Wintersturmer: Biblical analogies with "Ring"?

General Discussion about Wagner and The Ring of the Nibelung

Moderators: alberich00, Justin Jeffrey

Post Reply
alberich00
Site Admin
Posts: 519
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:03 am

Wintersturmer: Biblical analogies with "Ring"?

Post by alberich00 » Fri Dec 31, 2021 1:57 pm

On 12/15/2021, Wintersturmer posed the following questions:

Hei !

The similarities/analogies are far from perfect, but I'm wondering if RW ever had these two biblical events in mind when in W 3.2 Brunnhilde announces to Sieglinde that she will bear the fearless hero and redeemer, and the latter bursts into a song of praise. These are actually two birth announcements: the Annunciation is from the angel Gabriel to Mary to inform her that she will bear the son of god, and also that her "barren" cousin Elizabeth is miraculously pregnant with John the Baptist. When Mary visits Elizabeth and John stirs within her womb, Mary bursts into her song (the Magnificat: my soul magnifies the Lord). It's basically an expression of gratitude for the privilege of bearing the Messiah, and Mary's looking forward to God's transformation of the world through the incarnate Messiah. As I said, the analogy isn't perfect, but these events both have to do with the future arrival of two redeemers (of Man, not God). Regarding Wotan's sin against all that was, is, and will be (and his inevitable doom), the ending of the Magnificat seems especially ironic: " Glory be to the Father. the Son and the Holy Ghost [Wotan, Siegfried, Woodbird?]. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. World without end. Amen"

Wintersturmer
alberich00
Site Admin
Posts: 519
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:03 am

Wintersturmer: Biblical analogies with "Ring"?

Post by alberich00 » Fri Dec 31, 2021 1:59 pm

On 12/17/2021, I responded to Wintersturmer's questions:

Dear Wintersturmer:

A literary/theological link I find interesting is that Wotan literally gives birth to Siegfried by imparting God's Word (Wotan's confession to Brünnhilde) to Brünnhilde, who is described as the "womb of Wotan's wishes." Wotan's wish imparted to Brünnhilde, his unconscious mind, in his confession, was for a hero purged of all the egoism that Wotan loathed in his own self. And of course Siegfried is that hero. It's no accident that Brünnhilde announces to Sieglinde something she didn't know, that Sieglinde is pregnant with the world's greatest hero, and also significant that Brünnhilde presumptuously names Sieglinde's prospective son Siegfried without taking Sieglinde's wishes into account. That's because Sieglinde is merely the vessel for Wotan's seed, the seed of wish imparted to Brünnhilde in his confession. I didn't include the following trope in my book for lack of room, but in one of the stories about Brünnhilde in the "Volsunga Saga," Brünnhilde gives a magical apple to a barren woman (is it Sieglinde?) who's able to give birth to Siegfried (Sieglinde and Siegfried have somewhat different names in the Volsunga Saga). And of course Hans Sachs (modeled on Wotan, in that both Sachs and Wotan confess their unspoken secret "Noth" to the hero's muse Eva and Brünnhilde, respectively) is a metaphor for John the Baptist in "Mastersingers." Also, recall that Athena, armored warrior goddess of wisdom, is born of Zeus's head, which is just another way of saying she's born of God-the-Father's thoughts.

Your man from www.wagnerheim.com,

Paulus Serendipitous
alberich00
Site Admin
Posts: 519
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:03 am

Re: Wintersturmer: Biblical analogies with "Ring"?

Post by alberich00 » Fri Dec 31, 2021 2:01 pm

On 12/17/2021, Wintersturmer replied:

Cool! One can also note that both Mary and Brunnhilde are virgins. Would the magical apple be derived from Freia (? a symbol of promised life everlasting and divinely-ordained fertility?)...believe, and thou shalt conceive (hence, attain immortality through your offspring)?

The John the Baptist allusion brings to mind a similar association to Kundry/Herodia in Parsifal (whom Klingsor also addresses by the Valkyrie name of Gundryggia).

As bothersome as they might be, please regard my missives as a wish to share the excitement of discovery. Sometimes, your exposé makes me recognize that what originally sounded like mere grace notes to link one motif to another is actually a modulated motif in its own right that makes the inspoken narrative consistent. One example is the "overture" to Siegfried Act 3. After a few passages of the "Need of the Gods", and a statement of "Wotan's Frustration," that seemingly nondescript passage with a "riding" rhythm, just before the Spear motif appears is actually a slowed-down statement of the Ring motif. Quite an artful way of recapitulating the essence of the music-drama to that point

W
Post Reply