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Siegfried: Page 643
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Gutrune was merely Siegfried’s “wanton,” or harlot, Bruennhilde was his lawful wife. The meaning of this (which I’ll treat in some detail in my discussion of T.3.3) is that while Gutrune was a false muse for the performance of art intended for an audience, for a public display, which therefore corrupts and betrays the sacred silence of the artist’s unconscious inspiration, Bruennhilde was Siegfried’s true muse of inspiration. #134 is not heard in the music which sums up the drama in the finale. Instead, we hear #93 as a capstone to the drama, a motif which Sieglinde sang in V.3.1 as she extolled Bruennhilde as the savior of Sieglinde’s unborn child Siegfried. This can be read more as an invocation of what might have been, an ideal never realized, than a redemption motif. Had Wagner wanted to employ the only motif he ever called a redemption motif, #134, in the finale, he surely would have.

However, there is what sounds like a variant of #92c, or the #71 Variant known as the “Hero Motif” (#71 itself representing Siegmund’s tragic fate and the tragic fate of the Waelsungs in general), originally introduced as a cadence for #92a, as Wotan tells Erda that Bruennhilde, waking, will work the deed that redeems the world. And this seems also to sound in the orchestra, as I mentioned moments ago, just before the introduction of #134 as Wotan says that he now resigns himself and the gods to their end freely and gladly. Since this evidently is also the motif to which Bruennhilde sings her last words, her final greeting to Siegfried, as she immolates herself and her horse Grane in Siegfried's’ funeral pyre, it seems to me then that Wagner allows us to have it both ways. In one respect Wotan’s remarks about Bruennhilde’s destiny as a redeemer look forward - even in a way of which he has not yet become conscious - to Bruennhilde’s final act, her immolation in Siegfried’s funeral pyre and release of the Ring to the Rhinedaughters. However, insofar as Wotan’s mind can contemplate the future, what he means is that Bruennhilde, upon waking for Siegfried, will impart to him subliminally the knowledge of the gods’ need for redemption, and the fear of the truth which has inspired that need, so that Siegfried can safely draw upon this unconscious inspiration to create redemptive works of art, the New Valhalla, or new secular religion of which Feuerbach spoke.

“In our times, R. continues, religion should seek to influence ethics [as Wotan influenced Siegmund], and allow faith to be represented by art [the artist-hero Siegfried’s loving union with his muse of inspiration, Bruennhilde], which can transform illusion into truth.” [994W-{11/14/79} CD Vol. II, p. 395]

“In a favourable event the whole reward of genius in advance of its times could only consist in the exaltation of egoism: deification [as mankind deifies his own spirit, the spirit of the collective Folk, by calling his spirit Wotan], -- we deify and worship naught save what is unintelligible to us: what we fully understand we love, declare to be a part of us, our equal. This will be the reward of the individual genius of the future [Siegfried].” [479W-{49-51 (?)} Notes for ‘Artisthood of the Future’ (unfinished); Sketches and Fragments: PW Vol. VIII, p. 372]

It is thanks to the love of Siegfried and Bruennhilde - Wagner’s metaphor for the unconscious artistic inspiration of the artist-hero, the producer of music-drama - that Wotan is now able to consign objective thought, science’s understanding of man and nature (represented by Erda’s wisdom, her hoard of objective knowledge, the source of her primal mothers’ fear and care), to the oblivion of the unconscious mind, of dreaming. What would be horrific if experienced objectively in full, waking consciousness is transmuted into aesthetic bliss in the collective, shared dream that

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