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Twilight of the Gods: Page 876
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#62?]) We come with weapons, with sharpened weapons, with keen-edged weapons! Hoiho! Ho! Hagen!


Hagen: (still in his former position on the raised ground at the back: #161) Arm yourselves well and do not rest! (#171:) Gunther you must welcome: (#?: [perhaps some music from the T.1.2-3 transition as played on flutes, possibly #139 or #143?]) he’s wooed a wife for himself (:#? [T.1.2-3 transition reference, perhaps #139 or #143?]).


Vassals: (#172:) Does danger threaten him? Is the enemy at his heels (:#172)?


Hagen: A fearsome woman he’s bringing home.


Vassals: (#172:) Is he being pursued by her kinsmen’s hostile vassals (:#172)?


Hagen: (#37:) He’s coming alone: no one’s following (:#37).


Vassals: (#172:) So he triumphed over the danger [“Noth”]? So he triumphed in the fray? Tell us (:#172)?


Hagen: (#171?) The dragon-killer (#171?) averted the danger [“Noth”]: (#103 vari [#103 seems to merge with #171?]) Siegfried the hero made sure he was safe [“Heil”]. (#171)

As Alberich calls the Gibichungs, as if to the fray and battle, though it is merely a double wedding, the dramatic sounding of the “Twilight of the Gods Motif” #54 tells us that the events Hagen has put into motion, including, most importantly, the double (and wholly inappropriate) wedding, are going to bring about the end of the gods, i.e., the end not only of religious belief but of the secular art which fell heir to the religious longing for transcendent value, or feeling, when religion could no longer be sustained as a belief system in the face of mankind’s advancement in objective knowledge. Siegfried the artist-hero, influenced by Hagen (representing man’s natural impulse toward greater consciousness and away from unconsciousness), is going to reveal to his own audience what should have remained concealed from it, the secret of that unconscious inspiration which gave birth to both religious faith and authentically great secular art.

It is a convention of most fairy tales that after a series of hardships and tests, the hero wins his true love and the story ends with their blessed, joyous marriage. Here, Wagner has turned this narrative tradition upside down by making the culminating marriage, which normally resolves the conflicts

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