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Wagner Beyond Good and Evil$
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John Deathridge

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520254534

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520254534.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 04 August 2021

Don Carlos and Götterdämmerung Two Operatic Endings and Walter Benjamin's Trauerspiel

Don Carlos and Götterdämmerung Two Operatic Endings and Walter Benjamin's Trauerspiel

Chapter:
(p.79) 8. Don Carlos and Götterdämmerung Two Operatic Endings and Walter Benjamin's Trauerspiel
Source:
Wagner Beyond Good and Evil
Author(s):

John Deathridge

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520254534.003.0008

This chapter focuses on the endings of the two operas, Don Carlos and Götterdämmerung. It presents Walter Benjamin's esoteric study of German baroque drama; an attempt to revaluate the once despised literary art of the German seventeenth century. According to Benjamin, Don Carlos and Wagner's Götterdämmerung, one a classical tragedy and the other a baroque mourning play are not only separated by time; they are also entirely different. The relation of the plays to the theological outlook of the German seventeenth century, in particular to the devaluation of everyday life in the Lutheran opposition to the Counter Reformation, is also a subject explored by Benjamin. Politics and theology are also implicated in the conception of history in the Trauerspiel as catastrophe. He describes the genre in terms of materialist metaphors that in which a discontinuity of meaning and image rejects the false appearance of artistic unity.

Keywords:   Don Carlos, Götterdämmerung, Trauerspiel, Wagner, Walter Benjamin

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