Spring Awakening Play Theme

Decent Essays

Spring Awakening is a rock musical set in late 19th century Germany. It follows the lives of young teenagers (from fourteen to sixteen) as they navigate through the turmoil of their teenage sexuality. The musical contains some explicitly mature content and themes, such as sex, conception, erotic dreams, expressed desire for physical intimacy, physical and sexual abuse, hitting, ambiguously consensual sex, suicide, inappropriate language such as cursing, teenage pregnancy, masturbation, and death caused by an incorrectly executed abortion. The musical is based off of the play Spring Awakening written by Frank Wedekind in the late 1800’s. At the time, it was written for the purpose of commenting on how German culture revolved around the purpose of oppressing young teenagers’ sexual desire and shaming those who were curious about sexuality. The controversial and, at the time, problematic themes were meant to act as a wake up call to those who forced ignorance of sexual instruction on their children. This is the reason for the significance of the setting, at the time Germany was focused on preventing children from becoming educated on sex. As the characters grew up, this setting was a catalyst for the tragic events that occurred in the wake of the children being poorly informed on sex, pregnancy, and the cause of their sexual desires. While the musical adapted from the original play does not contain the same social commentary, the harshness of the message is still evident.

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