I was reviewing my book on Wagner's operas and I found something that
may touch on the incident in the hyacinth garden (which is preceeded
with a few lines from "Tristan und Isolde," Act I.)
Before the opera's opening, Isolde has already fallen for Tristan.
When nursing his wounds she almost killed him when she discovered that
it was he that killed Morold, her lover/(betrothed/boy-toy???).
Something in Tristan's eyes caught her and she spared him. She was
happy to see him go back to Cornwall to be rid of the conflict in her
Tristan comes back to Ireland bring her to marry King Mark but tries
to avoid her. The opera starts and the TWL lines are sung. Isolde
thinks they are sung to taunt her (do the lines taunt the narrator/Eliot?)
Isolde intends to kill Tristan again with poison. He is called to her
and she gives him a piece of her mind for avoiding her. She offers
him the love potion thinking it is the poison (and he senses that it
is poison.) He drinks from it and Isolde, still thinking it is
poison, grabs the cup and drinks some herself. They fall in love and
Think how this ties to the heaven/hell allusion given by Saha and
Steve's conjoing of the meanings of awful (terrible/full of awe) from
the "awful daring." There is the acceptance of death but the
receiving of passion (life) while their arms were full of each other.
Wagner's "Tristan" is full of the love/death theme. How much is
carried over to TWL?
Sticking my neck out to speculate some on the parts being played,
possibly the best TSE/Verdenal analogy may be TSE as Isolde as he is
the survivor (but that may be pushing the analogy too far.) This does
correspond to the narrator as the hyacinth girl though. Previous
posts of mine indicated a strong possiblity of the hyacinth girl being
male (draft and TSE's note to line 126) and my thoughts on how the
narrator could have been quoting himself saying the hyacinth girl lines.