of the essential characters the Ring creates insoluble characterization
problems. On one hand he is a deformed and disgusting being,
with a grey messy beard; on the other hand he is a man. Ugly
certainly, but capable of making a child to a noble lady and
to resist Wotan. That is why you have to be careful to caricature
the Nibelung, who has certain nobility in spite of its physical
directors did not make a mistake there, they were careful
enough not to make the dwarf look smaller by subterfuge. Alberich
is above all a chief, a leader. The clan of the Nibelungs
consists of industrious, skilful employees, of artisans, metalworkers,
liking their work and benefiting from it. They do contrast
with the Giants who are farmers and entrepreneurs. Alberich
stands out from the mass by his strong libido. At dawn, while
Wotan sleeps dreaming about his castle, the dwarf skips into
a foreign element, on the slippery and unstable ground. The
attraction is purely sexual and totally undifferentiated:
the Rhine maidens are interchangeable for him, as they are
for Siegfried (who also would have liked to seize one of them).
sexual frustration is intense, certainly, but so is the desire
to take revenge. The Rhine maidens are there not their first
have already seduced and drowned many men, but it is only
to him that they dare to reveal the secret. It means that
Alberich is infinitely more passionate than other victims.
The hidden spring of the action is the confusion between sex
and love made by the nixes. Alberich knows the difference.
He knows that unlimited wealth excludes love, but rhymes perfectly
understood that any woman, goddess or noble lady, is for sale
and proves it even when he has only crumbs of his treasure.
(He seduces Grimhilde with gold).
the moment when Alberich curses love and seizes the gold,
his character changes. The humbled sex turns into sadism and
greed. As much as Alberich was gullible before his kidnapping,
as much he becomes suspicious later.
The magic helmet, which confers invisibility and ubiquity,
is the symbol of this paranoia. But extreme power not only
isolates its holder but also makes him vain. Loge understands
Bolen, the Jung psychoanalyst, asserted that her cabinet is full
of Siegmunds and Siegfrieds. As an adviser to big multinational
companies, I may assert in my turn that the boards of directors
of these empires are full of Alberichs. I met many CEO's of immense
fortunes, living meagrely, depriving their family of everything
to save and increase a portfolio of shares of which they will never
take advantage. These
men are paranoiac, vain, hated secretly by their family, adulated
and courted. They gave up for ever love, or any feeling.
show an appearance of charity or consideration for the human
race only if it is indispensable for their business.
One finds many Alberich types among the patriarchs of the
North and the American Puritans. They loathe and disdain the
pleasure-seekers and bon vivants, they dream to annex the
political power, as Alberich dreams to annex Walhalla.
Alberich was dangerous when he possessed the "circulating
capital". He reigned over his workers by control and
violence. The purpose is double: the unlimited and exponential
growth of gold, the growth for the growth, globalisation,
to use a very current term.
aims at the totalitarian domination of the planet and the inhabitants
who populate it, including its political leaders. Nobody should
escape it. But Alberich becomes even more dangerous when deprived
of the Ring. The curse has an effect of metastasis. Till now Alberich
was the only one driven by financial monomania, the cult of money
for the sake of money. From the moment when the Ring escapes him,
he is going to spread the fatal renunciation of love everywhere
will be more or less contaminated by his power. As Alberich plans,
those that have it will tremble with fear, those that do not have
it will be full with envy. The curse is not only a spell: ransom
to be paid to reach the supreme wealth; it is also another shape
first aimed at increasing a saving. The second aims to destroy and
to undermine the established society by hatred and resentment. Alberich,
as Wotan, tries to find a " surrogate ", a manipulated
son, better placed than him to get back the Ring.
is it that this person does not seem to us as obnoxious as he should
be? First of all because he is a victim. A victim of the power of
impulses and someone who has undergone a castrating treatment. The
sexual instinct, which would have been able to change into tenderness,
even into love if it had not been quenched, is transformed into
instinct of power (the raised fist, the abstract threat), then into
force of alienation. The theme, which represents it, is called "
work of destruction " looks like the scratching of a mole clearing
itself a tunnel, it is as unclear as the subterranean work of undermining
which it represents. It is hatred, but the patient, persevering
and hidden hatred. And then, Alberich is substantial with himself.
He agreed to pay, to face the consequences of his choice. He is
twice a victim: of the rape of his image by the Rhine maidens, the
rape of his property by Wotan. Chéreau represented that one
by a finger amputated by Wotan's Lance.
pays by his own self. He gives up joy for power, loses the power,
which represents the Ring. His life is hell.