arduous process of reflection, which consciously compares and weighs choices, a stumbling block to easy living.
Alberich introduces a third metaphor for human consciousness, Wagner’s notion that it is inherently egoistic and coercive, constituting a rape of nature (though being, nonetheless, a product of natural necessity, or evolution):
[Woglinde continues to evade him]
Wellgunde and Flosshilde: (laughing) Hahahahahaha!
Alberich: (…) Wait, you false creature! (He tries to clamber up after her)
Alberich: are you calling to me? (…) Not yet near enough! Entwine your slender arms around me that, teasingly, I may touch your neck and with fawning fervour nestle up to your heaving breast.
Wellgunde: If you’re in love and lusting for love’s delights [“luestern nach Minne”] let’s see, my beauty, just what you are like! – [[ #41 embryo: ]] Ugh! You hairy, hunchbacked fool! Brimstone-black and blistered dwarf (:#41)! Look for a lover who looks like yourself!
[Alberich tries to restrain her by force]
Alberich: Although you don’t like me, I still hold you tight. (…) (#2 end frag)
Wellgunde: Hold tight, or I’ll slip through your hands!
Woglinde and Flosshilde: Hahahahahaha!
Alberich: (#7) False-hearted child!