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The Rhinegold: Page 188
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Loge says he is only one half as godlike as the gods, and that unlike them he doesn’t depend on Freia’s golden apples. Unlike the gods, Loge says, he has not staked everything, the meaning of life itself, and happiness, on the illusion of transcendence provided by Freia’s youth-giving fruit. But Loge points out that the Giants (i.e., man’s egoistic animal impulses, which are the foundation of man’s illusion of transcendent love and immortality) knew all too well that the gods are entirely dependent on the illusions represented by Freia, and that their knowledge of the truth is a mortal threat to the gods’ survival. Loge’s self-proclaimed autonomy from the gods he serves thus anticipates the emancipation of the secular artist-hero Siegfried from dependence on religion, i.e., from subjection to rule by the gods of Valhalla. In Siegfried, art will emancipate itself from its age-old service to religion.

[R.2: R]

But for now, the Giants have placed the gods’ rule (man’s faith in the gods) at risk, by temporarily staking their rightful claim to Freia. So Wotan, with Loge’s aid, must restore the faith which has been temporarily lost, by stealing Alberich’s gold, so he can redeem Freia from the Giants with it:

Fricka: (anxiously: #?:) Wotan, my husband, unhappy man (:#?)! (#30b or #33b or #97?:) See how your folly has laughingly brought us naught but shame and disgrace (:#30b or #33b or #97?)!

 

Wotan: (#19: starting up with sudden resolve) Get up, Loge! Come down with me! To Nibelheim let’s descend: the gold I mean to win.

 

Loge: (#16?:) The Rhinedaughters cried out for your help: so may they hope to be heard (:#16?)?

 

Wotan: (vehemently) Silence, you babbler! Freia the good, Freia must be redeemed [“loesen”].

 

Loge: As you command, I’ll gladly guide you: shall we descend straight down through the Rhine?

 

Wotan: Not through the Rhine!

 

[Loge recommends they enter through a sulphurous cleft.]

 

Wotan: [the order of phrases in German reverses the following:] (#19:) I go in search of redeeming gold to ransom (:#19) (#5:) our lost youth (:#5)! (He climbs down into the crevice after Loge: the

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