Briefly describe wagner”s story of tristan and isolde
Briefly describe Wagner’s story of Tristan and Isolde. Define phenomenal and noumenal thinking. How did Schopenhauer’s philosophy of phenomenal and noumenal reflect in Wagner’s work? Give some examples from the opera that show this philosophy.
I just want to say that story is so intense and intriguing to me. I fell deeply in love with this story because their love was so real and it contained so much suspense as well. Although I feel that their love was real, I do feel that it was slightly “made up” because of the potion they drank. I would describe this story as suspenseful and deep. It was unfortunate that they could not love each other in peace because the timing was wrong. I consider this story deep because of the love that they had for each other and because everyone’s love was strong for each other. It is amazing! Phenomena are the appearances, which constitute the our experience; Noumena are the (presumed) things themselves, which constitute reality. I’m assuming that noumena is the thing itself. I think I would like an example of what they mean by those two terms.
Tristan and Isolde’s story is basically about two people (a man and a woman) who were in love. This was not an ordinary love or I should say it was not love in a right and traditional manner. This love was an adulterous love mainly because of a love potion that they accidentally drank or so it seemed at first. It is obvious that they did not plan on this happening and had it not be for the potion, they probably would not consider each other especially knowing that Isolde was escorted by Tristan o go marry his uncle King Mark. This story is indeed quite interesting considering the fact that prior to them falling in love, Princess Isolde was totally against Tristan. It was as if she literally hated him. She even wanted him to drink a death potion as a peace treaty between them which he drank, but instead she gave him a love potion which had them falling in love. It was very weird in fact that Tristan would drink a potion knowing it was going to kill him.
Phenomenal thinking is more so what we experience while noumenal thinking is what we perceive. So with Phenomenal thinking, we can say there are so much more of factual things that had happened, over what we basically assume happened or happening. Wagners work was very complicated in a sense to really understand, and this drama seemed to me like a real drama in its sense. The love that was shared between Isolde and Tristan was questionable, but at the same time it would be considered Phenomenal in a sense yet it could be considered to be numenal since it was not one hundred percent real to begin with. This is a very interesting opera that requires major understanding. I will have to go and read this again to get the full understanding. (slow moment)
Wagner’s story of Tristan and Isolde was a beautifully romantic and heartbreakingly tragic story of forbidden love. It seemed to be a pure and natural a love that could actually have been, if only timing had been different. It seemed to be a tale of love at first sight that not only refused to be ignored, but demanded the rest of the world be cast into the shadows as well. When they were together, nothing else mattered nor existed. However, I have to wonder, had they not unknowingly drunk the love potion, would their love have been so overwhelmingly intense and undeniable? Surely there was an apparent attraction, but who knows what it would or wouldn’t have been and although, this is clearly a string of useless ‘what ifs’, would they have been dead instead, since Isolde’s intent was for them to drink the death potion? Or perhaps she might have selected a still different elixir, and they would each have avoided the end tragedy. I wonder if I’m sounding cynical regarding this love, and maybe I am. I truly want to forget this bit of realism that creeps in once in a while, because this story is definitely a heart-wrenching romance.
I think Wagner’s amazing score is what makes Tristan and Isolde so intense and such a beautiful love in spite of the unfaithfulness once Isolde marries King Mark, who was also Tristan’s benefactor. Tristan was to be Princess Isolde’s escort back to Mark. Upon meeting philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer and listening to his theories of phenomenal and noumenal thinking, Wagner felt forever changed, and brought this philosophy to his music when he wrote Tristan and Isolde. He did something that had never been done before in music and changed the music world forever…this being the unending melody. The unending melody was brilliance that didn’t end, but simply blended into varied sounds that conveyed moods and emotions…the highs, the lows, the happiness, the anger, and most of all, the sensuality and passion…and ultimately the crescendo of lovemaking.
The brilliance of Wagner’s risk, using what he felt was Schopenhauer’s brilliance of the phenomenal and noumenal, led to the famous ‘Tristan Chord’, and the concept and beauty of the unending melody that steers every watching or listening ear into feeling what Tristan and Isolde were themselves feeling. In Schopenhauer’s philosophy, phenomenal thinking embodied the appearance, consciousness, the physical, and desirous thought whereas noumenal thinking was the unconscious thought, the essence, energy and will. I can’t say that this is an easy concept because I still really don’t 100% understand it. It seems to me to be a fine line between the two, making the distinction difficult to see.
I have to say that finding the exact and true story of Tristan and Isolde was also difficult, because so many have made various changes to suit their own purposes. This was the first opera that I’ve ever read, watched, interpreted and analyze, so I’m certain my thoughts are quite rough around the edges. I had difficulty following the libretto with the opera itself, and understanding what was what when I couldn’t do it at the same time. I did finally find the 3 acts by the same group, with Wagner’s music and what seemed to be the correct storyline. I have listed those 3 links below in case anyone is interested. They definitely assisted my understanding and even my enjoyment of the performance and music, partly because they have English subtitles for what’s being sung/said, and all was matched with the music. It was much easier to feel the music’s delivery of emotion.