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Death-Devoted HeartSex and the Sacred in Wagner's Tristan and Isolde$
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Roger Scruton

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195166910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195166910.001.0001

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Wagner’s Treatment of the Story

Wagner’s Treatment of the Story

Chapter:
(p.35) Three Wagner’s Treatment of the Story
Source:
Death-Devoted Heart
Author(s):

ROGER SCRUTON

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195166910.003.0003

This chapter analyzes Wagner's opera. Wagner's three acts focus on three climactic moments: that of the first avowal of love, at the very moment when Isolde is to be given in marriage to King Marke; that of the betrayal by Melot and the discovery of Tristan and Isolde by the royal hunting party; and that of the death and transfiguration of the lovers. In each of these moments Tristan and Isolde vow to die and attempt to do so; only in the last do they succeed. Everything superfluous to this central narrative is removed.

Keywords:   Wagner, opera, Tristan und Isolde, Prelude

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