Learn how and why Ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt were invented during Renaissance

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Decoding Wagner's Ring


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Meet the Characters
  • Erda

  • Siegmund

  • Donner

  • Freia
  • Wotan
  • Rhinemaidens

  • Hagen

  • Sieglinde

  • Alberich

  • Brünnhilde

  • Mime the dwarf

  • Loge
  • Fasolt and Fafner :

    They were also called Abel and Cain. Both brothers are strongly characterized and each one represents a different aspect of the people. The first one would correspond to the utopian of 1789, the one that dreams about justice and about equality. For this idealist, money has no value; only women and love are worth granting efforts. With a lot of common sense he accuses Wotan of sacrificing love and the value of women to sterile stony bulwarks. His brother Fafner would correspond more to the revolutionary of 1791. The ambitions are totally negative.

    If he wants to seize Freia, it is only to deprive the Gods of the golden apples, to weaken them, by no means to eat them. He is the one who will urge his brother to agree with the exchange.

    The argument is still defensive: it is necessary to prevent Alberich from taking advantage of it. When he seizes the treasure, all his fighting spirit will faint, as the former revolutionary becomes a conservative bourgeois brooding his gold.

    Of all the characters, the two giants are those that best correspond to the concept of "race". The word is to be understood in terms of a homogeneous human group. Each of the giants would thus symbolize an aspect of people builders, farmers, while Nibelungen belong to the working class. By referring to the myth, the Giants are in war with the Nibelungs.

    The Giants are shown as two massive bearded men, with heavy gestures of relatively little meaning. Loge says they are brutes endowed with sensibility. As he is dying, Fafner himself becomes endowed with a sort of clairvoyance and even prescience.

    In the original stage setting, he dies under the shape of the dragon, which Siegfried brings down, but with Chéreau, he resumes his human shape. The reason for it is that the dialogue is more expressive between human faces.

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