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Twilight of the Gods: Page 851
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Twilight of the Gods: Act Two, Scene One - Gibichung Hall: Hagen and Alberich

[T.2.1: A]

Act Two opens in the dark night outside Gibichung Hall, with Hagen still seated guarding the hall, presumably asleep. He is approached by his father Alberich in an eerie scene during which we can never be sure whether Hagen is dreaming this dialogue, or experiencing it in reality. But one has the impression, nonetheless, that Hagen never truly dreams, but remains forever wakeful, even in sleep. That is certainly the impression he makes in this scene. Alberich has come to insure that Hagen does not sleep (and therefore dream), but is fully wakeful and conscious of his duty to be the instrument of Alberich’s revenge against the gods (religion) and Waelsung heroes (moral heroes and secular artists) for co-opting his Ring power to sustain those illusions which, so long as man cherishes them, preclude the restoration of the Ring power, the power of objective knowledge, to Alberich and his minions:

 

(Prelude: [[ #166 end frag ]] [or is it #138?]; #Norn pulses?; #166 end frag? [or is it #138?]; [[ #166 ]] [plus Norn pulses?]; #15 vari [associated with the Norns?]; #166 or #162? [develops]; #19 vari [perhaps the #19 vari to which Alberich, in R.4, sang to Wotan of Alberich’s ring: “No joyful man shall ever have joy of it … ,” or referencing music from Alberich’s complaint in R.4 that Wotan, the hypocrite, wishes to co-opt Alberich’s ring without paying its price?]; #161; #151?; #15 vari [drops off]; #166 vari on horns; #162b plus #19?; #15 vari? [associated with the Norns?]: The curtain rises. an open space on the shore in front of the Gibichung hall: to the left is the open entrance to the hall; on the right, the bank of the Rhine, from which ascends a rocky height cut by several mountain paths as it rises diagonally towards the upstage left-hand corner. An altar-stone can be seen there, dedicated to Fricka; a larger one for Wotan is visible higher up the slope, with a similar one dedicated to Donner to one side of it. It is night. Hagen, his spear on his arm, his shield at his side, is sitting asleep, leaning against one of the doorposts of the hall. At this point the moon suddenly appears from behind a cloud and casts its harsh light on Hagen and his immediate surroundings: Alberich can be seen crouching in front of Hagen, his arms resting on the latter’s knees: #19 vari [perhaps the “Triumphant” vari associated with Bruennhilde’s refusal to return the ring to the Rhinedaughters at Waltraute’s/Wotan’s behest, with perhaps a touch of the #19/#20a hybrid heard during Wotan’s original refusal to redeem Freia with the ring, just before Erda appeared, in R.4?])

 

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