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The Rhinegold: Page 220
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Nonetheless Wagner believed that in the context of this scientific secular age within which he was born, his own special art of the music-drama was the last refuge of man’s metaphysical impulse, man’s longing for transcendent value, in the face of what he described to King Ludwig II of Bavaria as a Judaism which had grown all-powerful, because ultimately, it represents the tendency of the modern age, a philosophy gaining universal acceptance:

“If I have friendly and sympathetic dealings with many of these people, it is only because I consider the Jewish race the born enemy of pure humanity and all that is noble in man: there is no doubt that we Germans especially will be destroyed by them, and I may well be the last remaining German who, as an artist, has known how to hold his ground in the face of a Judaism which is now all-powerful.” [1107W-{11/22/81} Letter to King Ludwig II of Bavaria: SLRW, p. 918]

Alberich’s various prophecies of Loge’s eventual betrayal of the gods, and the gods’ heroes’ eventual betrayal of them, of course also find their consummation in Alberich’s prevision here of Siegfried’s unwitting role in bringing Alberich’s hoard from the silent depths to the light of day, to overthrow the gods of Valhalla. This points up as nothing else does Loge’s role as the archetype for the artist-hero Siegfried, since both Loge and Siegfried initially redeem the gods from Alberich’s knowledge of the truth which threatens to overthrow man’s belief in them, only in order, in the end, to betray the gods.

[R.3: L]

Wotan and Loge must of course launch a pre-emptive strike to insure that Alberich does not act on his threat at this time. But no matter how they manage to bring this off, nonetheless their victory will only be temporary, as Alberich well knows. Toward this end, Loge now employs his cunning to trick Alberich into relinquishing his power to Wotan and the gods, employing a classic ruse which Wagner (as is well known) borrowed from the folktale “Puss & Boots.” Loge flatters Alberich’s will to power by describing him as virtually unstoppable, but then slyly suggests that since Alberich has made enemies of all men, he can’t sleep securely:

 

[Loge cautions Wotan not to show Alberich his feelings.]

 

Loge: (#33b vari:) Who’d not be struck with wonder on learning of Alberich’s work? If your marvelous guile can achieve what you claim with the hoard, as the mightiest of men I must hail you (:#33b vari): [[ (#@: b) = #20b/#33b: ]] [this compound motif, the “arrogance of power motif” – should rank as a distinct numbered motif] for the moon and the stars and the beaming sun, they too have no choice but to serve you. ((#@: b) = #20b/#33b) (#41) Yet I think it important above all else that those who heap up the hoard, the Nibelung army, should bow before you ungrudgingly. A ring you boldly flourished (#19); (#41) trembling, your people shrank before it: (#19 varis; #42 varis:)

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