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The Valkyrie: Page 327
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allow their infraction, to permit innovation and breaking of tradition, for any reason whatsoever, calls into question the gods themselves, and undermines faith and worship:

 

Fricka: (breaking out in the most violent indignation: [[ #79: ]]) So this is the end of the blessed immortals, since you begot (:#79) those dissolute Waelsungs? (…) (#7 vari [possibly #86 embryo?]:) The gods’ hallowed kin mean nothing to you; you cast away everything that you once cared for (:#7 vari [#86 embryo?]), … severing ties that you yourself forged, laughingly loosen heaven’s hold (#57) that this impious twin-born pair, your falsehood’s wanton fruit, might obey the dictates of pleasure and whim! (#41?:; [[ #80a: ]]) Oh why do I wail over ([[ #80b: ]]) wedlock and vow, when you were the first to infringe them! You’ve always played false with your true-hearted wife (:#80b). Where was the hollow, where the height (#79) where your lustful look didn’t pry in seeking out ways of indulging your fondness for change and of tauntingly wounding my heart!

#79, heard here as Fricka warns Wotan that the gods’ rule is threatened by Wotan’s tolerance of disobedience by his favorites, recalls its original form #58b, to which Wotan sang of his hope that the fortress Valhalla, with the aid of his special race of Waelsung heroes (a thought not yet enunciated at that moment but musically incarnate in the introduction of #57ab) would protect the gods from the dread and dismay engendered by Erda’s prophecy that Alberich’s curse will bring about the twilight of the gods. #79 here becomes purely ironic, for Wotan, unlike Fricka, knows that the gods can’t hope to be redeemed from Alberich’s curse without the aid of those very Waelsung heroes whom Wotan must not only allow, but encourage, to transcend the limits of the gods’ law and threaten their rule. Wotan will find a temporary solution to this conundrum in his confession in V.2.2.

Curiously, the motif #7 (perhaps already transforming into the Embryo of its variant form, #86), associated in R.1 with Alberichs’ futile, clumsy attempt to clamber up the rocks to try and grab a Rhinedaughter, and thus musically recalling Alberich’s attempt to coerce love, is heard here as Fricka complains that thanks to Wotan’s loyalty to his illicit spawn, whose love is genuine, the gods apparently mean nothing to him. #7 will later slow down to become the variant #86, representing Hunding’s efforts to hunt down the twin-pair and venge himself upon them for adultery. The meaning is clear: in all three cases an effort is being made to coerce love. Wagner himself described Wotan’s spear of the law, the social contract, as society’s effort to compel its individual members to act as if they feel love for each other, an effort backed up, ironically, by fearful threats.

Fricka goes on to accuse Wotan of having encouraged such illicit love by engaging in affairs himself, accompanied by a new motif #80ab, a compound motif whose segment #80a is based on #69 (earlier associated with the weeping of the maid, whom Siegmund futilely tried to rescue from a loveless marriage, expressing her anguish at the deaths of those very brothers who were trying to force her to marry against her will), and whose second segment #80b is based on #64b, the definitive love motif of the Ring. Wotan has had two illicit marriages, his first one to Erda, which

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