This article examines the degree to which characters in Wagner's Ring might be heard to control the orchestra for specific rhetorical purposes. Using Edward Cone's work as a starting point, I adopt a "fully diegetic" perspective in which music is understood as a physical presence in the Ring, a continuous tissue of sound that can be altered, shaped, and re-created according to a given character's conscious or unconscious intentions. An analysis of Die Walkure, act III, sc. 3, clarifies the approach.

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