Wintersturmer queries Hagen's potion of remembrance

General Discussion about Wagner and The Ring of the Nibelung

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alberich00
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Wintersturmer queries Hagen's potion of remembrance

Post by alberich00 » Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:28 pm

(email from Wintersturmer on 11/23/2024:

I hope that you view this endless stream of musings as proof that your Magnum Opus has successfully jump-started my little gray cells (both of 'em) out of their torpor. I've reached the point of your Walkure exposé where Brunnhilde is described as covering Wotan's back, while he concentrates on what lies ahead. Thus it would seem that with the casting off of Brunnhilde (Thetis?), he no longer has that protection, just as his reborn form as Siegfried is invulnerable only in the front ("since no hero turns his back"). So here I go with Epimetheus again! Siegfried focuses on future threats, but the past is eventually his Achilles' heel. Indeed, at the beginning of Siegfried, he has no history: he knows not of his origins, other than the myths fed to him by Mime. He eventually gains partial hindsight by finding who his true parents are, but not the complete picture of his true identity as the spawn of the ego-driven Wotan, with whom he's fated to share his doom (Siegfried finds that the Wanderer is his father's murderer, but does he recognize him as Wotan and his grandfather?). Could it be that the veil is finally lifted after Hagan administers the antidote to the Magic Potion, and Siegfried is finally confronted by entirety of his doomed Promethean future and his disreputable Epimethean past...an awareness that ultimately paves the way to Hagan/Alberich's victory?

This is probably all nonsense, although the Siegfried/Achilles aspect is hard to overlook. Sometimes, peeling the onion elicits tears.

regards,
Wintersturmer
alberich00
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Re: Wintersturmer queries Hagen's potion of remembrance

Post by alberich00 » Wed Nov 24, 2021 12:29 pm

My emailed response to Wintersturmer on 11/24/2021:

Dear Wintersturmer:

It's my thesis that at his last breathing moment, thanks to Hagen's two potions, the first of love-and-forgetting, and the second its antidote, a potion of remembrance, Siegfried does intuit his true identity as Wotan reborn, though this is merely implicit and suggested by the musical motifs, and not spelled out. Siegfried has unwittingly and involuntarily made conscious what should have remained unconscious, first by giving his own true love Brünnhilde, his muse of unconscious artistic inspiration and her secrets, away to Gunther, who represents Wagner's audience, and second by interpreting the Woodbird's song (Wagner's musical motifs) conceptually, making what once was unconscious conscious. Both of these betrayals of the secret hidden even from him are represented by Hagen's two potions taken together, which are actually Wagner's symbol for the "Wonder" of his musical motifs of reminiscence and foreboding, which formerly kept the hero's unspoken secret (of his true identity) in silence. Wagner's musical motifs (like Brünnhilde, who told Siegfried that what he doesn't know, she knows for him) know for the characters of the "Ring" what they don't know. Having interpreted them for his audience of Gibichungs conceptually, the secret is out.

And, interestingly enough, Wagner had planned a music-drama about Achilles which never came to be, but whose symbolism obviously was incorporated into operas or music-dramas he did complete.
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