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The Valkyrie: Page 326
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Fricka: If you think breach of wedlock worthy of praise, then go on boasting and deem it holy that incest springs from the bond of a twin-born pair! My heart is quaking, my brain is reeling: as bride a sister embraced her brother! When was it witnessed that natural siblings loved one another?

 

Wotan: (#73 orch:) Today you have witnessed it happen: (#73 orch:) learn thus that a thing might befall of itself though it never happened before. (#64?:) That those two are in love is as plain as the day (:#64?): so hear my honest advice! If sweet delight shall reward your blessing, (#?:) then, smiling on love, bestow that blessing (#75:) on Siegmund’s and Sieglinde’s bond (:#75).

The important point here is that, unlike Oedipus and Jocasta (Oedipus’s mother), who freely commit incest only so long as they are unconscious of their crime, but upon learning their true relation to each other condemn themselves, the Waelsung twins self-consciously glory in their sibling incest:

[P. 182] “The hapless pair [i.e. Queen Jocasta of Thebes and her son, Oedipus], whose Conscience (Bewusstsein) stood within the pale of human Society, passed judgment on themselves when they became conscious of their unconscious crime: [P. 183] … . How full of meaning it is, then, that precisely this Oedipus had solved the riddle of the Sphinx! In advance he uttered both his vindication and his own condemnal when he called the kernel of this riddle Man. (…) It is we who have to solve that riddle, to solve it by vindicating the instinct of the Individual [say, Siegmund’s and Sieglinde’s authentic love] from out Society itself [sustained by Hunding’s and Fricka’s unthinking conservatism and false notion of honor]; whose highest, still renewing and re-quickening wealth, that Instinct is.” [502W-{50-1/51} Opera and Drama: PW Vol. II, p. 182-183]

Siegmund and Sieglinde glory in their incestuous love and adultery because it is evidently through this means alone that they can preserve in purity the blood of the special Waelsung race which Wotan introduced into the world, blood which will eventually produce the greatest Waelsung hero, Siegfried. But more than that, their conscious, openly displayed breach of one of the oldest and most universal (with rare, special exceptions) social prohibitions, the taboo against incest, exhibits their almost animal-like innocence, their insistence on living for feeling rather than subscribing to learned social norms. Wagner often described genius as by nature pre-fallen and innocent in this sense. The genius maintains the plasticity and adventurousness of childhood long after average adults’ minds and behavior have ossified with little likelihood of future self-development.

[V.2.1: D]

Fricka now exclaims that the Waelsungs’ lawlessness, if unpunished, will effectively bring about the twilight of the gods, because the gods will lose mankind’s respect and worship if the gods’ laws are not strictly enforced (as any truly divine injunction should be). The notion she expresses is simple: if laws have a divine origin they are by definition infallible and immutable, so for society to

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