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Siegfried: Page 516
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Mime: (#34?:) Concerned but for you, I was sunk in thought of how to teach you something weighty (:#34?)


Siegfried: (laughing) (#30b? or #33b? or #97?:) Right under the seat I see you had sunk: what matters of weight did you find there (:#30b? or #33b? or #97?)?


Mime: (steadily regaining his self-control: #34?:) For you, I have learned the meaning of fear, so I might teach it to you, you fool (:#34?).


Siegfried: (in calm astonishment: #104:) What’s this about fear (:#104)?


Mime: (#?: [music with very high “Gibichung-like” notes falling on the words at the end of each phrase: “nie”, “Wald”, and “Welt”?]) You’ve never felt it and yet you want to leave the woods and go out into the world (:#? [Gibichung-like high notes?])? (#57/#104) What use is the stoutest of swords if fear is still a stranger to you?


Siegfried: (impatiently: #41 duple vari:) No doubt you’re inventing worthless advice (:#41 duple).


Mime: (approaching Siegfried, with growing trust: #104?) (#66:; #41 duple vari:) Your mother’s counsel (:#66; :#41 duple vari) speaks through me: what I promised her (#66:; #41 duple vari:) I must now discharge and not let you leave for the cunning world until you’ve learned the meaning of fear (:#66; :#41 duple). (#41?; #104/#34)

Mime suddenly realizes that, having failed to teach Siegfried fear, Siegfried may well be the fearless hero to whom Mime’s head is forfeit. Mime therefore urgently needs to teach Siegfried fear so he won’t become Siegfried’s victim. So Mime tells Siegfried that he, Mime, has learned the meaning of fear for Siegfried, so that he can teach it to him. But Mime’s sole purpose in bringing Siegfried up was that Siegfried would kill Fafner and win Alberich’s treasures, the sources of Alberich’s power, for Mime, so that Mime would be invulnerable to Alberich’s threat, and perhaps even subject Alberich to Mime’s newly won Ring-power.

Mime’s plight suggests another parallel with Wotan’s situation. Wotan has, in a sense, learned fear for Siegfried, through his historical experience, the experience Wotan confessed to Bruennhilde, so that Siegfried need not suffer from it himself. In other words, Wotan, having imparted the knowledge which Erda had imparted to him, and which is the source of Wotan’s existential fear, to their daughter Bruennhilde in his confession, through Bruennhilde Wotan can teach Siegfried fear

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