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Law and Opera pp 333-342 | Cite as

Der Ring des Nibelungen: From a Criminal Law Perspective

  • Peter LewischEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

The Ring depicts a progression from the ‘divine’ to the ‘human’. On the eve of the Ring (the Rheingold), there are plenty of dwarfs, giants and gods, but no mortals. In the Walküre, gods and humans determine the story line. In Siegfried, Siegfried himself is the protagonist; the dwarf and giant fall by his hand, and the divine spear is broken. In Götterdämmerung the demise of the gods finally takes place, without a single god intervening.

Of course, any application of criminal law to this kind of factual constellation requires us to ignore that dwarfs, giants and gods do not enjoy any protection from sanctions imposed under criminal law, and at least the gods would presumably want to be regarded as being beyond the scope of liability rules written by and for humans [See Pidde (Wagners Musikdrama Der Ring des Nibelungen im Lichte des deutschen Strafrechts. Bärmeier & Nikel, Frankfurt/M, 1968) and Seiler (Das Delikt als Handlungselement in Richard Wagners ‘Ring des Nibelungen’. Verlag Österreich, Vienna, 1998)]. However, a brief look at the Ring through the prism of the applicable criminal law promises an ample supply of deception, fraud, death and destruction. In the following text, we will endeavour to do just this, albeit tongue in cheek.

References

  1. Annunziata F (2016) Prendi, l´anel ti dono … Divagazioni tra opera e diritto privato. SilvanaEditoriale, MilanGoogle Scholar
  2. Pidde E (1968) Wagners Musikdrama Der Ring des Nibelungen im Lichte des deutschen Strafrechts. Bärmeier & Nikel, Frankfurt/MGoogle Scholar
  3. Seiler S (1998) Das Delikt als Handlungselement in Richard Wagners ‘Ring des Nibelungen’. Verlag Österreich, ViennaGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LawVienna UniversityViennaAustria

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