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Finding an EndingReflections on Wagner’s Ring$
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Philip Kitcher and Richard Schacht

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195183603

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195183603.001.0001

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Wotan’s Challenge

Wotan’s Challenge

(p.43) 4 Wotan’s Challenge
Finding an Ending

Philip Kitcher

Richard Schacht

Oxford University Press

Wotan experiences and grieves for his lack of freedom as he is caught up in his own drudgery and he is forced to explain himself to Brünnhilde. Wotan’s character was subjected to a great deal of “most terrible anguish” which then shifts to “desperation” as he hopelessly declares for the end to come. The situation wherein he declaims this wanting serves as a crucial element in understanding the theme of the Ring since Wotan underwent a change of attitude evident in how he now desires to abandon his work. This chapter emphasizes Wotan’s problem as he had to resort temporarily to an option which he abhorred—the domination of Alberich.

Keywords:   lack of freedom, Wotan, anguish, desperation, change of attitude, domination of Alberich, Alberich, end

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