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The Rhinegold: Page 153
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behind Wotan’s authority which is embodied by his spear), then evidently Wotan the god risked becoming wholly blind to the outside world for the sake of the gods’ rule over men, or rather, risked man’s eyesight, risked all connection with the objective, outside world. We will find later that Robert Donington was correct when he said that the one eye remaining to Wotan looks outward [i.e., objectively], while the eye he sacrificed looks inward [this is his subjective eye], the eye of feeling. [Donington: p. 69] Our strongest evidence for this comes from Wotan himself, who in S.3.2 will tell his grandson Siegfried, who lives for love, that Siegfried is the missing eye which is looking at the one eye Wotan has left to see with.

[R.2: D]

And now Freia, the price Wotan agreed to pay the Giants for building Valhalla, makes her dramatic entrance running from them in desperation, begging Wotan and her brothers to protect her from them:


Fricka: (#5: peering offstage, tense with anxiety) Then shield her now: in defenceless fear she comes running hither for help!


([[ #24 ]]; [[ #25 ]])


Freia: Fasolt has threatened … saying he’ll come for freia the fair. (#26a)


With Freia’s entrance we hear a very fast, urgent version of two new motifs which Cooke says can be regarded initially as Freia’s motifs, #24, which quickly ascends, and #25, which more slowly descends. #24 is a basis for #139, which will in S.3.3 be associated with Siegfried waking Bruennhilde. It is also the basis of #153, heard during Hagen’s and Gutrune’s seduction of Siegfried into drinking that potion which will make him forget his true love (and muse) Bruennhilde and fall in love with Gutrune. Cooke concluded that #25 is the basis for the fundamental Love Motif of the Ring, whose variants include #39, #40, and #64b, as well as #133 and #140. #64b is what Cooke describes as the definitive version of the Love Motif. It is significant that as this basic Love Motif is introduced, love (Freia) is running from the natural claim that our base animal instincts – represented by the Giants (fear and desire) - make on it. In other words, man’s impulse to love, which ultimately produces self-sacrifice and compassion, seeks to transcend its roots in our base animal drives.

[R.2: E]

But Wotan looks to the fire god (and liar god) Loge, the Trickster, to redeem Freia - as Loge formerly promised - from the Giants’ rightful claim to her. Loge we will recognize as the incarnation of the artistic imagination, which has the power to delude us, for it is only through self-delusion that Wotan can hope to deny the Giants’ rightful claim to Freia. However, Fricka bitterly

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