Benjamin Franklin Wedekind (Hannover July 24, 1864 – Munich March 9, 1918) was a German playwright.
He had a number of jobs before working in cabaret and becoming a playwright. He had an affair with Frida Uhl who bore him a child.
His first major play, Frühlings Erwachen (Spring Awakening, 1891), which concerns sexuality and puberty among some young German students, caused a scandal, containing as it does a masturbation scene as well as a suicide. The "Lulu" plays Erdgeist (Earth Spirit, 1895) and Die Büchse der Pandora (Pandora's Box, 1904) are probably his best known pieces; the two were the basis for Alban Berg's opera Lulu, and Die Büchse der Pandora was the basis for the film Pandora's Box (1929). Wedekind's work, which often criticizes bourgeois attitudes, especially towards sex, is considered to anticipate expressionism. One of his most mysterious plays is Franziska (1910), and its subject might definitely appeal to modern-day feminists. The title character is a young girl who sells her soul to the Devil to know what it is like to live life as a man. As she reasons, men seem to have all the advantages.
Die Kammersänger (The Tenorist, 1899); Die Marquis von Keith (Marquis of Keith, 1900); König Nicolo oder So ist das Leben (King Nicolo, or Such is life, 1902); Musik (Music, 1906); Totentanz (Death's Dance, 1908); Schloss Wetterstein (Castle Wetterstein, 1910); Bismarck (1916); Herakles (1917)