The Woman Who Pretended to Be Who She Was: Myths of Self-Imitation

By Wendy Doniger | Go to book overview

CHAPTER THREE
The Double Amnesia
of Siegfried and Brünnhilde

And the best and the worst of this is
That neither is most to blame,
If you have forgotten my kisses
And I have forgotten your name
.

Algernon Swinburne, “An Interlude” (1866)

IN STORIES OF marital self-imitation, sometimes the mind of the man is obscured, so he forgets and/or fails to recognize his own wife; this happens to King Udayana in Harsha’s Ratnavali. But sometimes the woman is the one who is fooled, when her husband pretends to be someone else (pretending to be him); this happens to Queen Vasavadatta in Priyadarshika. If we combine the two themes, we have a husband who pretends to be someone else (pretending to be him) in order to trick his wife but is also cursed to forget her. And if this encounter takes place in bed, both partners are bedtricked: while she unknowingly (because of the trick) commits adultery with her own husband, he unknowingly (because of the curse) is tricked into committing adultery with his own wife.1

Such a case of double amnesia torments Siegfried and Brünnhilde in the most famous of the many versions of their story, Richard Wagner’s opera cycle The Ring of the Nibelung:2 Siegfried, drugged, masquerades as Gunther to win Brünnhilde, to whom he has already pledged his love; Brünnhilde does not recognize Siegfried because he is magically transformed into someone else, and Siegfried does not recognize Brünnhilde because he is drugged. In effect, Siegfried is wearing a two-sided

-40-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Woman Who Pretended to Be Who She Was: Myths of Self-Imitation
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 272

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.