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The Valkyrie: Page 325
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Fricka clearly regards the vow of fidelity in wedlock as more important than whether any authentic love sustains it. This is because for Fricka the stability of society is more important than self-expression, which she regards as egoistic and an affront to divine law. This insistence on stability at the expense of individual freedom of expression is embodied in #68, commonly known as “Hunding’s Rights,” the motif first heard in V.1.1 as an expression of Hunding’s worship of the honor of home, hearth, and clan. This conflict is a central conflict of our time, with traditional constituencies and entire societies trying to maintain their conservative balance in the face of a rapidly evolving secular international world order based on dynamic, ever-changing Western models.

But Wotan retorts that he deems the vow which binds unloving hearts unholy. The basis for his retort can be found in Feuerbach:

“ … marriage – we mean, of course, marriage as the free bond of love – is sacred in itself … . (…) [Footnote:] Yes, only as the free bond of love; for a marriage the bond of which is merely an external restriction, not the voluntary, contented self-restriction of love, in short, a marriage which is not spontaneously concluded, … is not a true marriage, and therefore not a truly moral marriage.” [140F-EOC: p. 271]

And Wagner echoes Feuerbach precisely:

“ … marriage without mutual affection for the human race has been more pernicious than anything else.” [1125W-{3/21/82 – 4/9/82} BB, p. 204]

Analyzing this matter more closely, Wagner states that marriage without love is a sin, because it makes woman man’s property, and converts her natural, healthy quest for true love into a sin:

“The Individual’s natural rights were … extended over those close-knit to him by love: thus ripened the idea of Marriage, its sacredness, its right; and this later became embodied in the Law. But that Right was bound to turn into a wrong, when it no longer found its basis through and through in love itself; it could but turn into an utter sin, so soon as its sacredness was made to prevail against love … . If a woman was wed by a man for whom she had no love, and he fulfilled the letter of the marriage-law to her, through that law she became his property: the woman’s struggle for freedom through love thereby became a sin, actual contentment of her love she could only attain by adultery.” [390W-{1-2/49} Jesus of Nazareth: PW Vol. VIII. p. 302]

[V.2.1: C]

Fricka now wonders aloud that even if the twins’ adultery doesn’t horrify Wotan, how can he fail to find their sibling incest abhorrent! Significantly, though, her primary reason for saying this is that sibling incest has, apparently, never previously occurred (or it has never been acknowledged), and is entirely without precedent. Wotan, who had formerly (R.2) extolled the virtue of variety and change, takes this, the spontaneity of the twins’ love, as a sure sign of its virtue:


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