This unsympathetic, brutal and vindictive Casper is closer to Pulcinella and Punch, if not to his Hamburg cousin, Kasper Putschenelle presented by Johannes E. Rabe, than to the nice Kasperle for children from pedagogical literature of the interwar period. The play was published anonymously in the sixth issue of Caspertheater by the publishers Gräbe and Hetzer in Sonneberg (no date given). The front cover cites the naive aesthetics of the peddler publications that ensured the circulation of popular puppet plays in the 19th century. A warning printed on the flap tells the audience that anyone who does not behave well during the performance will have to pay double and that unwashed spectators will be sent home. We have been warned.
Hero's insubordination challenges military hierarchy
After a prologue in which Casper announces, among other things, that he is going to cut off the ears of children who are not well-behaved, the performance begins. Casper announces that, out of boredom, he wants to become a soldier. He shows his insubordination towards the non-commissioned officer who undertakes to train him by beating him with sticks. The non-commissioned officer sends him to the devil, who arrives: Casper kills him. He returns to his wife, announcing that he will be a general. She hits him with a broom, takes his stick back and they fight.
Publications and translations
Caspertheater Nr. 6, Sonneberg, Gräbe & Hetzer, [s.d.]