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  • Jean Shinoda Bolen

Siegfried the Lonely Hero and Self-Made Man

A Psychological and Symbolic Understanding of Siegfried


The Ring Cycle tells of authoritarian fathers obsessed with acquiring power and the effect for three generations on sons and daughters. Adult children raised to be extensions of a parent's ambitions or needs find themselves--like Siegfried, asking "who am I?"


With his innate strength, lack of empathy and fearlessness, Siegfried personifies the lonely hero who becomes a self-made man. He awakens Brunnhilde whose punishment for disobeying Wotan was to be made helpless and unconscious.


The opera is rich with symbols and symbolic figures: the woodbird, Fafner the dragon, the dwarves Mime and his brother Alberich, the Wanderer.

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