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The Ring of the Nibelung
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[[#21]] Wotan's “Spear” of Divine Authority and Law (the Social Contract)

Wotan’s Spear, inscribed with the Social Contract, represents the prudence of egoism: this is an agreement whereby man’s egoistic motives, represented by the Giants, give authority to actual leaders and laws, or to products of the imagination like gods, to restrain each individual’s ego, to force each man to do good, for the sake of security and quiet for the majority, the common good.

(#21 basis for #28, #32b; #60, #62, #81AB, #96AB, #137, #164, and perhaps #115; #21's inversion basis for #47 and #82; one of three motifs comprising #83)

[See #20 for the dramatic context of the inception of #21’s Embryonic form. The fully Definitive version of #21 is first heard after Donner has tried to intervene by force to stop the Giants from taking Freia, who is the payment Wotan agreed to make to the Giants for building Valhalla, a contract engraved on his Spear. Wotan forcefully stops him, invoking the authority of his Spear:]

 "Wotan: (to Donner: [[ #21 ]] Stop, you firebrand! Nothing by force! My spearshaft safeguards contracts: Spare your hammer's haft!"


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[[#22]] “Love's Longing” for Fidelity

(#22 basis for #64a; #74, #99, and perhaps #106 and #156b?)

Fricka: What is still sacred and precious to hard hearts such as yours when you menfolk lust after power? (#19)

 

Wotan: (#19?) Was such lust unknown to Fricka when she begged me for the building?

 

"Fricka: [[ #22 ]] Heedful of my husband's fidelity, I'm bound in my sadness to brood on ways of binding him fast whenever he feels drawn away: [[ #23 ]] A glorious dwelling, domestic bliss were meant to entice you to tarry and rest. But, in having it built, you thought of bulwark and berm alone: it is meant to enhance your dominion and power; yet only to whip up greater unrest has the towering stronghold been built.

 

Wotan: (#23) If your aim, as my wife, was to hold me fast in the fortress, you must grant that I, as a god, while confined to the stronghold, might win (#20a modulation?) for myself the world outside. (#20b) All who live love renewal and change: (#20d) that pleasure I cannot forego!”

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