Essay about Nietzsche and the Prophet

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Nietzsche and the Prophet

According to Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, the meaning of human existence is to make room for the “Superman”: a superhuman who perseveres in its capacity for unlimited self-creation. (Pg. 49)[1] In order for humankind to embrace its self-creative nature and allow for the transcendence into this superhuman condition, however, we must first learn to destroy our present tables of values; it is our desperate adherence to traditional (religious) values which prevents us from actualizing our potential for self-creation. It is important to note, however, that it is not the creation of these traditional values in and of itself that Nietzsche condemns. After all, self-creation is not only a
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So, in spite of the immanent desire to be rid of the past, Nietzsche’s protagonist, Zarathustra, finds himself unable to completely sever himself from it. Hence Zarathustra’s struggle to affirm his past while pursuing a self-creating future.

The aim of this paper is threefold. First, I will provide evidence for the interpretation of The Prophet as an elucidation of the struggle of Nietzsche’s protagonist to reconcile this inalienable relationship between the past and the future. In doing so, I will focus on three main facets of the passage, namely, the prophet, Zarathustra’s dream and, the misinterpretation of the dream by the disciple. Second, I will demonstrate how The Prophet can simultaneously be interpreted so as to advance Nietzsche’s own view of human nature as self-creativity. Third, I will explicate what ramifications my interpretations of The Prophet has on the relationship between Nietzsche and his reader.

The Inalienable Relationship Between the Past and the Future

The Prophet begins with Zarathustra being told that “Everything is empty, everything is one, everything is past!”. (Pg. 155) That is, the prophet informs Zarathustra that the present-day way of life has become tired and saturated; there is no more advancement to be made in the absence of a rudimentary transformation of humankind. In short, the time has come for the self-destruction and re-creation of humankind; the time has come for humankind

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