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The Valkyrie: Page 309
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today, that friend; might he come from afar to a woman most wretched; whatever I suffered in terrible sorrow, however I smarted from shame and disgrace, - (#72?:) sweetest revenge would atone for it all (:#72?)! I’d then have recaptured whatever I’d lost, whatever I’d wept for (#57?) would then be won back, were I only to find that hallowed friend, were my arms to enfold the hero.

 

Siegmund: (ardently embracing Sieglinde: #71) That friend now holds you, (#57) thrice-blessed woman, to whom both weapon and wife were destined! Deep in my breast there burns the vow that binds me, noble woman, to you. Whatever I longed for I saw in you; in you I found whatever I lacked! Though you suffered shame and though sorrow pained me; though I was an outlaw and you were dishonoured, [[ #72: ]] joyful revenge now bids us rejoice (:#72). I laugh aloud in hallowed delight as I hold the proud woman within my embrace and feel your beating heart!

The sword (#57ab) which Wotan thrust into Hunding’s House-Ash (the House-Ash representing perhaps Wotan’s spear – taken from the most sacred branch of the World-Ash Tree – as the pillar, the “social contract” holding up Hunding’s artificial world) represents Wotan’s need of love, his need for redemption from the loveless, corrupt world, Hunding’s world (which is, ironically, sustained by Wotan’s own law), through the restoration of lost innocence. This is how Wotan’s Waelsung heroes, the agents of his grand idea (#57) for redemption, will preserve Valhalla from the dread and dismay (#58b) caused by Erda’s prophecy that Alberich’s curse on his Ring will bring about the twilight of the gods. Siegmund’s “hoechster Noth” (direst need) is the suffering caused by the lovelessness of the world Alberich’s Ring-power has created.

Loveless marriage between the sexes based on profit and/or coercion is the source of Sieglinde’s lifelong woe, from which her twin brother Siegmund will save her. This is a key Wagnerian example of the hatefulness of Alberich’s world, based as it is on power instead of love:

“ … it is our task to recognize as infallibly certain that marriage without mutual affection for the human race has been more pernicious than anything else.” [1125W-{3/21/82 – 4/9/82} BB, p. 204]

Motif #72, introduced here in association with the notion that the Waelsung siblings’ loving union (i.e., sibling incest) will avenge all the suffering (“Noth”) which society has foisted on the Waelsungs, Dunning suggests is a compound motif comprised of the Sword Motif (i.e., Wotan’s Grand Idea For Redemption), #57, and the initial segment of the Valhalla Motif, #20a. #20a is of course based upon the Ring motif #19. #72 evidently represents the temporary triumph of Wotan’s hope to gain redemption through his Waelsung hero Siegmund, and Sieglinde.

[V.1.3: B]

What follows is the famous lyrical interlude in which Siegmund and Sieglinde sing a love duet extolling the union of spring with love, brother with sister, metaphorically, though they have not

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