This poet-playwright turned actor in order to produce the effect he wanted in his plays. Though as a young writer he associated himself with the naturalists, "Wedekind was not a consistent naturalist," says John Gassner (Treasury of the Theater); he was instead an original artist who was not apt to follow fashions". . . [and who] helped himself to much naturalistic detail to support his personal crusade for frankness about the elemental power of the sexual instinct."