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The Ring of the Nibelung
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Therefore Siegfried, the hero whose heroism is the natural consequence of his unconsciousness of his past, his true identity, or his future, is killed by a remembrance of who he is, killed from behind by a memory of that which Wotan, in his confession to Bruennhilde, had presumably put behind him, out of sight and out of mind. Siegfried is himself culpable in this, because he betrayed his muse of inspiration, Bruennhilde, by giving her and her unspoken secret, Wotan’s hoard of forbidden self-knowledge, away to his audience through his musical motifs.]

 

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[[#177ab]] Siegfried’s Death-Stroke: Hagen stabs him in the back with the memory of his true identity as Wotan. Siegfried was predestined to his tragic end by the hubris he inherited from collective, historical, religious man (Wotan), and from all other inspired artists (fellow-Loge’s) whose cunning aided and abetted man’s sin of self-deceit and world-denial (against truth, all that was, is, or will be)

Siegfried’s death - Wagner’s metaphor for the end of unconsciously inspired art and of man’s religious impulse, which had taken refuge from science there - was predestined. Siegfried, the secular artist-hero Wagner, in whose art religious feeling lived on when religious thought, as a false claim on the truth, could no longer be sustained in the face of science, had unwittingly perpetuated religious man’s matricide, his figurative murder of his mother, Nature (Erda), by creating works of art, inspired by his muse Bruennhilde, which offered man redemption from Erda’s knowledge of the truth. Religious man had based life’s meaning on the illusion that man can transcend nature (Erda), which was predestined to destruction by the truth (man’s ever increasing hoard of knowledge), which would inevitably rise to consciousness in the course of world-history.

Erda (Mother Nature) foresaw that Alberich would inevitably overthrow the gods and their proxies, since ultimately the truth (Erda’s knowledge of all that was, is, and will be, and that all things will end) will overthrow all illusions of man’s transcendent value upon which religio-artistic man has based his happiness. Siegfried, unwitting heir to Wotan’s hoard of knowledge of Erda’s bitter truth, has fulfilled Alberich’s threat to raise his hoard (Wotan’s hoard of knowledge) from the silent depths (of Siegfried’s unconscious mind, Bruennhilde), to the light of day, and to storm Valhalla (as Siegfried figuratively raped the New Valhalla, the new religion, music, represented by Bruennhilde). Siegfried is therefore too conscious to seek redemption any longer through unconscious artistic inspiration, so Bruennhilde, his formerly unconscious mind, now wakes forever. There is no going back, no redemption, except in the permanent loss of consciousness itself.

(#177’s motival links, if any, not yet ascertained; however, #177b is superficially reminiscent of #89.)

[At Hagen’s behest, Siegfried has just finished telling Gunther and the Gibichung Vassals how he learned the meaning of bird-song through the taste of the blood of a

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