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Siegfried: Page 665
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recurrence here of #53 and #54, recalling Erda’s prophecy of the gods’ end, as Wotan tells Siegfried to go on his way, since he can’t stop him. Wotan of course has now resigned himself to the fact that his free hero, the redeemer, can only fulfill his mission, to redeem the gods through love (i.e., through the loving union of the artist-hero with his muse of inspiration), if the gods pass away. Accordingly, as Wotan departs we hear the “Loveless Motif”, #37, suggesting that with his departure Siegfried will find no further stumbling blocks to thwart his unwitting mission in Wotan’s behalf. These motifs also bring to mind motif #83, the “Gods’ Need Motif,” which is composed of #53 and #54, overlain by #81, and which represents Wotan’s need for the free hero who will redeem the gods from Alberich’s curse on the Ring. So far, Siegfried has met all the conditions necessary to define himself as Wotan’s free hero and redeemer of the gods. With Wotan’s departure, again accompanied by #66, Siegfried expresses the joy in his new-won freedom over all the old, traditional, conservative powers which sought to block his progress towards his destiny as a revolutionary artist-hero. This time he blows his horn in the full certainty of winning the greatest of boon companions, his muse of inspiration Bruennhilde, and passes through the fire in search of her. Siegfried’s musico-dramatic ecstasy at the moment of his ultimate emancipation from Wotan’s (mankind’s) burden of sin (i.e., from consciousness of sin) is overwhelming: rarely if ever has the feeling of freedom, a falling away of ancient burdens, been so vividly captured in a work of art. Of course, because what we are about to experience in S.3.3, the highest summit of the Ring, is Wagner’s allegorical representation of what it is like for him, the authentic artist, to be unconsciously inspired by his muse of art.

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