Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


In order to make a valid literary study, it is necessary to determine what elements are present ' n the era being studied which would likely be mirrored in the art work of the period. In the twentieth century there are certain outstanding phenomena, which , although not unprecedented in the history of mankind, are far more intensified than ever before . Men of this era have experienced a more advanced stage of both war and technology than ever before known. These disruptive forces can certainly be expected o effect a change in the arts . In the case of expressionistic drama the most outstanding historical occurrence is undoubtedly World War I . This fact alone should cause a study of expressionism to have a particular interest for a student today. The youth of today are for the firs time in their lives being confronted with the phenomenon of war . As such their reactions should be similar to those of the expression'st authors. This level of communion this similarity in thought is an essential factor in the appreciation of an expressionistic work especially the drama. As Kasimir Edschmid comments in reference to Goring's play "Seeschlacht": "Das Stuck brauchte naturlich eine Zert und armselige Zuschauer, die im Griff des Krieges zitterten - und nicht wie es spater geschah , Leute die weit vom Krieg entfernt waren und es mit mokantem Lacheln komisch fanden, wenn die feuernden Matrosen schrien."