|Wagner - master of the full pitched delivery|
The work is deep in symbolic meaning, and FB suspects that this is the problem. One mistake in recognising the true reference of the symbols and you are lost.
FB's analysis starts from the ring itself - conventional interpretations are shockingly literal minded and see the ring as ...er a ring that will bring mastery of the world to its owner. FB's detailed analysis of Wagner's writings allow him to dispel this nonsense. Examination of early drafts, and the pre-medieval sagas that were Wagner's source materials, demonstrates clearly that the ring represents Michael Vaughan's knee cartilage.
Once this clue has been unravelled, it all falls into place. In the early part of the cycle we see how the mighty hero Seigmund Botham finds a weapon (ie a cricket bat) left in a tree by his protective father (ie Brearley) and goes on to score 149* at Headingley. Later and in possession of the cartilage Vaughan is triumphant - he is master of the world. But evil dwarf Alberich Ponting continues to plot and manages to steal it and the cracks appear in the world. A hero is required to regain the cartilage. He must know no fear. That hero is discovered as Seigfreddie Flintoff. Once these facts are established, it is obvious that Gotterdamerung is a highly prophetic representation of the 2006-7 series when the cartilage is lost forever and Seigfreddie is undone. Some later critics recognise this and suggest that a fifth work was in planning in which Seigfreddie would search the waters again for the ring using a pedallo. FB is more sceptical of this suggestion.
Yes, it all makes sense doesn't it? But don't take FB's word for it. The Ring Cycle is Test Match Quality -one of the highest achievements in sport. Wotan's farewell to Brunnhilde is one of the greatest overs of fast bowling ever delivered. Richard Wagner is a top Ashes hero. Try him.