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The Rhinegold: Page 116
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arduous process of reflection, which consciously compares and weighs choices, a stumbling block to easy living.

[R.1: E]

Alberich introduces a third metaphor for human consciousness, Wagner’s notion that it is inherently egoistic and coercive, constituting a rape of nature (though being, nonetheless, a product of natural necessity, or evolution):

[Woglinde continues to evade him]


Wellgunde and Flosshilde: (laughing) Hahahahahaha!


Alberich: (…) Wait, you false creature! (He tries to clamber up after her)


Wellgunde: [[ #8: ]] Hey, my sweetheart (:#8)! Can you not hear me?


Alberich: are you calling to me? (…) Not yet near enough! Entwine your slender arms around me that, teasingly, I may touch your neck and with fawning fervour nestle up to your heaving breast.


Wellgunde: If you’re in love and lusting for love’s delights [“luestern nach Minne”] let’s see, my beauty, just what you are like! – [[ #41 embryo: ]] Ugh! You hairy, hunchbacked fool! Brimstone-black and blistered dwarf (:#41)! Look for a lover who looks like yourself!


[Alberich tries to restrain her by force]


Alberich: Although you don’t like me, I still hold you tight. (…) (#2 end frag)


Wellgunde: Hold tight, or I’ll slip through your hands!


Woglinde and Flosshilde: Hahahahahaha!


Alberich: (#7) False-hearted child!

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