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Word Count: 610
Philosophers sometimes convey incredibly complex ideas in cryptic forms and Friedrich Nietzsche was no exception His aphorisms by their very definition condense a powerful message into a terse perhaps oversimplified phrase His parables on the other hand veil his thoughts in narratives and force the studious reader to dig for deeper meaning In Thus Spoke Zarathustra Nietzsche made his first attempt to put down his philosophy not merely sundry observations in one major work that most critics consider his magnum opus Nietzsche wrote most of Zarathustra in the form of a third-person parabolic narrative that follows a hermit named Zarathustra on a symbolic descent from the mountains into populated areas As he encounters others on his journey he imparts his wisdom to them through rhetorical questions and a form of Socratic oration In one speech entitled On the Way of the Creator Nietzsches Zarathustra describes the phases of the journey for self-knowledge Occasionally Zarathustra punctuates a phase with a structurally simple yet seemingly contradictory argument for example his admonition to the lonely one to beware the good and the just who like to crucify those who invent their own virtue for themselves One would expect that a good person would remain so regardless of external circumstances but Zarathustras warning indicates otherwise Why would such a person who society normally considers an upstanding citizen suddenly become so violent The lonely man as he begins to form his own definition of what is good becomes a threat to those who the masses consider good In the introduction to his book Leviathan seventeenth-century English philosopher Thomas Hobbes describes a state of nature in which mans every action serves himself alone and relates this theory to everyday life For example Hobbes would say that the good give to charity not because they interpret the act as generous but because they delight in demonstrating their wealth and power to others The confusion then resides in our
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