Wagner's Ring Cycle and the Greeks

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 4, 2010 - Music
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Through his reading of primary and secondary classical sources, as well as his theoretical writings, Richard Wagner developed a Hegelian-inspired theory linking the evolution of classical Greek politics and poetry. This book demonstrates how, by turning theory into practice, Wagner used this evolutionary paradigm to shape the music and the libretto of the Ring cycle. Foster describes how each of the Ring's operas represents a particular phase of Greek poetic and political development: Das Rheingold and Die Walküre create epic national identity in its earlier and later stages respectively; Siegfried expresses lyric personal identity; and Götterdämmerung destructively culminates with a tragi-comedy about civic identity. This study sees the Greeks through the lens of those scholars whose work influenced Wagner most, focusing on epic, lyric, and comedy, as well as Greek tragedy. Most significantly, the book interrogates the ways in which Wagner uses Greek aesthetics to further his own ideological goals.
 

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Contents

V
33
VI
45
VII
65
VIII
83
IX
111
X
122
XI
140
XII
157
XVI
235
XVII
253
XVIII
267
XIX
269
XX
276
XXI
284
XXII
295
XXIII
352

XIII
183
XIV
197
XV
220

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About the author (2010)

Daniel H. Foster is Assistant Professor of Theater Studies at Duke University, and Visiting Scholar at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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