It need hardly be said that this did not satisfy Wagner. He did not like to see people eternally damned; drab, hopeless tragedy was not for him. In nearly every opera we find peace and hope at the close, or even ecstasy in death, as in the Dusk of the Gods (Goetterdaemmerung) and Tristan. So he promptly made use of Elisabeth in TANNHAeUSER, though, as we shall see, the redeeming act is not so sharply defined as in the Dutchman. In the first scene Tannhaeuser is sleeping in the arms of Venus, while bacchanals indulge in riotous dances. Tannhaeuser suddenly starts from sleep: he has dreamed of his home as it was before his fall—of the village chime, the birds, the flowers, the sweet air; and he asks permission to return from this hot, steaming cave of vice to the fair clean earth. Venus in vain plays upon him with all her arts and wiles; he sings his magnificent song in praise of her and her beauty, but insists that he must go, and ends with a frenzied appeal to the Virgin. In a moment the illusion is broken: Venus, her luxurious cavern, her nymphs and satyrs, all disappear. There is a minute’s blackness, then the light returns, and Tannhaeuser is lying in the roadside before a cross. The sky is blue and the trees and grass are green, and a shepherd-boy is carolling a fresh, merry spring song. Tannhaeuser remains with his face to earth while a band of pilgrims passes on its way to Rome. Then his old companions come up, recognise him, tell him Elisabeth has patiently awaited his return, and so induce him to go with them.