What did Richard Wagner know about ancient Greece? More importantly, what did he think he knew? How did Wagner’s attitudes about classical tragedy shape the Ring cycle? In this book, internationally acclaimed scholar Jeffrey L. Buller explores how Wagner’s views about ancient tragedy helped him structure the Ring. Moreover, in a major contribution to the field, Buller reveals that leitmotivs don’t exist in Wagner’s music alone but that the composer also used certain patterns of alliteration, colors, and types of characters in ways similar that closely parallel his musical leitmotivs. Now in an updated and beautifully formatted second edition, Classically Romantic encourages viewers of the Ring to see the cycle in an entirely new light.