Gutrune: (raising herself impetuously from the ground) Bruennhilde! grieved by your grudge [“Neid”]! you brought this harm [“Noth”] upon us! You who goaded the men against him, alas, that you ever came near this house!
Bruennhilde: (#156 vari >> Wretched woman, peace! You were never his lawful wife: (#156/#153:) as wanton alone you bound him (:#156/:#153). (#134:) His rightful wife am I, to whom he swore eternal vows (:#134) (#164 vari [cuts off #134 midstream!!!]) ere Siegfried ever saw you.
This is the last time that Motif #134, the only motif Wagner ever described as a redemption motif, and which he described as sounding when it’s introduced during Wotan’s final confrontation with Erda in S.3.1 as if it is the herald of a new religion, is heard definitively and clearly in the "Ring." The primary motif upon which Wagner places emphasis in the finale of the "Ring," and which most operagoers think of as a motif which represents redemption through love, is Motif #93, which was introduced in V.3.1 after Bruennhilde told Sieglinde to live for her as-yet-unborn child, and named him Siegfried (accompanied by Siegfried’s motif #92abc), when Sieglinde praised Bruennhilde’s by exclaiming “Sublimest wonder, glorious maid!” Since Motif #134 represents Wotan’s now dashed hope that Siegfried’s and Bruennhilde’s loving union (Wagner’s metaphor for Siegfried’s unconscious artistic inspiration) could redeem the world and gods from Alberich’s curse on his Ring, this suggests that Bruennhilde’s restoration of the Ring to the Rhinedaughters in order to end Alberich’s curse is entirely distinct from the redemption through their loving union which Wotan originally hoped for, and that his change of heart as expressed by Waltraute to Bruennhilde in T.1.3, that he now wished for Bruennhilde to restore Alberich’s Ring to the Rhinedaughters in order to take the weight of its curse off of gods and world, is actually Wotan’s despairing alternative to his original hope that their loving union would accomplish this. Restoring the Ring to the Rhinedaughters is, given our thesis that the Ring represents our distinctively human consciousness, a symbolic return to a state of preconscious nature, which is what the Rhinedaughters represent.
Bruennhilde: (to the vassals: #115 >> heavy logs heap up for me here in a pile at the edge of the Rhine. High and bright (:#115) let the flames flare up and (#35:) consume the noble limbs (:#35) (#92/#35:) of the most (#54:) exalted hero (:#92/#35; :#54)!
Never were oaths more nobly sworn; (#40 vari:) never were treaties [“Vertraege”] kept more truly (:#40 vari); (#40 vari >> never did any man love more loyally (:#40 vari): (#5:) and yet (:#5) (#40:) every oath (:#40), (#5:) every treaty (:#5), (#40 vari:) the truest love (:#40 vari) – (#165:) no one betrayed as he did (:#165)! (#88:) Do you know (:#88) (#88 end frag:; #87:) why that was so (:#88 end frag; :#87)? (looking upward: #20(?) vari:) Oh you, eternal guardians of oaths (:#20(?) vari)! Direct your (#87) gaze on my burgeoning grief. (#88:) Behold your (:#88) eternal guilt! (#96:) Hear my lament (:#96) (#87:) most mighty of gods (:#87)! (#96) By the (#87:) bravest of (#96:) deeds (:#87; :#96), (#96) which you dearly desired, (#96/#87>>:) you doomed him (:#96) who wrought it to suffer the curse to which you in turn succumbed (:#96): - it was I whom the purest man (#87) had to betray, (#87:) that a woman might grow wise (:#87).
Bruennhilde here lays the blame for Siegfried wholly betraying his hoped-for role as a hero of redemption on Wotan, whose original sin against all that was, is, and will be, religious man’s denial of the real world in favor of an imagined world in which man’s futile longing for transcendent meaning and value would be satisfied, the world of the gods, was what implicated Siegfried and Bruennhilde unwittingly in Wotan’s guilt, his sin. By virtue of Siegfried’s unwitting service to mankind’s futile bid for transcendence the artist-hero Siegfried was predestined to suffer the same doom to which Wotan (religious belief) succumbed. The purest man Siegfried (pure because Bruennhilde had known for him what he didn’t know, his unwitting complicity in Wotan’s guilt) had to inevitably betray Bruennhilde (we hear the Fate Motif #87 here) that a woman (Siegfried’s unconscious mind) might grow wise (i.e., wake, and speak, aloud and consciously, what had formerly been her mother Erda’s, Nature’s, sleeping knowledge).
Bruennhilde: (#87: [& “Crisis” on drums]) Do I now know what you need (:#87 [& “Crisis”])? – (#87:) All things! All things! All things (:#87) I know, all is clear to me now! (#161 chords: [the #Raven Motif?]) I hear the rustle of your raven’s wings (:#161 chords [the Raven Motif?]): with anxiously longed for tidings [“mit bang ersehnter Botschaft”] I send the (51:) two of them home (:#51). (#59 chords:) Rest now (:#59 chords), (#20c:; #83:) rest now (:#20c; :#83), (#20d:) you god (:#20d)!
Bruennhilde confirms here that she’s her mother Erda’s daughter, for, as we hear the Fate Motif #87 which stands for Erda’s knowledge of all that was, is, and will be which her daughters the Norns spun into their rope of Fate, Bruennhilde says that she too knows all things, i.e., all that was, is, and will be, the very world which Wotan sinned against by positing godhead, positing man’s imagined retort to nature’s fundamental law that all things that are must end, which was Freia’s golden apples of sorrowless youth eternal (which Wotan has now renounced), immortality, transcendence. Wotan has given up his futile bid for transcendence, and therefore man’s existential dilemma can be solved, his formerly unhealing wound healed. As Feuerbach said, and Wagner confirmed, it all makes sense if we just give up our illusion of divinity and divine influence. Wotan (collective, historical man, Light-Alberich) will no longer, like the Flying Dutchman, wander as a stranger in his own world, the world which gave birth to him but he denied, in a futile quest for redemption from that world. For this reason Bruennhilde tells her father Wotan: “(#59 chords) Rest now, #20c; #83:) rest now, (#20d) you god!”
These are some of the very chord changes which Dr. Allen Dunning detected hints of in V.2.2. when, just prior to Wotan’s confession to Bruennhilde, Bruennhilde told Wotan that she is his will. Motif #59 is of course the Rhinedaughters’ lament for their lost gold, for the restoration of lost innocence, in R.4, #20c is the middle segment of the five segment Valhalla Motif, the segment which Dr. Allen Dunning suggests might have provided an embryo for one of Wagner’s two Wanderer Motifs, and of course Motif #83 is the “Need of the Gods Motif,” which is comprised of a framework based on Motif #81 (Wotan’s longing for a free hero and recognition that such a longing is futile, which he confessed to Bruennhilde), and on motifs #53 and #54, Motif #53 being associated with Erda’s knowledge of all that was, is, and will be (which Wotan sinned against), and with Erda’s proclamation of that essential natural law, that all things must end, and Motif #54, the “Twilight of the Gods Motif,” which represents the gods’ (i.e., man’s self-deception’s) inevitable humbling before this natural law, their inevitable demise and the demise of all the ideals and beliefs which they stood for.
It is in "Parsifal" that the final restoration of Mother Nature to her place of dominance comes to pass, and atonement for man’s sin against her (represented by Parsifal having been guilty of his mother’s death, through neglect), by virtue of man’s renunciation of his age-old bid for transcendence (represented by the ever more painful service of the Grail). With the unveiling of the Grail at the end the religious mysteries, Wotan’s unspoken secret, are revealed, made conscious.
General Discussion about Wagner and The Ring of the Nibelung
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