Nietzsche and the Overman

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It is clear that in the first part of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche’s goal was to introduce to the public the concept of the “overman” and address its importance. The overman is the ultimate self achievement by man, and according to Nietzsche this is the goal of all humanity. The overman is capable of creating new values; ones that he sets that are free of all outside influences. Through the story of Zarathustra, a prophet who descends from the mountains into the village after years of isolation to spread his teachings of the overman, Nietzsche uses Zarathustra as the protagonist to spread his ideas about the overman. “Behold, I teach you the overman. The overman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the overman shall be the meaning of the earth!” (p. 125) According to Zarathustra the most dangerous thing one can do in his life is to remove himself from all his current values and start anew. To Nietzsche there are three stages to bridge from man’s current state of the “last man” to the overman. The last man has lost all possibility for change; there is no individuality just herds and shared “values.” The transitional stages are outlined in the passage “On the Three Metamorphoses.” The first stage is the camel stage, one who tests personal limits and takes on a burden or challenge. Nietzsche considers someone who challenges their values to be very noble. In the lion stage, one critically examines and really works through the burdens and values. To Nietzsche, this stage means moving towards rebirth, an important component to change. Lastly, the child stage suggests that these new values have been established, like a rebirth. However, eventually these new values can be a burden. Thus there is a continuous cycle, a self-propelled wheel, to the overman. The most important section of the first part of Thus Spoke Zarathustra is the section titled “On Child and Marriage.” This section is Nietzsche’s climax in terms the importance of the...
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