the word.
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