Parsifal: The Finding of Christ Through Art, a Wagner Study

9780217525879: Parsifal: The Finding of Christ Through Art, a Wagner Study

This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1890. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... APPENDIX. Note I.--" That there is an ethical tendency in Wagner's works is clear." -{P- 17.) It has not escaped notice that, in the " Flying Dutchman," the heroine, Senta, illustrates the precept, ' Greater love than this hath no one, that any one his life may lay down for his friends" ; that in "Tannhaueser," as the Rev. Mr. Haweis pointed out, we see contrasted the "Tremendous Empire of the Senses, and the Immense Supremacy of the Soul !" that, in "Lohengrin," we have a parable of the human soul as typified by Elsa, who, after seeking supernatural aid, should have abode in faith and trust, saying: ' I have known in whom I have believed, and have been persuaded that he is able that which I have committed to him to guard--to that day." 1 It is not, however, so generally recognized that in " Tristan and Isolde," where neither a Swinburne, a Tennyson, nor even a Matthew Arnold discovered the possibility of any thing not involving a sinful intrigue, Wagner gives us two characters ideally created for each other, and whom King Mark would gladly have seen wedded, and, but for the jealousy of the nobles, actually seated on his throne, but whose fates are crossed by purely external circumstances and conventionalities, as well as in part by their own blindness before it was too late to redeem their fortunes. They are led to commit themselves to each other in the sight of suspicious observers at a moment when each one believes death imminent, and thenceforth meet but once, and then at the treacherous instigation of a false friend who induces them to meet in order that he may profit by betraying them. In that hour, swayed by the loftiest principles of honor, they exhibit a conversion of will such as Wagner has termed " the greatest of miracles for the natural man, since i...

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