Tag Archives: Ring cycle

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Wagner Bicentennial Symposium  
Wagner’s Place in the Germanic Tradition
Part 8: Gelassenheit

brunnhildesimmolation2,275 words

Part 8 of 8

Gelassenheit

We can say that the plot of the Ring is simply this: Western man, in the person of Wotan, finally awakens to the destructiveness of his thumotic nature, and wills his own end. (See my review of Duchesne’s Uniqueness of Western Civilization for a discussion of how Western man is preeminently thumotic man.) Read more …

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Wagner Bicentennial Symposium  
Wagner’s Place in the Germanic Tradition
Part 7: Siegfried & Götterdämerung

siegfriedandrhinemaidens3,645 words

Part 7 of 8

Siegfried

If Wotan is the main character of the Ring, Siegfried is its hero. However, in dealing with the character of Siegfried we do not depart from our discussion of Wotan at all. This is because Siegfried, like many of the other characters in the Ring, is a kind of hypostatization of an aspect of Wotan himself.  Read more …

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Wagner Bicentennial Symposium  
Wagner’s Place in the Germanic Tradition
Part 6: Das Rheingold & Die Walküre

Arthur Rackam - Die Gotterdammerung__sqs2,707 words

Part 6 of 8

Das Rheingold

When the events of Das Rheingold begin, the Wotan-Loge relationship is already well-established, and the primeval crimes described earlier are long past. However, the opera begins with yet another crime against nature: Alberich’s theft of the Rhinegold. Read more …

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Wagner Bicentennial Symposium  
Wagner’s Place in the Germanic Tradition
Part 5: The One-Eyed God

pagan2,522 words

Part 5 of 8

The story of the Ring involves four ages, similar to those taught in Tradition.

The Age of Titans is the period represented by figures somehow more primordial than the gods: Erda, the Norns, and possibly the Rhine daughters. Events in this age are not depicted in the Ring; they are merely referred to (primarily in Götterdämmerung).

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Wagner Bicentennial Symposium  
Wagner’s Place in the Germanic Tradition
Part 4: Wotan & the Faustian West

WagnerFestage2,783 words

Part 4 of 8

Wotan and the Faustian West

As noted in the Introduction to this essay, at the time of the Ring’s conception Wagner was an anarchist revolutionary. Major influences on his thinking included Bakunin, Feuerbach, Hegel, and possibly Marx (though of these only Bakunin was an anarchist). Read more …

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Wagner Bicentennial Symposium  
Wagner’s Place in the Germanic Tradition
Part 3: Wagner’s Use of Source Materials for the Ring

rackham_valkyrie3,473 words

Part 3 of 8

Wagner’s Use of Sources for the Ring

As a brief summary of how Wagner makes use of the major sources discussed in section three above, I don’t think one could do any better than this paragraph from an article by Elizabeth Magee:

Looking back, we can see how the Eddas supplied most of Das Rheingold, Read more …

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Wagner Bicentennial Symposium  
Wagner’s Place in the Germanic Tradition
Part 2: The Story of Der Ring des Nibelungen

wotanfarewell133,462 words

Part 2 of 8

The Story of Der Ring des Nibelungen

For the uninitiated, I will now tell the story of the Ring, confining myself to essentials. Even the initiated would do well to read this summary, just to re-familiarize themselves with the story, as the account of Wagner’s use of the source material to follow will presuppose that one is well-acquainted with the events of all four operas. Read more …

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Wagner Bicentennial Symposium  
Wagner’s Place in the Germanic Tradition
Part 1: The Origins of Der Ring des Nibelungen

4282-the-dream-of-ossian-jean-auguste-dominique-ingres5,716 words

Part 1 of 8

1. Introduction

Richard Wagner is the man principally responsible for keeping the Germanic mythological tradition alive in the modern world. Countless individuals have been exposed to that tradition through Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, and it is safe to say that at any given moment somewhere in the world some portion of the Ring is being played or performed. Read more …

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