Pessimism In Friedrich Nietzsche's The Birth Of Tragedy

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Dionysian Tragedy “Is pessimism inevitably the sign of decline, decadence, waywardness, of wearied, enfeebled instincts?” (3) In The Birth of Tragedy, Friedrich Nietzsche reveals the origins and foundations of Greek tragedy and arts through Apollonian and Dionysian spirits. Apollonian spirit is an impulse to create and to achieve dreams because it provides the audience with visible and sensible figures. Apollonian spirit represents logic, consciousness and individualism. The exact opposite of Apollonian, Dionysian, arouses irrationality and instincts. Apollonian and Dionysian spirits complement each other. “As artistic powers which spring from nature itself, without the mediation of the human artist,” however, humans intentionally favor Apollonian over Dionysian spirit through morality, science and arts. (18) A perfect example is that people naturally believe that pessimism and irrationality are wrong and chaotic, even the belief of pessimism itself is pathetic. Nietzsche denounces that scientism and rationality because they end pessimism and cover the essential existence of humans with the veil of optimism. Nietzsche believes that the fear to the surroundings leads to the birth of Olympian gods and tragedy in sensitive Greek culture. Tragic heroes and the music relieve the public from the sufferings because they undertake the sorrow and burdens that the public are not able to take. However, Nietzsche accuses the scientism of ending the tragedy. The first mistake of
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