Richard Wagner and Medieval Germanic Myth

Historical account of Richard Wagner’s transformation of German music through his use of myth distinct to German history and culture.

Richard Wagner, the monumental composer, dramatist, philosopher, and poet of nineteenth century Germany transformed the tradition of German music and art through the unique genius of his work. Wagner believed that art, in order to be powerful and fundamental to a nation, must be founded upon a myth that is shared by all those that encounter the art. Dissatisfied with the already developed tradition of Greek myth from Homer and onward, Wagner believed that somewhere in history, the myth fundamental to the distinct German spirit could be found and developed.