Date of Award
John J. Sheinbaum, Ph.D.
Gregory Robbins, Ph.D.
Duality, Leitmotif, Siegfried, Wagner
The character Siegfried, much like the whole of Richard Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung, is open to interpretation by scholars and critics from a variety of different perspectives. Although these interpretations often reflect the historical, political, and cultural circumstances of their times, they nevertheless claim some legitimacy by appealing to the musical and dramatic texts of the Ring for evidence. This thesis examines Wagner's conception of Siegfried and different historical perceptions of the character, discusses ambiguity both in the drama and in the music itself, and suggests a reading of Siegfried as having a dual purpose: that of a concrete, free-willed agent (the Man) and that of an idealized hero serving a necessary role in the larger context of the drama (the Idea). The thesis concludes with a four-part analysis of Siegfried Act III, Scene ii that compares four readings of the character, three supporting different historical readings and one grounded in the Man/Idea duality.
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Szott, Elizabeth Mary, "Man and Idea: Complexity and Duality in the Hero of Wagner's "Ring"" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1162.
Received from ProQuest
Elizabeth Mary Szott