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Twilight of the Gods: Page 900
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#36, derived from #27 (the motif which expressed Wotan’s intent, prompted by Loge’s cunning, to break his social contract with the Giants for building Valhalla), is the basis for those motifs which embody cunning, particularly Mime’s craven cunning, such as #44 and #101, and #116, which represents Wotan’s untrustily counseled runes of contract, i.e., man’s dependence on deceit (including especially self-deceit) to make life possible. #36 was also associated in R.4 with Alberich’s remarks that he could sustain the loss of both Hoard and Tarnhelm, so long as he kept the Ring, because the Ring’s power would permit him to collect a new hoard and make a new Tarnhelm. But then Alberich lost even the Ring to Wotan. However, since Wotan is light-Alberich, the lighter side of Alberich himself, in a very real sense Alberich still lays claim to the Ring’s power even after Wotan co-opts it. In other words it was just a matter of time before the Ring, and the hoard of knowledge which it represents, would rise to consciousness in man to overthrow the illusions which were inspired by it, illusions which were unconsciously designed to obscure and hide it from our conscious minds.

Siegfried glibly dismisses Bruennhilde’s charges as if they stem merely from a feminine mood-swing, which will swing back to contentment and happiness in the fullness of time. The dramatic contrast between Siegfried’s glib obliviousness to his real situation, and the tragedy lurking in the shadow of his ignorance, is breathtaking. And now he attributes her anger to a supposition that perhaps the Tarnhelm only half hid his true identity, so that he surmises Bruennhilde may have guessed that the man who abducted her was Siegfried disguised as Gunther. However, Siegfried optimistically concludes: “(#19 fragment [a lyrical variant]) But woman’s resentment (#37 fragment) quickly passes: (#59) that I won her for you (#150) the woman will surely be thankful yet.” Here is a supreme instance where the motival references entirely contradict the content of the verbal expression. The linking of #19 (Alberich’s Ring of power) with #37 (Lovelessness) as Siegfried tells Gunther that woman’s resentment (over the betrayal of love) quickly passes, tells us instead that it will never end, because Siegfried, as the unwitting agent of Alberich’s revenge against the gods, has wholly and irrevocably forsaken love forever. And as Siegfried adds that Bruennhilde will ultimately be thankful that Siegfried won her for Gunther, we hear #59 (The Rhinedaughters’ lament for the lost gold, bespeaking Bruennhilde’s status as Siegfried’s surrogate Rhine), and #150, which remind us that Bruennhilde could offer Siegfried protection from the curse on Alberich’s Ring, the wounds of consciousness, only so long as she – his surrogate Rhine - kept the Ring’s power (i.e., Wotan’s hoard of forbidden knowledge) safe behind Loge’s ring of protective fire, and so long as Wotan’s hoard of runes (#150) remained Siegfried’s unconscious source of inspiration.

[T.2.4: F]

Now, in what is probably the single most dramatic example of tragic irony in the entire Ring, Siegfried in ecstatic, exuberant optimism asks everyone to forget their troubles and prepare to join Siegfried and Gutrune, Gunther and Bruennhilde, in their joyous wedding feast:

Siegfried: (he turns to the vassals. #150; #172? [an orchestral figure from the Vassals’ dialogue with Hagen about how to celebrate Gunther’s wedding in T.2.3?]) Cheer up, you vassals! (#171; #150?) follow me to the feast! – (#171) (to the women: #171 >>:) Be happy to help at the wedding,

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