Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-bjz6k Total loading time: 0.494 Render date: 2022-05-23T03:24:34.535Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

9 - The Idea of Nature

from Part III - Interpretations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2020

Mark Berry
Affiliation:
Royal Holloway, University of London
Nicholas Vazsonyi
Affiliation:
Clemson University, South Carolina
Get access

Summary

The representation of nature is central to Wagner’s Ring cycle on a number of levels.  The Nordic-mythic sources and setting, the role of original or partially re-invented nature deities (Erda, Donner, and Froh, and the three Rhinemaidens) or semi-divine beings linked to the natural world (Valkyries, Norns) inspired a range of sophisticated Romantic musical nature “painting” throughout the score, including some of the best-known passages. Classical-Romantic traditions of pastoral or other imitative nature topics in music of the Classical and Romantic eras play an important role in the development of the network of leitmotifs in the Ring cycle. Readings of the Ring as an allegorical critique of modern industrial capitalism connect the traditional mythography of a lost golden age with a potential parable of environmental degradation driven by the loveless, reckless profit motive of modern capitalism. Alberich’s forging of the Ring from the Rhinegold and Wotan’s violation of the World Ash Tree to create the symbol of his divine legal authority (his spear) project parallel symbols of the transgression of a natural order. Mythographic vs. modern environmental readings of the apocalyptic conclusion of the cycle are also discussed.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • The Idea of Nature
  • Edited by Mark Berry, Royal Holloway, University of London, Nicholas Vazsonyi, Clemson University, South Carolina
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen
  • Online publication: 18 September 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316258033.011
Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • The Idea of Nature
  • Edited by Mark Berry, Royal Holloway, University of London, Nicholas Vazsonyi, Clemson University, South Carolina
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen
  • Online publication: 18 September 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316258033.011
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • The Idea of Nature
  • Edited by Mark Berry, Royal Holloway, University of London, Nicholas Vazsonyi, Clemson University, South Carolina
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen
  • Online publication: 18 September 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316258033.011
Available formats
×