Based upon Georg Büchner's 1837 play, Alban Berg's Wozzeck details the harsh existence of the title character, a former soldier in the German army who has to struggle mightily to make a living, even as others around him prosper. Wozzeck (Franz Grundheber) is living with Marie (Hildegard Behrens), a former prostitute and the mother of his young son. Somewhat simple in the head, Wozzeck's mental state seems to be increasingly unsettled, and he begins to see visions. Marie worries about him but does not know what she can do. Meanwhile, Wozzeck has agreed to be part of a dietary experiment by a doctor (Aage Haugland), who seems pleased with his patient's increasing instability. While Wozzeck is out, Marie allows herself to be seduced by a flirtatious drum major (Walter Raffeiner). Wozzeck suspects that something has occurred, a suspicion that is inflamed when the doctor and a captain for whom Wozzeck works taunt him with hints about Marie's faithlessness. His visions growing wilder, Wozzeck stabs and kills Marie, then drowns himself, leaving his son alone in the cruel world.