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Subject: Re: Another Wagner inquiry: killing Mime
From: James Bodge <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:James Bodge <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 3 Mar 2001 10:21:05 -0500

text/plain (40 lines)

At 08:52 AM 3/2/01 -0500, William A. Fregosi wrote:
>Jim Bodge wrote:
>>It's true that Siegfried is naive or "inexperienced", and blame attaches to
>>him at least for the unnecessary revenge killing of Mime.
>Unnecessary on some level, maybe, but not on a basic, mythic one.  

Bill is correct, and I'm nearly as familiar with Donnington (and OEDIPUS)
as he is.  My comment was limited (in my mind, but unfortunately not my
words) to the point that a killing is something one might not want to
discuss publicly in a positive way.  And to the point that as a matter of
CONCIOUS action, there is no reason Siegfried needs to kill Mime (other
than payback).  He has just learned from the dwarf's mouth that he has
always hated the boy and will now drug him and kill him.  Strong and well
armed, all Siegfried needs to do is say the German equivalent of "fuck off"
and leave. Forever.

But the myth does involve other needs, both for the characters, their
world, and the outome- some of which is fated. 

>I don't think I would agree that killing Mime is
>revenge OR unnecessary.  It saves his life and opens the road for him.  It
>is when deprived by the Gibichungs of this clear-headed ability to see
>danger for what it truly is that Siegfried falls into disaster.

While I partly disagree about whether Siegfried is any longer in danger
from Mime, I certainly  agree with Bill's final point - Siegfried is
destroyed by Hagen and his Gibichung siblings.

I would add that Siegfried is also destroyed by the task he accomplishes
(freeing the Ring from Fafner and keeping it from Alberich) and by the
expectations Wotan and Brünnhilde have for him.  A man with so little true
awareness cannot lead.  It was true of Wotan and it dooms Siegfried.

"I never know," Harry said, "what's the difference between a Stalagmite and
a stalactite?"
"Stalagmite's got an "M" in it," said Hagrid. 

Jim Bodge  [log in to unmask]

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