Nietzsche's Parable Of The Madman

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Nietzsche’s ‘Parable of the Madman’ purports many notions of philosophical importance, entwined throughout an agglomerate of various literary techniques, as often the case with his parables and aphorisms. Before exploring this, it is important to note the philosophical climate in which Nietzsche was writing and, as such, the audience for whom he was writing for. This parable is contained within his book ‘The Gay Science’, first published in 1882. This was a period following the end of the enlightenment: a period of intense intellectual energy, whereby the grips of religion were becoming looser due to the influence of many greats- such as Immanuel Kant, who is at great odds with Nietzsche philosophically, especially with regards to morality (Huskinson, 2009). For example, Kant upholds the notion of a universal, a priori law. Instead, Nietzsche rejects the existence of structures that objectively determine such concepts, claiming them to be mere projections of a week will. As such, in ‘Beyond Good and Evil’, he contends: ‘there are no moral phenomena at all, only moral…show more content…
Here lies what seems to be Nietzsche’s view on man’s search for God. After all, lighting a lantern on a bright morning seems to allude to a search for truth/God (as represented through the light of the lantern), in a place where both the truth and God already exist, hence the morning already being bright. This pre-existing truth/God could be alluding to Nietzsche’s concept of the ubermensch: the idea that man has an internal, higher ideal; a god-like quality that must be recognised within to find what he has been searching for all along. Such notion is inline with his thought in ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra: ‘”man is a rope stretched between the animal and the Superman- a rove over an abyss”’ (Nietzsche,
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