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The Rhinegold: Page 167
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[P. 230] “ …. it was folly to think that violence could be restrained by howsoever prudent steps of violence. Even [P. 231] [the Roman] world-truce was based on the Right of theStronger, and never, since the human race first fell a-hungering for bloody spoil, has it ceasedto found its claim to tenure and enjoyment on that same ‘right’ alone. … it was the one sole law that shaped the world.” [1030W-{6-8/80} Religion and Art: PW Vol. VI, p. 230-231]

“In this world of egoistic yearning and dislike arose the Law: in it man was to divest himself of his egoism in favour of a generality from which love, i.e. the blessed consciousness of love, had vanished – to wit, Possession. But the Law itself could not make-up for Love, for it was the constraint, the compulsion to benefit the commonalty … .” [394W-{1-2/49} Jesus of Nazareth: PW Vol. VIII. p. 321]

Wagner has added that in international affairs what he calls the world-truce is based solely on the right of the stronger, as Feuerbach said. In our second extract Wagner clinches our argument in noting that though law compels us to constrain our selfish ego, it is only for the sake of an egoistically motivated agreement for mutual security, self-constraint for the common benefit, from which love, as he says, has vanished. Wagner analyzed the hypocrisy in man’s use of law to enforce morality, noting with irony that in this case God must force man to love his neighbor, through fear:

“Misunderstanding his own impulses, to himself Man seemed outside God, i.e., wicked: over against themselves men set the Law, as come from God, to force themselves to good.” [391W-{1-2/49} Jesus of Nazareth: PW Vol. VIII. p. 310-311]

[R.2: J]

With Loge’s long-awaited arrival we come to the second half of this scene, in which Loge rather than the Giants will be the main focus. As Loge arrives Wotan chastises him for making what Wotan describes as the bad bargain with the Giants, but Loge demurs:

 

Wotan: (turning away and seeing Loge coming: [[ #33a: ]]) Loge at last! [[ #35: ]]; [[ #34: ]] Have you come in such haste to resolve the bad bargain you struck (:#35; :#34)?

 

(Loge has climbed up through the valley at the back: [[ #33b ]])

 

Loge: (#34) What? Which bargain is that that I’m said to have struck? (#35:) The one you discussed with the giants in council (:#35)? – (#20a plus #20a modulation?:; #33b or #30b?:) To hollow and height my hankering drives me; house and hearth (:#20a plus #20a modulation?; :#33b or #30b?) delight me not: Donner and Froh think only of house and home; if they’d go awooing, a home must make them happy: a stately hall, a sturdy keep, such was Wotan’s wish. (#20a:) House

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