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Der Ring des Nibelungen

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Richard Wagner's vast Der Ring des Nibelungen cycle comprises four full length operas Das Rheingold Die Walkure Siegfried and Gotterdammerung and is arguably the most extraordinary achievement in th. A TALE OF TWO RINGS EPIC AND ARCHETYPE IN TOLKIEN'S LORD OF THE RINGS“ WAGNER'S THE RING OF THE NIBELUNGEN PLUS THE NORSE PROSE EDDA THE VOLSUNGA SAGA AND THE NIBELUNGENLIED FROM THE WORLD LITERATURE FORUM RECOMMENDED CLASSICS AND MASTERPIECES SERIES VIA GOODREADS— ROBERT SHEPPARD EDITOR IN CHIEFTHE TALE OF THE TWO RINGS TOLKIEN'S LORD OF THE RINGS AND WAGNER'S RING OF THE NIBELUNGENJRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is one of the most beloved fantasy epics of modern World Literature celebrated in the film adaptaion of Peter Jackson read and re read by devotees from childhood to old age bringing to life through its magic not only the creation of the epic imagined world of Middle Earth inhabited by such immortal characters as Gandalf Frodo Bilbo Sauron and Aragorn but also a complete alternative history and spiritual cosmology of the universe I enjoyed reading all of Tolkien's works immensely as well as re experiencing them in film and have always felt in the presence of greatness with his works But that grand creation was not made from the whole cloth of Tolkien's pure imagination alone but rather built upon a great tradition derived from World Literature most notably drawing upon the Ring of the Nibelungen Der Ring des Nibelungenor Ring Cycle operas of Richard Wagner as well as the many forerunners Tolkien himself studied and taught ss a Professor of Anglo Saxon literature at Oxford such as the Norse and early Germanic Prose Edda the Volsunga Saga and the NibelungenliedNoticing the many similarities and shared motifs between Wagner's Ring Cycle operas and Tolkien's epic some harping critics even went so far as to claim that Tolkien had plagiarized much of his creation from Wagner This unfair accusation ignores the reality that all great writers build upon a Great Tradition as referred to by TS Eliot which is beueathed with generosity to them to freely utilize and adapt as the common heritage of mankind freely invested in its own future development Horace in his Ars Poetica Art of Poetry boasted that he often stole working materials from the classics ualified by his mitigating insistence on exercising the good taste to steal only from the best Indeed great writers not only have great license to take from the Great Tradition in order to extend and strengthen it but also find common roots in the myths and archetypes of the Collective Unconscious identified by the celebrated psychologist CG Jung also as the common spiritual capital of humanity Thus Vergil's Aeneid drew heavily upon Homer's Iliad and Odyssey the great plays and tragedies of Sophocles Aeschylus and Euripides drew freely upon such sagas and mythic lore as Oedipus and the Greek Gods and the Chinese epic Journey to the West of the Monkey King drew on the similar figure of Hanuman from the Indian classic The Ramayana of Valmiki Indeed the Bible itself a most plundered source of borrowings counsels us to judge value by the fruits of the borrowing rather than by mere roots and fertilizing By their fruits you will know them Matthew 716Tolkien himself uestioned on the similarity said The two Rings have in common that they are both round and beyond that they are completely different In this he was being a bit rhetorically disingenuous as the common elements in both great works are fundamental than superficial First the central uest and plot device of a struggle over a Ring of Power capable of conferring on its bearer mastery of the world but also bearing a curse of corruption and self destruction necessitating its removal from the world gives to both works a common central dynamic Tolkien who once undertook a common project with CS Lewis author of the Narnia Saga to translate Wagner's Ring Cycle together was intimately aware of Wagner's narrative along with the sources from which Wagner himself borrowed such as the Nibelungenlied and the Norse Volsunga Saga Secondly from Wagner Tolkien also took as models or sources of inspiration several other key elements of the Hobbit cycle including outlines of some of of the key characters In Wagner's Nibelungen Ring perhaps the most central character is a dwarf who initially possesses the Ring of Power Alberich Alberich initially creates the Ring of Power in the first opera The Rhinegold Das Rheingold from enchanted gold stolen from the river spirit Rhinemaidens which he is able to do only after renouncing all love which he does after the beautiful Rhinemaidens spurn his love berating his ugliness and smallness Next the king of the Gods WotanOdin forces Alberich to give the Ring to him later losing it when he is forced to give it as payment to the giants Fafner and Fasolt for their work in building Valhalla the palace of the gods Fafner kills his brother Fasolt over the Ring and then transforms himself into a dragon to keep watch over it Thereafter both the dwarf Alberich and Wotan struggle and plot over decades to recover the lost precious Ring Alberich exhibiting many of the characteristics of Gollum in Tolkien's saga in his obsession with it In Wagner as in Tokien the fate of the Ring is also tied to a looming Apocalypse as its destruction will also usher in a New Age on earth and the departure of the gods or other celestial agents such as the elves or Valkyrie Both works are populated by an analogous heirarchy of beings or races the Gods men dwarves and Valkyrie Riders in Wagner and elves men dwarves ents orcs and malign personages such as Sauron and the Nazgul Riders in Tolkien In Wagner as in Tokien diverse parties plot to get possession of the Ring such as Alberich's brother the dwarf Mime who raises Sigfried the product of the incestuous union of Siegmund and Sieglinde in the second opera The Valkyie Wotan's grandchild who will have the power to recover the Ring Siegfried like Aragorn must search for his ancestry and repair the broken sword of his forefathers Nothing to complete his uest In both sagas an immortal female being is transformed into a mortal who will die alongside her lover namely Arwen who choses mortal life and marriage to Aragorn and Brunhilde the lover of Siegfried Both sagas end with the destruction of the Ring which in turn ushers a New Age and the departure of the gods or spirits of the old order THE TWO RING SAGAS AS EPICSBoth the Lord of the Rings and the Ring of the Nibelungen constitute epics in their scope and impact An epic as a genre may be defined as a narrative in verse prose or other form which includes extensive history such as to define the character or destiny of a nation people even humanity as a whole Tolkien's classic famously extends for several thousand years from the First Age to the Fourth Age which commences at its conclusion covers at least three generatiions of its protagonists and defines the formation or reconstituion of a nation the united Kingdom under Aragorn and its relationship with the divine or supernatural powers elves Valar and evil forces such as Sauron and Morgoth and with the natural environment Wagner's saga also spans three generations from Wotan to Siegmund and Sieglinde and the grandchild Siegfried and embraces a backstory of cosmic proportions including the famous Gotterdammerung Ragnarok or fall of the Norse gods led by OdinWotan and the burning of Valhalla and Iggdrasil the Tree of Life and the World Their sagas concern not only their protagonists or even their peoples but the entire condition of the world and the conditions of its physical and spiritual continuation regeneration and renewal Parenthetically I also include my own work the contemporary and futurist epic Spiritus Mundi in the epic genre as it spans in its backstory the history of the Sartorius family from the 1600's to the present and through time travel the history of the human race into the 23rd Century in the wake of the founding of the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly in our own time and defines the character of the emerging people of the world newly and necessarily united in our globalized age including their relationship with the cosmos and the divine ARCHETYPES AND JUNGIAN MOTIFS IN THE RING SAGASArchetypes according to CG Jung and others are universal archaic patterns and images that derive from the collective unconscious and are the psychic counterpart of instinct They are autonomous and hidden forms which are transformed once they enter consciousness and are given particular expression by individuals and their cultures but exist independently of them as part of our genetic and instinctual heritage Common examples in literature are the archetypal figures of the Mother Trickster Magician Warrior King and Devil or situational archetypes such as the uest the Flood the Fall Re birth and Transformation or Apocalypse Importantly an archetype is not just a symbol or image in the abstract but rather a concrete living force within the mind sometimes referred to as a complex which acts as a source of energy or intensity around the archetypal nucleus and which may drain or augment energy from or to the Ego and which may exist in either the personal unconscious of an individual the collective unconscious of the whole human race or both The operation and experience of the archetypes both in their narrative or symbolic form and within the psyche of the protagonist or the reader serve to catalyze psychic growth leading to greater awareness and greater psychic wholleness maturity and health and a resultant enhanced capacity for life in the world THE HERO'S UEST ARCHETYPEOne of the central archetypes in CG Jung and other archetypal critics such as Joseph Campbell in his Hero With a Thousand Faces is that of the hero's uest In this archetype the hero is reuired to undertake a perilous journey into an unknnown and dangerous realm to accomplish some task of vital importance during which he will be tested and if successful will bring back some vital boon to the world of his origin The stages of the hero's journey typically include 1Separation and Departure expulsion from a safe haven home or childhood2 Initiation3 Struggle Against Adverse Forces 4 Descent into the Underworld confronting not only external dangers but his own deepest inner self5 Return and Re Integration a return from the mythic dimension to rejoin the mundane world of his origin In Tolkien's Lord of the Rings the central hero Frodo undertakes the uest of the Ring Bearer to destroy the Ring of Power in the fires of Mount Doom which unites him with his brother uesters of the Fellowship of the Ring who accompany him In the first stage of Departure the Black Horsemen forcibly expel him from the safe haven of the Shire a world of innocence protected child like existence harmony and oneness with nature At Rivendell he is initiated into a larger community of his fellow uestors who must struggle against a Nemesis the predatory Sauron and his evil allies and underlings His journey to both the Mines of Moria and to the evil realm of Mordor challenges not only his physical and external survival and strength but also his inner resolve and willingness to rise to the duty of the uest In the final chapters after the Ring's destruction especially the chapter The Scouring of the Shire Frodo and his companions must return to the world of his origins bearing the strengths obtained by means of the uest Thus Frodo on his return along with Merry Pippin and Sam are no longer the passive child like beings of their innocent youth and their world is no longer an Edenic paradise but they must confront its evils with adult and active powers derived from their growth during the uest They undertake to reform their fallen homeland driving out the petty fascism of the exploitative capitalist and predatory classes backed by the fallen SarumanSharkey and restore their community to freedom justice and harmony with nature In Wagner's Ring Cycle there is little growth of self and insight in the Jungian sense on the part of the hero Siegfried His uest is defined as to discover what fear is in a supposedly fearless heroic self However Siegfried fails to discover this fear or any measure of inner insight and is led to destruction It is the character of Wotan who attains some measure of insight in his unsuccessful uest for the Ring leading ultimately to his acceptance of his fate of death and downfall of the godsTHE ARCHETYPE OF THE SHADOW OR DOPPELGANGERIn the Lord of the Rings trilogy Frodo's steps are incessently dogged by a creature who uncannily manages to follow his every movement almost as if he were his own shadow Gollum In Jung's concept of the archetype of The Shadow such a figure often represents the negative unconscious dimensions of the Self which have been repressed and remain unintegrated within the psyche Frodo to our eyes and his own appears to be an exemplary character full of idealism selflessness courage and love for others But this benign view ignores what we suspect lies in all human hearts the capacity for selfishness love of power possession and self importance which are suspiciously absent from his apparant conscious self Thus until Frodo confronts his own capacity for selfishness and potential evil and tames and overcomes it his steps will be dogged by a demonized being who represents these negative capacities Gollum Gollum is craven selfish violent and obsessed with his own possession of the Ring and its power He follows Frodo as closely as Frodo's own shadow and indeeds comes to represent an alter ego or a Dr Jeckle and Mr Hyde Doppelganger repressed other self Notably in terms of Frodo himself alone he finally fails in his uest as at the critical moment within Mr Doom he refuses to throw the Ring into the feiry abyss In a sense he never really recognized that selfish capacity within himself until too late It is only by the accident of Gollum biting off his finger with the Ring on it and slipping into the fire that the uest is accomplishd along with the loyal aid of Frodo's uotidian alter ego Sam Thus Frodo as a discrete conscious self balks and fails in the uest but his extended composite self symbolically evolved through growth experience and and amalgamating his alter egos Gollum and Sam jointly accomplish the uest almost in spite of Frodo's conscious self and it is only the fully integrated greater self that is capable of fulfilling its mission and promise The uest is thus ironically accomplished by accident but this uncanny accident proves to be no mere accident at all but the fulfillment of deeper psychic laws and destinies THE ANIMA FIGURE IN THE LORD OF THE RINGSJung conceived The Anima as the feminine complementary self present in the male psyche that often inspires love and becomes the face of love leading to a man's growth towards wholeness The anima may also bear a negative shape where this complementary relationship is perverted or obstructed In the female psyche of a woman the male complementary other half of the conscious self most often takes some masculine shape and face termed by Jung her Animus the masculine counterpart to the feminine Anima In the Lord of the Rings a powerful Anima figure is that of the beautiful elfen ueen Galadriel Notably Galadriel posseses a magic mirror into which each person looks and sees some aspect of themselves and their destiny Thus confrontation of the Anima forces the self to a deeper consideration of the male self revealing hidden or repressed mysteries For example the presence of Galadriel leads Gimli the dwarf to realize that possession of wealth and riches his prior obsession was less valuable than love and beauty Another powerful anima figure is that of Arwen the elven princess and daughter of Elron who is the eternal guide of the heart for Aragorn on his uest Notably she represents the immortality of the spirit which through love chooses to live and die alongside her beloved mortal man and mate an idealized feminine virtue THE ARCHETYPES OF MASCULINE MATURITY IN THE RING SAGA THE WARRIOR THE MAGICIAN AND THE KINGOur connection with the narrative of The Lord of the Rings is through the experience of the Hobbits diminutive human beings who are admirable and lovable but seemingly immature partially child like passive and little capable of survival in the dangerous greater world outside the Edenic Shire Their tale is one of growth to a greater maturity through encounters with such archetypal male figures of Aragorn first a Warrior and then a King Gandalf the Wizard Magician and the array of supporting warriors and allies who lead them to greater powers and maturity in the face of a hostile world The Warrior archetype is a destroyer of enemies and bears strength and power Thus the Hobbits grow from child like impotence to masculine maturity and power as they are initiated into the fellowship of warriors Gandalf as a representative of the Magician Archetype further enhances the power of the warrior with the ability to channel the supernatural and hidden magical powers of nature and the universe for human ends He is a teacher who empowers others as well as wielding superhuman powers derived from the deepest understanding of the world's secrets In Aragorn is manifest the figure of the King a mature reincarnation of the warrior's power to which is added responsibility love of people and a healing power capable of harmonizing the human community with the cosmic order and natureTHE RING CYCLES AND SPIRITUS MUNDIMy own work the contemporary and futurist epic novel Spiritus Mundi also shares the Jungian archetypal heritage of the two Ring Cycles Its primary moving force and plot device is the uest of social idealists in our time to establish a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly for global democracy In the course of this uest they encounter inimical forces that threaten World War III and nuclear Armageddon and are forced into a mythical journey to an Underworld of Middle Earth a Jules Verne like journey to the center of the Earth plus a celestial ascencion to the Council of the Immortals analagous to the angelic elven beings of the Ring saga and a uest to recover the Silmaril Crystal to save the world Its material draws heavily on the Great Tradition including the Iliad Odyssey Aeneid Dante and the work of such modern immortal greats as Verne Wells Tolkien and Wagner World Literature Forum invites you to check out the great fantasy epics of Tolkien and Wagner and also the contemporary epic novel Spiritus Mundi by Robert Sheppard For a fuller discussion of the concept of World Literature you are invited to look into the extended discussion in the new book Spiritus Mundi by Robert Sheppard one of the principal themes of which is the emergence and evolution of World LiteratureFor Discussions on World Literature and n Literary Criticism in Spiritus Mundi SheppardEditor in ChiefWorld Literature ForumAuthor Spiritus Mundi NovelAuthor’s Blog Mundi on Goodreads Mundi on Book I Mundi Book II The Romance Robert Sheppard 2013 All Rights Reserved

Read Der Ring des Nibelungen

Ndrew Porter's utterly natural often poetic faithfully rendered English text should be a revelationThe immediacy of instant comprehension gives the entire drama an added dimension' The New York Time. what beautiful illustrations

characters Ê PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ↠ Richard Wagner

E history of opera His own libretto to the operas translated by Andrew Porter is an intricate system of metric patterns imaginative metaphors and alliterationcombining to produce the music in text'A. John Deathridge's new English translation of Wagner's Ring cycle is a curious beast and a difficult one to review The Ring of the Nïbelung is an opera and primarily exists to be watched and listened to onstage Reading it as a book dilutes a lot of what Wagner was attempting with the epic composition so I will focus only on the plot Spanning four main acts the opera covers 'The Rhinegold' 'The Valkyrie' 'Siegfried' and 'Twilight of the Gods' A priceless treasure of the Rhine is snatched by the dwarf Alberich after his lecherous advances are rejected by the Rhinemaidens With the stolen gold he fashions a ring that will allow him to control the world Wotan Father of the Gods then uses cunning to steal the ring as payment for the giants who built him Valhalla Overwhelmed by rage and longing Alberich curses the bearer of the ring setting in motion a chain of vengeance scheming and betrayal amongst gods monsters and heroes The epic narrative borrows heavily from Norse mythology dealing with the rise and fall of the hero Siegfriend a mortal born without knowledge of fear His deeds involve thwarting the machinations of his dwarven guardian slaying the giant turned dragon Fafnir claiming the ring for himself and traversing a wall of fire to win the Valkyrie Brunnhilde as his wife In typical epic fashion his heroic doings are used to instigate his fall from grace The mythic overtures of the story are entertaining enough to read but the enjoyment of the text is undoubtedly marred by the nature of the source matieral Expect long passages of nothing but Wallala weiala weia and Hojotoho Heiaha heiaha which seem to fill the bulk of the 750 pages The German text runs alongside the English translation so those versed in Wagner's mothertongue can compare and contrast the fidelty of Deathridge's work Recommended to lovers or Norse mythology fans of Tolkein or anyone curious enough to read an opera


About the Author: Richard Wagner

Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer conductor theatre director and essayist primarily known for his operas or music dramas as they were later called Unlike most other great opera composers Wagner wrote both the scenario and libretto for his works



9 thoughts on “Der Ring des Nibelungen

  1. says:

    A TALE OF TWO RINGS EPIC AND ARCHETYPE IN TOLKIEN'S LORD OF THE RINGS“ WAGNER'S THE RING OF THE NIBELUNGEN PLUS THE NORSE PROSE EDDA THE VOLSUNGA SAGA AND THE NIBELUNGENLIED FROM THE WORLD LITERATURE FORUM RECOMMENDED CLASSICS AND MASTERPIECES SERIES VIA GOODREADS— ROBERT SHEPPARD EDITOR IN CHIEFTHE TALE OF THE TWO RINGS TOLKIEN'S LORD OF THE RINGS AND WAGNER'S RING OF THE NIBELUNGENJRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings is one of the most beloved fantasy epics of modern World Literature celebrated in the film adaptaion of Peter Jackson read and re read by devotees from childhood to old age bringing to life through its magic not only the creation of the epic imagined world of Middle Earth inhabited by such immortal characters as Gandalf Frodo Bilbo Sauron and Aragorn but also a complete alternative history and spiritual cosmology of the universe I enjoyed reading all of Tolkien's works immensely as well as re experiencing them in film and have always felt in the presence of greatness with his works But that grand creation was not made from the whole cloth of Tolkien's pure imagination alone but rather built upon a great tradition derived from World Literature most notably drawing upon the Ring of the Nibelungen Der Ring des Nibelungenor Ring Cycle operas of Richard Wagner as well as the many forerunners Tolkien himself studied and taught ss a Professor of Anglo Saxon literature at Oxford such as the Norse and early Germanic Prose Edda the Volsunga Saga and the NibelungenliedNoticing the many similarities and shared motifs between Wagner's Ring Cycle operas and Tolkien's epic some harping critics even went so far as to claim that Tolkien had plagiarized much of his creation from Wagner This unfair accusation ignores the reality that all great writers build upon a Great Tradition as referred to by TS Eliot which is beueathed with generosity to them to freely utilize and adapt as the common heritage of mankind freely invested in its own future development Horace in his Ars Poetica Art of Poetry boasted that he often stole working materials from the classics ualified by his mitigating insistence on exercising the good taste to steal only from the best Indeed great writers not only have great license to take from the Great Tradition in order to extend and strengthen it but also find common roots in the myths and archetypes of the Collective Unconscious identified by the celebrated psychologist CG Jung also as the common spiritual capital of humanity Thus Vergil's Aeneid drew heavily upon Homer's Iliad and Odyssey the great plays and tragedies of Sophocles Aeschylus and Euripides drew freely upon such sagas and mythic lore as Oedipus and the Greek Gods and the Chinese epic Journey to the West of the Monkey King drew on the similar figure of Hanuman from the Indian classic The Ramayana of Valmiki Indeed the Bible itself a most plundered source of borrowings counsels us to judge value by the fruits of the borrowing rather than by mere roots and fertilizing By their fruits you will know them Matthew 716Tolkien himself uestioned on the similarity said The two Rings have in common that they are both round and beyond that they are completely different In this he was being a bit rhetorically disingenuous as the common elements in both great works are fundamental than superficial First the central uest and plot device of a struggle over a Ring of Power capable of conferring on its bearer mastery of the world but also bearing a curse of corruption and self destruction necessitating its removal from the world gives to both works a common central dynamic Tolkien who once undertook a common project with CS Lewis author of the Narnia Saga to translate Wagner's Ring Cycle together was intimately aware of Wagner's narrative along with the sources from which Wagner himself borrowed such as the Nibelungenlied and the Norse Volsunga Saga Secondly from Wagner Tolkien also took as models or sources of inspiration several other key elements of the Hobbit cycle including outlines of some of of the key characters In Wagner's Nibelungen Ring perhaps the most central character is a dwarf who initially possesses the Ring of Power Alberich Alberich initially creates the Ring of Power in the first opera The Rhinegold Das Rheingold from enchanted gold stolen from the river spirit Rhinemaidens which he is able to do only after renouncing all love which he does after the beautiful Rhinemaidens spurn his love berating his ugliness and smallness Next the king of the Gods WotanOdin forces Alberich to give the Ring to him later losing it when he is forced to give it as payment to the giants Fafner and Fasolt for their work in building Valhalla the palace of the gods Fafner kills his brother Fasolt over the Ring and then transforms himself into a dragon to keep watch over it Thereafter both the dwarf Alberich and Wotan struggle and plot over decades to recover the lost precious Ring Alberich exhibiting many of the characteristics of Gollum in Tolkien's saga in his obsession with it In Wagner as in Tokien the fate of the Ring is also tied to a looming Apocalypse as its destruction will also usher in a New Age on earth and the departure of the gods or other celestial agents such as the elves or Valkyrie Both works are populated by an analogous heirarchy of beings or races the Gods men dwarves and Valkyrie Riders in Wagner and elves men dwarves ents orcs and malign personages such as Sauron and the Nazgul Riders in Tolkien In Wagner as in Tokien diverse parties plot to get possession of the Ring such as Alberich's brother the dwarf Mime who raises Sigfried the product of the incestuous union of Siegmund and Sieglinde in the second opera The Valkyie Wotan's grandchild who will have the power to recover the Ring Siegfried like Aragorn must search for his ancestry and repair the broken sword of his forefathers Nothing to complete his uest In both sagas an immortal female being is transformed into a mortal who will die alongside her lover namely Arwen who choses mortal life and marriage to Aragorn and Brunhilde the lover of Siegfried Both sagas end with the destruction of the Ring which in turn ushers a New Age and the departure of the gods or spirits of the old order THE TWO RING SAGAS AS EPICSBoth the Lord of the Rings and the Ring of the Nibelungen constitute epics in their scope and impact An epic as a genre may be defined as a narrative in verse prose or other form which includes extensive history such as to define the character or destiny of a nation people even humanity as a whole Tolkien's classic famously extends for several thousand years from the First Age to the Fourth Age which commences at its conclusion covers at least three generatiions of its protagonists and defines the formation or reconstituion of a nation the united Kingdom under Aragorn and its relationship with the divine or supernatural powers elves Valar and evil forces such as Sauron and Morgoth and with the natural environment Wagner's saga also spans three generations from Wotan to Siegmund and Sieglinde and the grandchild Siegfried and embraces a backstory of cosmic proportions including the famous Gotterdammerung Ragnarok or fall of the Norse gods led by OdinWotan and the burning of Valhalla and Iggdrasil the Tree of Life and the World Their sagas concern not only their protagonists or even their peoples but the entire condition of the world and the conditions of its physical and spiritual continuation regeneration and renewal Parenthetically I also include my own work the contemporary and futurist epic Spiritus Mundi in the epic genre as it spans in its backstory the history of the Sartorius family from the 1600's to the present and through time travel the history of the human race into the 23rd Century in the wake of the founding of the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly in our own time and defines the character of the emerging people of the world newly and necessarily united in our globalized age including their relationship with the cosmos and the divine ARCHETYPES AND JUNGIAN MOTIFS IN THE RING SAGASArchetypes according to CG Jung and others are universal archaic patterns and images that derive from the collective unconscious and are the psychic counterpart of instinct They are autonomous and hidden forms which are transformed once they enter consciousness and are given particular expression by individuals and their cultures but exist independently of them as part of our genetic and instinctual heritage Common examples in literature are the archetypal figures of the Mother Trickster Magician Warrior King and Devil or situational archetypes such as the uest the Flood the Fall Re birth and Transformation or Apocalypse Importantly an archetype is not just a symbol or image in the abstract but rather a concrete living force within the mind sometimes referred to as a complex which acts as a source of energy or intensity around the archetypal nucleus and which may drain or augment energy from or to the Ego and which may exist in either the personal unconscious of an individual the collective unconscious of the whole human race or both The operation and experience of the archetypes both in their narrative or symbolic form and within the psyche of the protagonist or the reader serve to catalyze psychic growth leading to greater awareness and greater psychic wholleness maturity and health and a resultant enhanced capacity for life in the world THE HERO'S UEST ARCHETYPEOne of the central archetypes in CG Jung and other archetypal critics such as Joseph Campbell in his Hero With a Thousand Faces is that of the hero's uest In this archetype the hero is reuired to undertake a perilous journey into an unknnown and dangerous realm to accomplish some task of vital importance during which he will be tested and if successful will bring back some vital boon to the world of his origin The stages of the hero's journey typically include 1Separation and Departure expulsion from a safe haven home or childhood2 Initiation3 Struggle Against Adverse Forces 4 Descent into the Underworld confronting not only external dangers but his own deepest inner self5 Return and Re Integration a return from the mythic dimension to rejoin the mundane world of his origin In Tolkien's Lord of the Rings the central hero Frodo undertakes the uest of the Ring Bearer to destroy the Ring of Power in the fires of Mount Doom which unites him with his brother uesters of the Fellowship of the Ring who accompany him In the first stage of Departure the Black Horsemen forcibly expel him from the safe haven of the Shire a world of innocence protected child like existence harmony and oneness with nature At Rivendell he is initiated into a larger community of his fellow uestors who must struggle against a Nemesis the predatory Sauron and his evil allies and underlings His journey to both the Mines of Moria and to the evil realm of Mordor challenges not only his physical and external survival and strength but also his inner resolve and willingness to rise to the duty of the uest In the final chapters after the Ring's destruction especially the chapter The Scouring of the Shire Frodo and his companions must return to the world of his origins bearing the strengths obtained by means of the uest Thus Frodo on his return along with Merry Pippin and Sam are no longer the passive child like beings of their innocent youth and their world is no longer an Edenic paradise but they must confront its evils with adult and active powers derived from their growth during the uest They undertake to reform their fallen homeland driving out the petty fascism of the exploitative capitalist and predatory classes backed by the fallen SarumanSharkey and restore their community to freedom justice and harmony with nature In Wagner's Ring Cycle there is little growth of self and insight in the Jungian sense on the part of the hero Siegfried His uest is defined as to discover what fear is in a supposedly fearless heroic self However Siegfried fails to discover this fear or any measure of inner insight and is led to destruction It is the character of Wotan who attains some measure of insight in his unsuccessful uest for the Ring leading ultimately to his acceptance of his fate of death and downfall of the godsTHE ARCHETYPE OF THE SHADOW OR DOPPELGANGERIn the Lord of the Rings trilogy Frodo's steps are incessently dogged by a creature who uncannily manages to follow his every movement almost as if he were his own shadow Gollum In Jung's concept of the archetype of The Shadow such a figure often represents the negative unconscious dimensions of the Self which have been repressed and remain unintegrated within the psyche Frodo to our eyes and his own appears to be an exemplary character full of idealism selflessness courage and love for others But this benign view ignores what we suspect lies in all human hearts the capacity for selfishness love of power possession and self importance which are suspiciously absent from his apparant conscious self Thus until Frodo confronts his own capacity for selfishness and potential evil and tames and overcomes it his steps will be dogged by a demonized being who represents these negative capacities Gollum Gollum is craven selfish violent and obsessed with his own possession of the Ring and its power He follows Frodo as closely as Frodo's own shadow and indeeds comes to represent an alter ego or a Dr Jeckle and Mr Hyde Doppelganger repressed other self Notably in terms of Frodo himself alone he finally fails in his uest as at the critical moment within Mr Doom he refuses to throw the Ring into the feiry abyss In a sense he never really recognized that selfish capacity within himself until too late It is only by the accident of Gollum biting off his finger with the Ring on it and slipping into the fire that the uest is accomplishd along with the loyal aid of Frodo's uotidian alter ego Sam Thus Frodo as a discrete conscious self balks and fails in the uest but his extended composite self symbolically evolved through growth experience and and amalgamating his alter egos Gollum and Sam jointly accomplish the uest almost in spite of Frodo's conscious self and it is only the fully integrated greater self that is capable of fulfilling its mission and promise The uest is thus ironically accomplished by accident but this uncanny accident proves to be no mere accident at all but the fulfillment of deeper psychic laws and destinies THE ANIMA FIGURE IN THE LORD OF THE RINGSJung conceived The Anima as the feminine complementary self present in the male psyche that often inspires love and becomes the face of love leading to a man's growth towards wholeness The anima may also bear a negative shape where this complementary relationship is perverted or obstructed In the female psyche of a woman the male complementary other half of the conscious self most often takes some masculine shape and face termed by Jung her Animus the masculine counterpart to the feminine Anima In the Lord of the Rings a powerful Anima figure is that of the beautiful elfen ueen Galadriel Notably Galadriel posseses a magic mirror into which each person looks and sees some aspect of themselves and their destiny Thus confrontation of the Anima forces the self to a deeper consideration of the male self revealing hidden or repressed mysteries For example the presence of Galadriel leads Gimli the dwarf to realize that possession of wealth and riches his prior obsession was less valuable than love and beauty Another powerful anima figure is that of Arwen the elven princess and daughter of Elron who is the eternal guide of the heart for Aragorn on his uest Notably she represents the immortality of the spirit which through love chooses to live and die alongside her beloved mortal man and mate an idealized feminine virtue THE ARCHETYPES OF MASCULINE MATURITY IN THE RING SAGA THE WARRIOR THE MAGICIAN AND THE KINGOur connection with the narrative of The Lord of the Rings is through the experience of the Hobbits diminutive human beings who are admirable and lovable but seemingly immature partially child like passive and little capable of survival in the dangerous greater world outside the Edenic Shire Their tale is one of growth to a greater maturity through encounters with such archetypal male figures of Aragorn first a Warrior and then a King Gandalf the Wizard Magician and the array of supporting warriors and allies who lead them to greater powers and maturity in the face of a hostile world The Warrior archetype is a destroyer of enemies and bears strength and power Thus the Hobbits grow from child like impotence to masculine maturity and power as they are initiated into the fellowship of warriors Gandalf as a representative of the Magician Archetype further enhances the power of the warrior with the ability to channel the supernatural and hidden magical powers of nature and the universe for human ends He is a teacher who empowers others as well as wielding superhuman powers derived from the deepest understanding of the world's secrets In Aragorn is manifest the figure of the King a mature reincarnation of the warrior's power to which is added responsibility love of people and a healing power capable of harmonizing the human community with the cosmic order and natureTHE RING CYCLES AND SPIRITUS MUNDIMy own work the contemporary and futurist epic novel Spiritus Mundi also shares the Jungian archetypal heritage of the two Ring Cycles Its primary moving force and plot device is the uest of social idealists in our time to establish a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly for global democracy In the course of this uest they encounter inimical forces that threaten World War III and nuclear Armageddon and are forced into a mythical journey to an Underworld of Middle Earth a Jules Verne like journey to the center of the Earth plus a celestial ascencion to the Council of the Immortals analagous to the angelic elven beings of the Ring saga and a uest to recover the Silmaril Crystal to save the world Its material draws heavily on the Great Tradition including the Iliad Odyssey Aeneid Dante and the work of such modern immortal greats as Verne Wells Tolkien and Wagner World Literature Forum invites you to check out the great fantasy epics of Tolkien and Wagner and also the contemporary epic novel Spiritus Mundi by Robert Sheppard For a fuller discussion of the concept of World Literature you are invited to look into the extended discussion in the new book Spiritus Mundi by Robert Sheppard one of the principal themes of which is the emergence and evolution of World LiteratureFor Discussions on World Literature and n Literary Criticism in Spiritus Mundi SheppardEditor in ChiefWorld Literature ForumAuthor Spiritus Mundi NovelAuthor’s Blog Mundi on Goodreads Mundi on Book I Mundi Book II The Romance Robert Sheppard 2013 All Rights Reserved


  2. says:

    Haymes gives a very good introduction a study of Wagner's source material and introduces the reader to the books which Wagner had in his possession Then he gives the German texts with facing English translation of both Der Nibelungen Mythus and Siegfried's Tod both accompanied by a short introduction Essential reading for anyone interested in the evolution of Wagner's Nibelungen dramaWarning This is a review of Wagner's Ring in 1848 New Translations of the Nibelung Myth and Siegfried's Death by Edward Haymes and not a review of Richard Wagner' Der Ring des Nibelungen Someone at goodreads in their infinite wisdom as decided to combine this with translations of Der Ring des Nibelungen This is a translation and study of Der Nibelungen Mythus and Siegfried's Tod


  3. says:

    Excellent translation incredible work Not meant to be read alongread it while watching it


  4. says:

    Finally A 5 star read This was such a loaded choice for me that I am pretty sure this review is gonna gush out rather than be a cohesive reflection Frankly I was skeptical of picking up an opera for my next read I can't compare it to any other work Have next to no know how of opera performances or theater directions So my only interest was the story it tells And I DO NOT EXAGGERATE when I say that watching the performance of Wagner's Ring Cycle has made my bucket list Sadly I can't do it anytime soon But it's definitely one of my top wishes now In retrospect Tolkien might have pushed me on to peruse this masterpiece Wagner no doubt inspired many artists of his time and the ones who came later And having read this work I can't help but see the parallels within Tolkien's Middle Earth Which by the way is titillating to no end I am in awe of the inspirations that Tolkien seems to have found in Wagner's Ring Cycle will talk of my speculations in this regardHaving read The Prose Edda and The Saga of the Volsungs I could relate to Wagner's loosely abiding derivations The Ring Cycle merges the Norse mythology with the Volsung Saga essentially taking the best of both the worlds Norse myths and Volsung heroic legends come together in this epic And it speaks volumes about Wagner's talent that the result is no less intriguing than its origins A restless GodA coveted treasureA feared curseA forbidden loveA doomed heroA scorned enemyAn unavoidable fate The introduction by John Deathridge translator traces the history of the Ring Cycle in brief It offers a perspective to changes in operatic performances under Wagner's influence his modifications to the script over time and methods applied to the translation of this much revered German work This being my first translation I uite liked the text in its ability to convey the idea faithfully Not once did I fear the plot details getting lost in translation The word plays in the German text may not have lent themselves faithfully to the English text And there might be better translations out there But I wouldn't hesitate in recommending this one The Synopses at the beginning gives away the plot in plain English prose One can use it to prepare for the plot development But the translation being clear and succinct one need not go through this spoiler of sorts I say jump right into the verses and power this magnum opus with your imaginationThe book offers both the German and the English version of the Ring Cycle with ample footnotes One need not know the Norse myths or Volsung Saga in comprehensive detail to understand the plot Wagner is not entirely faithful to either anyways He takes the divine element from the Norse pantheon and the mortal element from the heroic legends and mixes them up albeit harmoniously A hero with divine roots is manufactured into existence by an ever dissatisfied God for his own greedy purpose Wagner prepares his readers for tragedy right from the start Themes of incest betrayal envy and revenge form the under current taking the characters speedily along to their doomed end And yes the plot claims many innocent lives in the process Here are some of my favourites from the translated text Those runes of solemn covenantenshrined in your spearare they just playthings to you?You use splendour to ruleyou're a glitteringly regal racehow foolish that you striveafter towers of stonepledge the loveliness of womanin exchange for fortress and hallTo hush up their scandalidiots smear meRudeness is always Loge's rewarda free man must bring himself into being;slaves are all I can createAll and sundry are of their kindnothing you do can change it And now I want to wax enthusiastically on the parallels with the Tolkien world The most obvious of all is the coveting of a cursed ring around which everything revolves1 The Rhinegold Ring that can belong to none is highly reminiscent of the infamous Ring from The Lord of the Rings Many aspects of the journey of the rings are so on the nose that I need not elaborate much2 For those who have read The Silmarillion there is the familiar element of kin strife over treasure3 The Children of Húrin explores the tropes of dragon slaying and a doomed incestuous relationship as used here4 Siegfried's love for Brunnhilde finds reflection in Beren's love for Lúthien and Aragorn's love for Arwen5 The riddle contest between Wotan and Alberich reminds of the riddling between Bilbo and Sméagol6 Broken sword of Nothung reminds one of the broken sword Narsil7 Sieglinde's handing over of her child to Mime a dark elfdwarf is paralleled in rearing of Aragorn in Rivendell amidst elves8 Aragorn like Siegfried goes on a uest to redeem his ancestrylineage with the help of a reforged sword9 The destruction of the Ring which in turn ushers a New Age and the departure of the elves can be likened to the Twilight of the GodsI can go on and on And I don't believe I am reading too much into this It is well known that Tolkien was well versed in Norse myths and Icelandic sagas He in turn made his own derivations from them to incorporate in his mythos And it is not a stretch of imagination that in some obscure way Wagner did inspire Tolkien to write his own Ring Saga What is amazing is how different they are from each other despite the observed thematic similaritiesWagner's Ring Cycle seems and like an iconic work shining light on the works that succeeded it Recognizing the archetypes is only part of the joy The experience of reading it is filled with moments of pleasant recollections for Tolkien fans I might try other translations in future Hopefully I will get to enjoy this visually soon But Tolkien enthusiast or no it goes without saying that this much acclaimed yet less known work should be on everyone's TBR


  5. says:

    John Deathridge's new English translation of Wagner's Ring cycle is a curious beast and a difficult one to review The Ring of the Nïbelung is an opera and primarily exists to be watched and listened to onstage Reading it as a book dilutes a lot of what Wagner was attempting with the epic composition so I will focus only on the plot Spanning four main acts the opera covers 'The Rhinegold' 'The Valkyrie' 'Siegfried' and 'Twilight of the Gods' A priceless treasure of the Rhine is snatched by the dwarf Alberich after his lecherous advances are rejected by the Rhinemaidens With the stolen gold he fashions a ring that will allow him to control the world Wotan Father of the Gods then uses cunning to steal the ring as payment for the giants who built him Valhalla Overwhelmed by rage and longing Alberich curses the bearer of the ring setting in motion a chain of vengeance scheming and betrayal amongst gods monsters and heroes The epic narrative borrows heavily from Norse mythology dealing with the rise and fall of the hero Siegfriend a mortal born without knowledge of fear His deeds involve thwarting the machinations of his dwarven guardian slaying the giant turned dragon Fafnir claiming the ring for himself and traversing a wall of fire to win the Valkyrie Brunnhilde as his wife In typical epic fashion his heroic doings are used to instigate his fall from grace The mythic overtures of the story are entertaining enough to read but the enjoyment of the text is undoubtedly marred by the nature of the source matieral Expect long passages of nothing but Wallala weiala weia and Hojotoho Heiaha heiaha which seem to fill the bulk of the 750 pages The German text runs alongside the English translation so those versed in Wagner's mothertongue can compare and contrast the fidelty of Deathridge's work Recommended to lovers or Norse mythology fans of Tolkein or anyone curious enough to read an opera


  6. says:

    As I embark on the Met's Ring Cycle for the 3rd time I thought reading this translation would help me avoid dividing my attention between subtitles and performance and allow me to just bask in the glory of the art music spectacle So far so good This is a great resource for Ring lovers and reads much better than the subtitles in the opera house


  7. says:

    what beautiful illustrations


  8. says:

    Overall I would classify this story a tragedy As with the Greek tragedies a moral is learned through much suffering Thus I think this libretto serves its purpose extremely well—especially for having been translated We readerslistenersaudience members are given an ample number of Wagner’s literary leitmotifs one of the most crucial being the price of greed While hinted at in the introduction and foreword it teems throughout the lines Wagner wrote And as a uick side note The introduction and foreword were enjoyable I had reservations about Wagner given how the Nazis had lauded and appropriated his work especially the Ring cycle However the foreword had made some compelling points on the irony behind the Nazis’ adoption of motifs from the story Overall both intro and foreword were interesting informative and provided a nice foundation for which the libretto could be readI greatly enjoyed the story blemishes and all I couldn’t help be reminded of many popular culture references that have sprung from this material andor related mythologies dragons and giants Germanic versions of Odin and Thor and an epic adventure involving a manipulative ring that grants its wearer absolute power but is ultimately destroyed by engulfing flamessound similar? cough LoTR I look forward to comparing the enduring music with the story However it does have a few aspects—some fundamental other superficial—I did not very much care for For instance I did not entirely care for the melodrama It just seems over the top which is the point I know it’s an opera which is bound to be excessive at points so my critiue is mootminor Further I did not care for the dated gender roles—women subservient to men—Valkyries are badass but the damsel in distress trope is annoying This may simply be a product of its time; nevertheless it’s somewhat frustrating if read with a modern lens Also the elephant in the room needs to be addressed I feel the same about the rampant incest in the story as I do about it in Game of Thronesunnecessary and weird


  9. says:

    Outside of the fact that Odin and Brunhilde could have been written better and I’m not sure who out of Gunther and Hagen killed each other or why Gunther and Siegfried switched appearances and the fact that Wagner wrote this during his falling out with Nietzsche and apparently there was some racism to this that I didn’t pick up on I want to look for a strong point I really do But it’s hard to find “Booty” being used freuently made me laugh occasionally


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