with Wotan and Siegfried one of the three most important key
figures of the Ring. As Alberich and Wotan, she appears in
three dramas out of four. She closes the Ring. She is also,
with Wotan and Siegfried, the most refined character, whose
slightest feelings are described with accuracy, comparable
by wealth and evolution potential only to those of the God.
first, favorite Walkyrie of her father is so attached to him
that she loses her personality. To use Shinoda Bolen's terms,
she is daddy's girl. She has such a gift for listening, for
an empathy that Wotan imagines that by speaking to her he
addresses his deep desire. And actually she compensates thanks
to her intuition and humanity, for the loss of the left eye
of the God, and through this fact she is at same time contrary
and complementary to Fricka. It is here that the Jungian interpretation
very much controversed by some scholars is enlightening.
Jung, the couples thought - feeling and sensation - intuition are
mutually exclusive. Fricka, however, is radically rational and logical
thought and sensation (she is pretty and lives in the present: she
believes only what she touches). Brünnhilde on the contrary
is feeling and intuition: she perceives only the past and the future,
for which Siegfried blames her. She describes herself as "barely
intelligent ", which is of course false, because she has the
most important intelligence, that of the heart.
is the only person to release herself from the control of the God;
the latter will not forgive her for that. When she wakes up two contradictory feelings tear
her: the fear of rape and decay, an exacerbated sensuality that
has been repressed for such a long time. If in Alberich's case denied
love and sexual frustration are transformed into paranoiac ecstasy
of the ego, in Brünnhilde's case she undergoes an inverse transformation
loss of her power and her goddess's status, the frustration
connected to what she sees as decay changes into a fervent
love, changes in a wild and aggressive sexuality. The duet
between the Walkyrie and the Wälsung is no less strange
than the precedent one, placed under the sign of the blood.
The last word of the duet is " laughing death ".
is a similar relationship of feminine domination, as in the
duet of Siegmund and his sister. Even if it is Siegfried who
brutally forces her at first and then incites Brünnhilde
to mating by his animal like insistance, it is always she
who thinks, who foresees and who takes the measure of events.
By waking up she acquired both Jungian functions, which she was
missing: the capacity of reasoning, sensuality. Paradoxically, it
is Siegfried who is going to be in a position of inferiority: living
only in the present, and incapable to understand the slightest allusion
in the words of his mistress, whom he initially mistakes for his
psychological error committed by Brünnhilde is not to understand
that love should be compensated by an equal exchange, and that the
risk that one loves more than the other condemns to sufferance.
is not only unaware of her relationship error with Siegfried,
but also she does not stop playing the role of the mother.
She tries to protect, to immunize, and to pass on to him her
knowledge, to remind him of her self-sacrifice. She becomes
humble, selfless and almost masochist. (Me, poor woman, deprived).
Driven by her maternal feeling, masochism and clumsiness,
she separates Siegfried from herself and sends him to the
see the world. Very often the fathers proceed that way with
their sons. She imagines that she is going to bind him by
oaths and by reminding him ceaselessly the due allegiance.
evolves. Badly. Physical love does not succeed in her and
she shows herself in a despicable way in her dialogue with
her sister. It often happens that one feels full of enjoyment
at the idea of seeing once again dear and powerful old friends,
but the moment one learns that they are in distress and ask
you for help, one finds good excuses for taking distances.
Brünnhilde is enthusiastic at the idea of a Wotan powerful
and forgiving, she shows pride and love to her father.
But as soon as she learns about his depression she has a feeling
that he will ask for help, she becomes cold, distant, condescending
and vaguely contemptuous. When she holds between her hands the fate
of the world, and the fate of this father whom just a moment ago
she claimed to love, not only she refuses to abandon this Ring,
which is only an allegory, but also she shamelessly chases away
the unfortunate Waltraute. The severity of Brünnhilde, one
understands, even without evoking the curse, gives evidence of transformation
of the Ring into fatal talisman. Very soon she will provoke Siegfried
by brandishing the Ring, a suicidal gesture.
the obnoxious scene of the fight with the false Gunther, the neurotic
characteristics of the ex-Walkyrie reach a paroxysm. More than ever,
she will complain, setting the radiant force of cruelty of Siegfried
against the weakness of the poor woman. But this frustration and
the apathy consecutive to the brutality of her husband are going
to be reversed and transformed into jealousy, and into desire to
murder. Irrational and impulsive desire.
last, but only after having assisted in the poignant death
of Siegfried, Brünnhilde understands everything. She
has all the cards. She knows now the full and true story of
the Ring. Wotan's monologue, a kind of testament, was completed
by her feminine experiment, when she lived through all passions:
from love to hatred, from maternal tenderness to the vengeance
of the offended mistress. Only she is capable of making the
fusion between the cosmogonical and socio-political planes,
the plane of Eddas and the human and individual plane, that
of Nibelungen-Not; that between myth and history; that between
the abstract logic of power and the carnal force of love.
may remind you that in Act II of "Walküre", the original
stage setting by Wagner foresaw three topological levels. Top floor
(heaven): the Gods are in the sky and at the top of cliffs. Middle
floor: a rocky platform suspended between heaven and earth. Brünnhilde
addresses Siegmund without ever touching him. Third floor: Sieglinde
and Siegmund on earth of the humans. Brünnhilde establishes
the connection between the poignant bittersweet adventure of the
twins, harbour of tenderness and love in the aridity of the Ring,
and the vast concerns of the Gods. The Walkyrie Brünnhilde
is doubtless the key figure, the pivot of the Ring, the perfect
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