Since before the dawn of recorded history, when humanity recounted its most time-honored tales in song, music and myth have gone hand in hand. This course will explore a relatively recent instance of this – the Germanic and Scandinavian myths revolving around the concept of a ring of power, as interpreted by the nineteenth-century composer Richard Wagner in his monumental four-opera cycle The Ring of the Nibelung, one of the most ambitious artistic projects of all time. Also to be studied are two striking examples of its influence: J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and George Lucas’ Star Wars. No prerequisites: the ability to read music is not necessary. This course fulfills the CORE Arts requirement.