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Twilight of the Gods: Page 841
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Waltraute’s plea to free gods and world from the weight of the curse on the ring by throwing it back into the Rhine?]) Who are you, dread creature? (long silence: #42 [as if influenced by #87?]) Are you of human kind? Are you from Hella’s (#42 or #154?) night-dwelling host? (#154)

 

Siegfried: (as before, beginning with a somewhat quavering voice but continuing with increasing confidence: #155?:) A Gibichung am I (:#155?), (#101 frag:; #152:) and Gunther’s the name of the hero whom, woman, you must follow (:#101 frag; :#152).

 

Bruennhilde: (breaking out in despair: #81b varis >>:) Wotan, grim-hearted, pitiless god (:#81b)! (#164:) Now I see the sense of my sentence (:#164): (#161 >>:) to scorn and sorrow you hound me hence (:#161)!

Wagner has repeated #98 with great irony at several points while Bruennhilde remarked upon the increasing intensity of Loge’s protective ring of fire, because #98 represents her original request of Wotan that he protect her defenseless sleep from any but a true hero, by warding away cowards with great horrors. Therefore, when another man, not Siegfried, stands before her, this gives her a traumatic shock, since only Siegfried ought to have had the courage to pass through the flames. And of course, unbeknownst to her, it is Siegfried after all who has come to her through the flames. Since Hagen’s potion made Siegfried forget he’d ever known Bruennhilde, Siegfried would have no reason to disguise or alter the characteristic melodies he plays on his horn (in this case his own motif #92, and #103, his youthful horncall) to keep Bruennhilde from recognizing him, though hearing this melody we, the audience, know that Bruennhilde would inevitably conclude that Siegfried has returned. She cries out that she wishes to throw herself into the arms of her god, because Siegfried, mortal man and artist-hero, is the god of our secular age, the mortal whom the alleged God Wotan described as freer than even he himself, the god. We hear a #19-based chord as Bruennhilde sees it is not Siegfried and screams “Betrayal!”

We hear the end fragment of #42 (the Tarnhelm) as Bruennhilde in her horror asks who has forced his way there. Accompanied by #154, Siegfried boastfully announces that a suitor has come whom her fire didn’t frighten, and insists Bruennhilde acknowledge him as her husband. Bruennhilde expresses her shock and surprise that anyone but Siegfried could penetrate the fire when she asks, accompanied by #161 and #42’s end fragment, who the man is who has done what only the strongest was fated to do. Siegfried’s aggressive and brutal answer expresses a peculiar sadistic tendency, the enjoyment of coercion through force, the enjoyment of power for its own sake, which never seemed to be one of Siegfried’s characteristics previously, for he answers Bruennhilde’s question with the sadistic remark: “(#154) A hero who will tame you (#152) if force alone can constrain you.”

Bruennhilde is suddenly seized with horror and cries out that a demon has leaped on yonder stone, that an eagle came flying to tear at her flesh. Her mention of an eagle tearing at her flesh is an allusion to Zeus’s punishment of Prometheus for standing up for mortal man against the gods, and

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