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date: 24 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Nietzsche described Thus Spoke Zarathustra as his ‘major achievement, the gift of overwhelming inspiration for which he cherished the highest hopes’. This article argues that despite its parodic elements the book’s main purpose can’t be parody. It presents a reading of Zarathustra which tries to make sense of it as a tragedy by showing that Nietzsche here demonstrates the challenge of true tragic overcoming. Zarathustra is a tragic hero precisely because he has successfully met that challenge and has thereby elevated himself high above the usual passive Apollonian-Dionysian contradiction resolution.

Keywords: Thus Spoke Zarathustra, parody, tragedy, overcoming, Friedrich Nietzsche

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