Wagner's Ring and German Drama: Comparative Studies in Mythology and History in Drama
Wagner's "Ring," an important phenomenon of the German drama tradition, is situated and examined alongside other major works of the canon. Wagner defines tragedy as a mythological drama. The theoretical foundation of the "Ring" is a complex dialectic of history and myth. By contrasting the "Ring" with the dramas of Schiller, Hebbel, Hofmannsthal, and Brecht different facets of Wagner's work are uniquely highlighted beyond theoretical generalizations or broad overviews. This series of comparisons offers fresh insight into the interrelationships of the "Ring" with the previous German drama tradition, and also investigates its influence on twentieth-century drama and opera.
Scholars of German literature and culture will appreciate this innovative interpretation and study of the "Ring." New ideas proposed include the suggestions that Schiller's "Wallenstein" trilogy might have served as a covert source for the "Ring" and that "Ariadne auf Naxos" and "Mahagonny" represent parodies of the "Ring." The theory underlying the "Ring" will attract musicologists and interdisciplinary literary scholars interested in the interrelationship between words and music and literature and opera.
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