Whilst no one would dispute Richard Wagner's ranking amongst the most significant composers in the history of Western music, his works have been more fiercely attacked than any other composer's. A racist, womaniser, megalomaniac and anti-Semite, Wagner's personal defects have provoked intense hostility which has translated into a mistrust and abhorrence of his music. This work discusses why people feel so passionately about Wagner. It lays out the various arguments made by Wagner's detractors and admirers, and challenges most of them. By giving unconventional analyses of many of Wagner's best-known works it aims to encourage readers to see many of his works afresh.