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Personally I find the Ring a little hodge-podge, it couldn't help but be anything but, being written off and on over 27 years. Wagner and his ideas did not remain static over this timeframe. As such, an attempt to tease out a single meaningful message from the work is not an endeavor I personally would commit time to. The Ring was a proving grounds from which Wagner cultivated his mature ideas, represented in the works Tristan, Meistersinger, and Parsifal, in my opinion his trifecta of true masterpieces and ultimate contribution to humanity's bold endeavor. I also find these works deal more with the higher planes of spirituality, metaphysics, and philosophy, while the Ring is more on the level of sociology, politics and economics, the indulgences of lesser minds.
I think one thing that's important to keep always in mind is that these operas or music-dramas were intended to be performed live on a stage in front of an audience, like Shakespeare's plays, and not dissected on our hi-fi systems. So the element of spectacle comes into play, as you can see by the detail Wagner goes into in his stage directions in the scores. And seriously, I think Wagner is second only to Shakespeare in his sheer brilliant dramatic instincts. Both could take some of the loopiest scenarios and make them work dramatically. Brecht may be up there with them too. As for the Ring's overarching message, I think it's stated by the Rhine maidens at the end of Rheingold and then plays itself out: "Traulich und treu ist's nur in der Tiefe / falsch und feig ist was dort oben sich freut." Empty pomp and transience. The realization that you can't have everything. The passing of an older, somehow inadequate order of things. I think the Ring is one of the most amazing achievements in art.
 
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