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The Valkyrie: Page 295
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nonetheless Siegmund’s allegedly free conscience is a product of Wotan's (i.e., religious belief’s) influence. This irony will finally catch up with Wotan in V.2.1 when his wife Fricka, the “conscience” of religious faith, compels Wotan to acknowledge that Siegmund is merely Wotan’s product, and not the free hero he had longed for. Siegmund’s seeming independence of spirit and free conscience, his compassion, in other words, is a residuum of religious faith’s emphasis on the transcendence of the human spirit, an ideal which survives even the decline of religious belief during secular times. #63 is Sieglinde’s motif. It expresses her nature as a woman sympathetic to the plight, or “Noth,” of her social revolutionary brother Siegmund, who feels the pain of Alberich’s curse, which he suffers, unwittingly, for the gods’ sake. As Siegmund and Sieglinde stare into each others’ eyes we hear, #64ab, which Cooke described as the Definitive Love Motif of the Ring. Cooke has shown that #64a stems from #22, first heard when Fricka admitted to Wotan that, in spite of her anguish that Wotan was trading her sister, the goddess of love Freia, in exchange for the fortress (Valhalla), Fricka herself hoped Valhalla’s domestic tranquility would so satisfy Wotan’s desires that it would preserve Wotan’s fidelity to Fricka so he would not seek satisfaction outside of Valhalla. #64b stems, Cooke says, from Freia’s Motif #25, which at its inception expressed her status as goddess of love in flight from the threat of the Giants’ (i.e., egoism’s) claim to her.

[V.1.1: B]

Siegmund expresses his gratitude for the refreshment Sieglinde has provided, both physical and spiritual, but Sieglinde recalls that she is going to have to explain his presence to her rough husband Hunding:

Siegmund: Cooling comfort (#63) came from the spring, the weary man’s burden it helped to make light; my courage revives, my eye is rejoiced by the blissful delight of seeing: - (#63) who is it who comforts me so?

 

Sieglinde: This house and this wife are Hunding’s own; as host he may grant you rest: tarry until he comes home. (#62)

 

Siegmund: Weaponless am I: a wounded guest won’t be turned away by your husband.

 

Sieglinde: (with anxious haste) Quickly, show me your wounds! (…)

 

Siegmund: But slight they are, not worthy of mention; my body’s limbs are still sound. Had shield and spear held out but half as well as my arm, I’d never have fled from my foe; - but spear and shield were shattered. the enemy horde hounded me till I was weary; a raging tempest battered my

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