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Word Count: 1,210
Continually present in Gotthold Lessings play Nathan the Wise is the pursuit for truth In particular a truth that goes beyond religion one that reaches to the depths of humanity human natures freedom In his play Lessing reveals the freedom of human nature among mankind through the bonds of friendship Furthermore Lessing conveys an optimistic view of human nature in such a way that left to its own devices human nature will seek the goodness of mankind and fraternity Friendship in its purest form is not bound to the confines of religious differences social status or selfishness Without religion or society imposing its ideals human nature is free to pursue truth and seek the goodness in mankind while bonding in friendship A selfless act is good but good is not an act done for recognition To Nathan part of friendship is giving of oneself without receiving The Templar shows his selflessness when Nathan offers the Templar riches for rescuing his daughter from a fire but the Templar declines any praise with anti-Semitic insults Permit what Jew 211 The Templars refusal although harsh seemed to affirm the goodness Nathan saw in the young man A modest greatness would hide behind the monstrous merely to escape admiration 212 The lengths the Templar went to in order to save a life is a testament in itself of his goodness far more powerful than his insults I find it strange that such an ugly spot on Templars robe soiled by the fire bears better witness than a mans own lips 212 For Nathan friends do not concern themselves with social status religious beliefs or titles but rather they can distinguish between the man and the facade In Nathans words are Jew and Christian Jew and Christian first and human beings second 214 In Act II Scene IV Nathan makes an attempt to thank the Templar for fleeing Temptation on behalf of his daughter In which the Templar replies
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