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Siegfried: Page 613
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and Siegfried instantly recognizes himself as the hero who has not learned fear from Fafner. Fearlessness was of course also the primary qualification for re-forging Nothung, Wotan’s instrument through which the Waelsung heroes are to redeem the gods by restoring lost innocence, a restoration only to be effected now by winning the love of the muse of art, Bruennhilde. But Siegfried is eager, he says, to learn fear now from Bruennhilde. Of course, through Bruennhilde’s magic Siegfried will be able to learn the meaning of Wotan’s fear, to draw artistic inspiration from man’s true, original source of inspiration for religious belief and art, safely, without suffering Alberich’s curse of consciousness.

And thus we see why throughout the first two acts of Siegfried the music describing Bruennhilde’s sleep, protected by Loge’s ring of fire from all but a fearless hero, was continually heard in direct juxtaposition to #48, the motif representing Fafner as the fear which warns mankind away from examining the true source of his faith, the fatal knowledge Wotan imparted to Bruennhilde in his confession. Bruennhilde holds this knowledge for Siegfried, and it is for this reason that she, not Fafner, will be able to teach him the meaning of fear, so Siegfried can safely draw inspiration from it to create redemptive works of art. And so we learn that, just as only a fearless hero could re-forge Nothung (the phallus which will inseminate Wotan’s wish-womb Bruennhilde), only a fearless hero can penetrate Loge’s protective ring of fire (religion’s and art’s veil of Wahn) to wake and win the authentic muse of art, Wotan’s collective unconscious, the womb of his wishes, Bruennhilde.

With that, Siegfried proclaims he will follow the Woodbird (music) wherever it flies. Thus Siegfried has left his childhood behind, and embarks on his journey to adulthood.

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