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Reading: Brünhilde‘s Transformation: Leitmotifs and Love in Wagner‘s Die Walküre

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Research Article

Brünhilde‘s Transformation: Leitmotifs and Love in Wagner‘s Die Walküre

Author:

Kalle Puolakka

International Institute of Applied Aesthetics, Palmenia Centre, Lahti Unit, University of Helsinki, Kirkkokatu 16, 15140 Lahti, FI
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Abstract

Many philosophers have devoted a lot of attention to the work of Richard Wagner. This article provides philosophical accounts of two important aspects of Wagner’s most ambitious work, the tetralogy Ring of the Nibelung. First, I examine how the musical device developed by Wagner known as the leitmotif functions in Act 1 of the second opera of Wagner’s Ring, Die Walküre, through the analysis of leitmotifs presented by Roger Scruton. I shall focus particularly on the perspective that the use of this musical device provides on the love between the siblings Siegmund and Sieglinde depicted in the act. My belief is that Scruton’s account of leitmotifs helps to explain the unique character that has been attributed to this act. The second part of the article presents a more detailed examination of the significance of the love between Siegmund and Sieglinde for The Ring. Besides Scruton’s views, the interpretation of The Ring by Philip Kitcher and Richard Schacht will have an important role in this examination.
How to Cite: Puolakka, Kalle. “Brünhilde‘s Transformation: Leitmotifs and Love in Wagner‘s Die Walküre”. Estetika: The Central European Journal of Aesthetics 49, no. 2 (2012): 179–90. DOI: http://doi.org/10.33134/eeja.97
Published on 25 Nov 2012.
Peer Reviewed

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