“Spring Awakening” Frank Wedekind’s First Play Analysis Free Sample

Spring Awakening was Frank Wedekind’s first play. He had it published at his own expense in 1891, but it was not performed until Wedekind started his own repertory company in 1906. The first production in the United States took place in 1912, but since the play was in German it failed to attract audiences in the States. This play was performed at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster on 27 October 2013. This was my first time to see a live play on stage. The play was performed on a proscenium theatre. Centering on the lives of 11 young adults, “Spring Awakening” takes on controversial topics of today such as sexuality, abortion, rape, and suicide. The play, although controversial on the surface, presents an opportunity for audiences to recognize the importance of issues such as consent, safety and sexual assault. This was a musical play. As this was based on one of the controversial pieces of literature that was banned for one hundred years, Spring Awakening is the tale of teenagers on the road of self-discovery. The story takes placed in Germany 1891 where the parents know best, the story started off with the young and beautiful girl, Wendla Bergman. Wendla has so many questions about what was going on in her body and how a baby is made. Wendla’s mother dismisses her question and tells her to change into a proper dress. There was the dreamy and fearless boy who doesn’t believe in anything, Melchior Gabor. His friend, Moritz Steiffel, who was astounded with puberty, cannot focus on the Latin drill in his class. The Headmaster begins to yells at Moritz, but Melchior steps in to defend his friend and ends up offending the Headmaster. Melchior and Moritz both end up getting striked before returning to the lesson. After learning that Moritz was so consumed by his body’s metamorphosis, Melchior writes an essay describing what’s going on, with both males and females.

Wendla and Melchior run into each other in the woods. After learning that one of Wendla’s friends was beaten up by the friend’s father, she requests Melchior do the same to her, because she has never felt real pain. At the beginning Melchior hesitates but soon gets irritated and beats Wendla. After Melchior realizes what he has done, he runs away ashamed of himself. Wendla runs into Melchior once again. The two find themselves in position so unmentionable and so desirable, that the two have an awakening in their bodies and soul. They have sex. While this was happening, Moritz learns that since his teachers do not like him so therefore they are failing him. When Mortiz’s father gets to know about this, he beats Mortiz for being such a supposed disgrace to the family. Moritz begs Melchior’s mother to help him flee to America, but declines. He heads to woods with a gun, with the plan of killing himself. While wandering in the woods distraught, he bumps into his free-spirited friend Isle, whose father abused her as well. She describes all the promises life has to offer, but he does not listen and leaves her there. That was when he sticks the gun in his mouth and fires. The Headmaster pin this event on Melchior, claiming the essay he gave him the cause of Mortiz’s suicide and therefore Melchior was expelled. He was then sent to a boarding school. Meanwhile, Wendla’s mother learns that her daughter was pregnant and learns that Melchior was the father. By the time Melchior hears this, it is too late to do anything, because Wendla was overdosed with abortion pills. With both of his beloved friends dead, Melchior must find a reason to go on with his life.

Spring Awakening addresses a large number of loosely related themes primarily through a series of dialogues. The plot lacks a clear structure, and some of the characters are indistinguishable from one another. Wendla, Moritz, and Melchior are best viewed as a triangle. The three characters both interact with and act in parallel to each other as each struggle to make the transition to adulthood. The title of the play, Spring Awakening, refers to both the incipient adulthood and the incipient sexuality of the children who form its center. Both meanings suggest beginnings, the promise of the future, and a period of warmth and peace. However, by the play’s end two characters are dead – one by suicide, one by a botched abortion. Some major themes found in this play were sexuality, religion, education, gender, relationship between parents and children, shame and authority. The frank sexuality and sexual experimentation depicted in Spring Awakening immediately positioned it as an extremely controversial work. This also includes the scenes of homosexuality. Especially in light of the fact that Hanschen and Ernst’s relationship carries none of the tragic consequences of Wendla and Melchior’s. Organized religion is depicted in an extremely negative light in Spring Awakening. Melchior, in some ways the most positive figure of the play, is an atheist, and his difficulties with religious belief are expressed in a believable and open manner. Different characters in the play represent different theories about education. In Spring Awakening, relationships between parents and children seem fraught with danger. Almost no parent seems to be successful at bringing up their children to live as they did. Moritz kills himself, Wendla dies, Melchior must displace his parents with the man in the mask, Martha’s parents abuse her to the point where it seems she wants to kill them, and Ilse’s parents seem to be entirely absent.

Spring Awakening explores the idea of shame and the effects it can have on a person. Moritz asks Melchior whether he thinks “the sense of shame is simply a product of upbringing.” Spring Awakening does not question the reality of shame; instead, it raises questions about its uses, effects, and place in a community or family. The similarities and differences between women and men are explored throughout the play. When the girls discuss whether they’d rather have boy or girl children, when Melchior and Moritz wonder whether girls feel the same urges they do. Overall, the theme of gender in Spring Awakening explores how differences are perceived through the lens of gender, and how divisive these ideas of difference can become. Several different kinds of authority figures are represented throughout the play: religious authority, state authority, parental authority, medical authority, and personal authority. Most of these authority figures are undermined, shown either to be corrupt or at least incompetent. However, personal authority often leads to no better – and indeed, often even worse – results. Melchior and Moritz go wrong when they attempt to act completely independently. The set portrayed a wooden bridge, brick walls and elevated floors. The properties that were repeatedly utilized in the play were chairs, tables and lanterns. A piano was also used at the beginning of the play. All the costumes used by the performers resembled the early 1900s. Some the characters in the play were performed by the same performers. For example, the teacher from the Latin drill, Mortiz’s Father and the Church pastor were played by the same performer. Microphones were used by the performers to reach the audience better. But the use of microphones was never considered an integral part of theatre. I was seeing the play from the sides of the stage. So, some of the scenes cannot be properly viewed from this viewpoint as the

play is ideally meant to be viewed from where audience usually are seated. The performers performed great acting. It showed their keen dedication for the play. On the whole, I enjoyed watching this play.

The Great Man Theory Essay

The Great Man Theory

This term paper explains the leadership style of “The Great Man Theory”, by Thomas Carlyle, a historian of nineteenth century. The idea of the theory is leader and leadership. The basic idea of the theory is that leaders are born and not made. Thomas Carlyle, a historian in nineteenth century presented his ideas on leadership, named “The Great Man Theory.” Carlyle focused on the influence great men had on historical events. Like great people such as Mohammad, Shakespeare, and Napoleon among others (Goleman). The basic theme of The Great Man Theory is that “Leaders are born and not made” (Bass). Research done in the nineteenth and early part of twentieth century on the leadership primarily focused on the people who were already great and established leaders. These people were mostly from the aristocratic class, very few people in the lower classes had the opportunity to lead. This is the reason why the belief that leadership is generally related with aristocracy or upper class (Bass). The idea presented in the great man theory also comes from the myth that a great man would magically rise. This theory did not focus on gender because in the great man theory most of the leaders at that time were male and they believed that a woman as a leader was not an accepted idea (Goleman). The great man theory talks about the influence of great men in history. The main reason for the impact of great men on the history, is due to personal traits of the leaders such as wisdom, passion, charisma, competence, and trust. The great man theory has received a lot of attention ever since presented by Carlyle. Such a great amount of attention is focused on history or events of history that are related and written about great men. The significance of the great man theory is also due to the relationship of performance with the personalities in top position (Kayworth.) Most of the research made in the psychological area, with reference to the great man theory, has specifically been oriented to the complexities in selecting individuals who are best suitable to assume the role of leadership (Kayworth). The theory says that great men continue to remain as the great personalities over a period of time. Different events in which great men are involved have a higher product rate of success. Moreover, great men are said to show a huge extent of strength in the events full of fearfulness and nervousness (Bass.)

The great man theory states that the quality of a great man is leadership. Some believe that at the time of Carlyle, leaders are very different from their followers. Carlyle also believes that fate was a primary reason for the major events of history. The idea that leaders are born and not made was accepted and acknowledged not only by the scholars but of others that tried to make people believe in this theory. The great men in each community were to have great levels of energy, morals and be very intelligent. It was believed that followers are always led by the leaders. The ideas of this theory mention such men as Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln and Douglas MacArthur as the role models of great men theory, who were born with great abilities that have been associated with this theory (Bass). For the last fifty years, contingency theories and behavioral theories have dominated literature and the focus of scholars has shifted away from the great man theory. However, there are some scholars who still consider the idea that leaders are born and not made. They believe that leadership is not a learned skill but has something to do with natural forces. In researching the idea of the theory that biographies and life histories of great men sometimes say that they had entered the world with great genetic abilities and somehow their future role of leadership was predetermined. The critics of this theory believe that it is just a myth. They believe that leadership can be taught and learned and that everybody has a desire to learn. The great man theory emphasizes the role of leaders. Carlyle states that few people have the distinctive features. Leaders that are said to be a genius have the qualities to succeed. Leadership is a demanding job with huge responsibilities and enormous pressures. It would be a disappointment to leaders to think that they are just ordinary people who were in the right place just at the right time (Bass). The idea of great man theory supports the idea that the ability to lead is natural and cannot be created. The role of leader to lead is associated with the leader’s personality. Managers and leaders are not the same. As managers seem to favor maintaining the condition of status quo, the leaders strives for innovation taking all possible risks (Zaleznik 126). Leaders seems to have traits that are common with artists, like creativity, than managers do. Leaders are distinctive in history, motivation and the ways in which they think and act.

They are also different in the sense of their selves, their work abilities and their relationships with others. The difference between leadership and management can be explained that managers confront with complexity, and in leadership it is mostly coping with change. It is stated that leadership and management are different processes but not necessarily different people. The people in favor of this theory firmly believe that management turns into leadership when it matures (Goleman, 23). “Leaders are inductive, managers are deductive; leaders are dynamic managers are static; leaders have ideas, managers act on facts; leaders have broad vision, managers have narrow; Leaders are experiential, managers are rote; leaders ask questions, managers answer them; leaders develop and construct processes, managers are content with already developed processes; leaders have strategy, managers plan tactics; leaders have long-term vision, managers have short-term; leaders are always looking for change, managers prefer stability; leaders take risk, managers avoid them by following the rules strictly (Goleman, 46).” Defining charisma seems to be more difficult than defining leadership. The distinctive feature is a gift or talent, according to some scholars including Carlyle. The theory strongly asserts that leaders are born having such mystical abilities and are different from their followers. “Personal Factors: Cognitive- pluralist, radical and unitary ideologies, orientation of social domination: Motivational- authoritarianism: Moral- egalitarianism and moral development along with moral scope (Goleman, 48).” “Situational Factors: Deep structures- norms, roles, history, distribution of wealth and hierarchy: Goal Interdependence; and Culture (Goleman, 48).” From mid-nineteenth century to the decade of 1940, the research on leadership was dominated by efforts to show that there are characteristics or qualities that leaders have that set them from followers. The research shows that leadership abilities are that of an effective and successful leader. Studies have focused on the measurement of leadership traits and the relationship that is between criteria and traits of leader effectiveness (Bass). Leadership was not believed to be separate and different from the other traits that are used in language to show differences that exist among people. On the other hand leadership was believed to be property, the survival of which was explicable in relations with other fundamental or basic traits that make individuals different (Bass). It is important to point out some of the view points and arguments against the great man theory.

Prior to the middle of 20th century, the idea presented by the great man theory had an impact on one idea of leadership.

However, the idea of the great man theory has lost, specifically after the middle of twentieth century. The main reasons for this downfall of the theory was the development of behavioral sciences (Bass). The scholars have now directed their time and energy elsewhere. The contingency and behavioral theories continue to dominate. Most of the modern scholars do not believe that leaders are born and that the great man theory is just a myth. They believe that leadership is, a learned skill and has nothing to do with natural forces (Mowery). Modern day scholars firmly believe that the effectiveness of leaders is influenced by environmental forces rather their abilities. They believe that leaders have little impact over technological factors (Mowery). The decisions made by leaders are connected by the wave of the world economy. They believe that leaders are helpless when they face tragedies such as natural disaster. They rarely show control over external forces, they just provide necessary support as they adapt to the situation. The concepts presented in the great man theory have been discussed in this paper. Thomas Carlyle, a historian in nineteenth century presented the great man theory in which he focused on the leadership theme. Carlyle believes that leaders are born and not made. These qualities include wisdom, passion, and competence. It could be concluded, that even the ideas and thoughts of modern scholars have drifted away from the idea of the great man theory, yet some of the ideas presented in the theory on leadership are still valued and admired by a select group of individuals.


Bass, Bernard. “Bass & Stodgill’s Handbook of Leadership.” 3rd Ed. New York. The Free Press 1990

Goleman, Daniel. “Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence”. Boston Harvard University Press. 2002

Kayworth, Turner. “Leadership effectiveness in global project teams.” Journal of Management Mowery, Delisle. “Inward technology transfer and

competitiveness: The role of national innovation systems” Journal of Economics 19(1): 67. 2003

Zaleznik, Abraham. “Managers and Leaders: Are They Different?” Harvard Business Review, March-April 1992, p: 126.

Government Tracking Cell Phones And Devices

The topic that I’m going to discuss is Government Tracking Our Cell Phones and Devices. This essay is going to be about why I disagree with it and why they shouldn’t be allowed to do it. I’m going to be stating facts and expressing my own opinions on it throughout the essay. Government has stated that they are now allowed to listen in on our conversation and texting other people. It is a quicker way to help if somebody is in trouble. This doesn’t involve all types of phones.

The biggest brand that has been known to be tracked is Verizon. Government said that during 9/11 that they recorded conversations. Do you know who is tracking your movements when your turn on your cell phone, or what is being done with that information? These are questions that I recently had to ask myself after reading two insightful articles. The first was by Ronald Bailey called “Your Cellphone is Spying on You” and the other was by Terry J. Allen entitled “Reach Out and Track Someone”.

In Ronald Bailey’s article, he explores the use of cellular phone tracking technology by law enforcement and their recent attempts to expand the surveillance laws to include more use of cell phones to track users’ movements without their knowledge. In addition he gives us some perspective on the idea of a big brother watching over us by examining what a future built on limited privacy expectations might look like. Allen gives us his personal perspective on tracking technology and explores abuses that might arise if we continue down the current path.

Both of these articles have given me insight into the use of tracking technology and make me question both the moral and legal ramifications of sharing information related to personal movement. There is in fact a moral and legal balance that satisfies the need to protect the privacy of law abiding citizens, prosecute criminals, and protect family and friends through the use of cell phone tracking all at the same time, and the name we give to that solution is the constitution.

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