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Studia theodisca XIX (2012)

Studia theodisca
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  • Philosophy
  • Religious Science


Microsoft Word - H_BLAWID.WW8 S t u d i a t h e o d i s c a ISSN 1593-2478 _________________________________________________________ Studia theodisca XIX (2012), 167-178 ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ Martin Blawid (Offenbach) Malicious Dwarfs, Fair Nymphs, Heroic Gods Application and Transformation of Germanic Mythology in Richard Wagner’s libretto «The Rhinegold» Abstract According to Joachim Heinzle, the Nibelungensage represents the «most German among all German issues». The following essay seeks to analyze in how far the German composer Richard Wagner resorts either to a more traditional or to a more innovative representa- tion of the Germanic influences in his libretto The Rhinegold, which is the opening part of his operatic tetralogy The Ring of the Nibelungen. Moving from an epistemological basis, the libretto will be examined with a special focus on how Wagner applies and transforms Germanic mythology in terms of the characters and of deictic references. Even more than 150 years after Richard Wagner had finished the tex- tual basis of his operatic tetralogy The Ring of the Nibelungen in 1853, the complex history of his masterpiece and its reception is far from being concluded. It has, however, revealed a tendency of change from the fasci- nation with Wagner’s highly disputed and ahistorical reception as a “Ger- man nationalist” during the first half of the 20th century to the concern with the process of writing and composing. In this context, the issue of the sources that inspired Wagner has become increasingly important, which is encouraged by numerous notes that Wagner left while writing his libretti. Dieter Bremer lays emphasis on the following note which dates back to 1851: «Meine Studien trugen mich so durch die Dichtungen des Mittelalters hindurch bis auf den Grund des alten urdeutschen Mythos; ein Gewand nach dem anderen, das ihm die spätere Dichtung entstellend um- geworfen hatte, vermochte i

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