The focus of Nietzsche’s essay is the search to define good, bad, and evil, and the response of the weak class to classifications of good and bad made by the powerful class. It is the resentment or as he calls the ressentiment of the commoners or the “slaves” to the noble class that creates the opposing idea of what constitutes good and what is bad or evil.
The original definition of good given by the powerful aristocratic class caused resentment among the lower classes. This weaker lower class turned the tables, claiming the actions of the nobles were not simply bad, a clear turn from good, but evil, and instead the inaction and weakness inherent in the lower classes was in fact good. Nietzsche argues that the commoner’s resentment of the powerful is more aggressive than the aristocratic contempt for the weak. This deep resentment further enslaves the weak into a downcast role since the weak only define their goodness by the evil nature of the powerful. The powerful noble class maintains their definition of good without going as far to say that the weak are evil; instead they are pitiable. The weak are unable to challenge the strong and therefore define their position as good... [continues]
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