Thus Spoke Zarathustra Study Guide

Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche

Thus Spoke Zarathustra is a philosophical text by Friedrich Nietzsche told as a series of parables and declarations by the traveling prophet Zarathustra. The treatise was published in four parts from 1883 to 1885 and concerns Nietzche's concept of the ubermensch, or overman, a superior being that man must become through self-overcoming and by expressing his inner will to power. Like many of Nietzsche's works, Thus Spoke Zarathustra contains harsh critiques of Christian morality, declaring famously that "God is dead."

Thus Spoke Zarathustra Quotes

Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None (German: Also sprach Zarathustra: Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen , also translated as Thus Spake Zarathustra ) is a philosophical novel by Friedrich Nietzsche, composed in four parts between 1883 and 1885 and published between 1883 and 1891.



  • Du grosses Gestirn! Was wäre dein Glück, wenn du nicht Die hättest, welchen du leuchtest!
    • You great star, what would your happiness be had you not those for whom you shine?
    • Prologue 1.
  • The fall of our footsteps ringeth too hollow through their streets. And just as at night, when they are in bed and hear a man abroad long before sunrise, so they ask themselves concerning us: Where goeth the thief? Go not to men, but stay in the forest! Go rather to the animals! Why not be like me- a bear amongst bears, a bird amongst birds?" "And what doeth the saint in the forest?" asked Zarathustra. The saint answered: "I make hymns and sing them; and in making hymns I laugh and weep and mumble: thus do I praise God. With singing, weeping, laughing, and mumbling do I praise the God who is my God."
    • Prologue, part 2
  • When Zarathustra was alone, however, he said to his heart: "Could it be possible! This old saint in the forest hath not yet heard of it, that God is dead!"
    • Prologue, part 2
  • Ich lehre euch denÜbermenschen. Der Mensch ist Etwas, das überwunden werden soll. Was habt ihr gethan, ihn zu überwinden?
    • I teach you the superman. Man is something to be surpassed. What have ye done to surpass man?
    • Zarathustra's Prologue, part 3
  • Ihr habt den Weg vom Wurme zum Menschen gemacht, und Vieles ist in euch noch Wurm. Einst wart ihr Affen, und auch jetzt ist der Mensch mehr Affe, als irgend ein Affe.
    • You have evolved from worm to man, but much within you is still worm. Once you were apes, yet even now man is more of an ape than any of the apes.
    • Prologue 3.
  • Wahrlich, ein schmutziger Strom ist der Mensch. Man muß schon ein Meer sein, um einen schmutzigen Strom aufnehmen zu können, ohne unrein zu werden.
    • Verily, a polluted stream is man. One must be a sea to be able to receive a polluted stream without becoming unclean.
    • Prologue, part 3
  • What is the greatest thing you can experience? It is the hour of your greatest contempt. The hour in which even your happiness becomes loathsome to you, and so also your reason and virtue. The hour when you say: 'What good is my happiness? It is poverty and filth and miserable self-complacency. But my happiness should justify existence itself!' The hour when you say: 'What good is my reason? Does it long for knowledge as the lion for his prey? It is poverty and filth and miserable self-complacency!' The hour when you say: 'What good is my virtue? It has not yet driven me mad! How weary I am of my good and my evil! It is all poverty and filth and miserable self-complacency!' The hour when you say: 'What good is my justice? I do not see that I am filled with fire and burning coals. But the just are filled with fire and burning coals!' The hour when you say: 'What good is my pity? Is not pity the cross on which he is nailed who loves man? But my pity is no crucifixion!"
    • Prologue, part 3
  • Was gross ist am Menschen, das ist, dass er eine Brücke ist und kein Zweck ist.
    • What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal.
    • Prologue, part 4
  • I love him whose soul is lavish, who wanteth no thanks and doth not give back: for he always bestoweth, and desireth not to keep for himself.
    • Prologue, part 5
  • Ich sage euch: man muß noch Chaos in sich haben, um einen tanzenden Stern gebären zu können.
    • I tell you: one must still have chaos within oneself, to give birth to a dancing star.
    • Prologue 5.
  • Kein Hirt und Eine Heerde! Jeder will das Gleiche, Jeder ist gleich: wer anders fühlt, geht freiwillig in's Irrenhaus.
    • No shepherd, and one herd! Everyone wants the same, everyone is the same: whoever feels different goes wilingly into the madhouse.
    • Prologue 5.
  • "We have invented happiness" -say the last men and blink
    • Prologue, Part 5 page 13
  • A light has dawned for me: I need companions, living ones, not dead companions and corpses which I carry with me wherever I wish. But I need living companions who follow me because they want to follow themselves— and who want to go where I want to go.A light has dawned for me: Zarathustra shall not speak to the people but to companions! Zarathustra shall not be herdsman and dog to the herd! To lure many away from the herd— that is why I have come. The people and the herd shall be angry with me: the herdsmen shall call Zarathustra a robber. I will not be herdsmen or gravedigger. I will not speak again to the people: I have spoken to a dead man for the last time.

    I will make company with creators, with harvesters, with rejoicers: I will show them the rainbow and the stairway to the Superman.

    • Prologue, part 9

Part I

  • Welches ist der große Drache, den der Geist nicht mehr Herr und Gott heißen mag? "Du-sollst" heißt der große Drache. Aber der Geist des Löwen sagt "ich will". "Du-sollst" liegt ihm am Wege, goldfunkelnd, ein Schuppentier, und auf jeder Schuppe glänzt golden "Du sollst!" Tausendjährige Werte glänzen an diesen Schuppen, und also spricht der mächtigste aller Drachen: "aller Wert der Dinge - der glänzt an mir." "Aller Wert ward schon geschaffen, und aller geschaffene Wert - das bin ich. Wahrlich, es soll kein 'Ich will' mehr geben!" Also spricht der Drache.
    • Who is the great dragon whom the spirit will no longer call lord and god? "Thou shalt" is the name of the great dragon. But the spirit of the lion says, "I will." "Thou shalt" lies in his way, sparkling like gold, an animal covered with scales; and on every scale shines a golden "thou shalt." Values, thousands of years old, shine on these scales; and thus speaks the mightiest of all the dragons: "All value of all things shines on me. All value has long been created, and I am all created value. Verily, there shall be no more 'I will.'" Thus speaks the dragon.
    • Part I, Chapter 1, "Von den drei Verwandlungen"/"On the Three Metamorphoses".
  • Keine geringe Kunst ist schlafen: es thut schon Noth, den ganzen Tag darauf hin zu wachen.
    • It is no small art to sleep: for that purpose you must keep awake all day.
    • Part I, Chapter 2, "Von den Lehrstühlen der Tugend"/"On the Teachers of Virtue".
  • "Leib bin ich und Seele"–so redet das Kind. Und warum sollte man nicht wie die Kinder reden?
    • "Body am I, and soul"–so says the child. And why should one not speak like children?
    • Part I, Chapter 4, "Von den Verächtern des Leibes"/"On the despisers of the Body".
  • Es ist mehr Vernunft in deinem Leibe, als in deiner besten Weisheit.
    • There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy.
    • Part I, Chapter 4, "Von den Verächtern des Leibes"/"On the despisers of the Body".
  • Und nichts Böses wächst mehr fürderhin aus dir, es sei denn das Böse, das aus dem Kampfe deiner Tugenden wächst. Mein Bruder, wenn du Glück hast, so hast du Eine Tugend und nicht mehr: so gehst du leichter über die Brücke.
    • And nothing evil grows in you any longer, unless it is the evil that grows out of the conflict of your virtues. My brother, if you are fortunate, then you will have only one virtue and no more: thus you will go more easily over the bridge.
    • Part I, Chapter 5, "Von den Freuden- und Leidenschaften"/"On Enjoying and Suffering the Passions".
  • Von allem Geschriebenen liebe ich nur Das, was Einer mit seinem Blute schreibt.
    • Of all that is written, I love only what a man has written with his own blood.
    • Part I, Chapter 7, "Vom Lesen und Schreiben"/"On Reading and Writing".
  • Es ist immer etwas Wahnsinn in der Liebe. Es ist aber immer auch etwas Vernunft im Wahnsinn.
    • There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness.
    • Part I, Chapter 7, "Vom Lesen und Schreiben"/"On Reading and Writing".
  • Muthig, unbekümmert, spöttisch, gewaltthätig - so will uns die Weisheit: sie ist ein Weib und liebt immer nur einen Kriegsmann.
    • Brave, unconcerned, mocking, violent–thus wisdom wants us: she is a woman, and loves only a warrior.
    • Part I, Chapter 7, "Vom Lesen und Schreiben"/"On Reading and Writing".
  • Es ist wahr: wir lieben das Leben, nicht, weil wir an's Leben, sondern weil wir an's Lieben gewöhnt sind.
    • It is true: we love life not because we are used to living, but because we are used to loving.
    • Part I, Chapter 7, "Vom Lesen und Schreiben"/"On Reading and Writing".
  • Ich würde nur an einen Gott glauben, der zu tanzen verstünde.
    • I would only believe in a God that knows how to dance.
    • Part I, Chapter 7, "Vom Lesen und Schreiben"/"On Reading and Writing".
  • Nicht durch Zorn, sondern durch Lachen tötet man
    • Not by wrath does one kill, but by laughter
    • Part I, Chapter 7, "Vom Lesen und Schreiben"/"On Reading and Writing".
  • Ihr seht nach oben, wenn ihr nach Erhebung verlangt. Und ich sehe hinab, weil ich erhoben bin.
    • You look up when you wish to be exalted. And I look down because I am exalted.
    • Part I, Chapter 7, "Vom Lesen und Schreiben"/"On Reading and Writing".
  • Im Gebirge ist der nächste Weg von Gipfel zu Gipfel: aber dazu musst du lange Beine haben. Sprüche sollen Gipfel sein: und Die, zu denen gesprochen wird, Grosse und Hochwüchsige.
    • In the mountains, the shortest way is from peak to peak: but for that, you need long legs. Aphorisms should be peaks: and those to whom they are spoken, big and tall.
    • Part I, Chapter 7, "Vom Lesen und Schreiben"/"On Reading and Writing".
  • »Je mehr er hinauf in die Höhe und Helle will, um so stärker streben seine Wurzeln erdwärts, abwärts, in's Dunkle, Tiefe, — in's Böse.«
    • The more one seeks to rise into height and light, the more vigorously do ones roots struggle earthward, downward, into the dark, the deep— into evil.
    • Part I, Chapter 8, "Vom Baum am Berge"/"On the Tree on the Mountain".
  • Ihre (Predigern des Todes) Weisheit lautet: "ein Thor, der leben bleibt, aber so sehr sind wir Thoren! Und das eben ist das Thörichtste am Leben!" —
    • Their (the preachers of death) wisdom speaks thus: "Only a fool remains alive, but such fools are we! And that is surely the most foolish thing about life!"
    • Part I, Chapter 9, "Von den Predigern des Todes"/"On the Preachers of Death".
  • Ich weiss um den Hass und Neid eures Herzens. Ihr seid nicht gross genug, um Hass und Neid nicht zu kennen. So seid denn gross genug, euch ihrer nicht zu schämen!
    • I know of the hatred and envy of your hearts. You are not great enough not to know hatred and envy. Then be great enough not to be ashamed of them!
    • Part I, Chapter 10, "Vom Krieg und Kriegsvolke"/"On War and Warriors".
  • Aber der Staat lügt in allen Zungen des Guten und Bösen; und was er auch redet, er lügt—und was er auch hat, gestohlen hat er's.
    • The state lieth in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it saith it lieth; and whatever it hath it hath stolen.False is everything in it; with stolen teeth it biteth, the biting one. False are even its bowels.

      Confusion of language of good and evil; this sign I give unto you as the sign of the state. Verily, the will to death, indicateth this sign! Verily, it beckoneth unto the preachers of death! (Thomas Common translation)

    • Variant translation: Everything the State says is a lie, and everything it has it has stolen. (As quoted in Lies the Government Told You: Myth, Power, and Deception in American History (2010)by Andrew Napolitano)
    • Part I, Chapter 11, "Vom neuen Götzen"/"The New Idol"
  • Seht sie klettern, diese geschwinden Affen! Sie kletternüber einander hinweg und zerren sich also in den Schlamm und die Tiefe. Hin zum Throne wollen sie Alle: ihr Wahnsinn ist es, — als ob das Glück auf dem Throne sässe! Oft sitzt der Schlamm auf dem Thron — und oft auch der Thron auf dem Schlamme. Wahnsinnige sind sie mir Alle und kletternde Affen und Überheisse. Übel riecht mir ihr Götze, das kalte Unthier: übel riechen sie mir alle zusammen, diese Götzendiener.
    • Watch them clamber, these swift monkeys! They clamber over one another and thus drag one another into the mud and the depth. They all want to get to the throne: that is their madness— as if happiness sat on the throne. Often, mud sits on the throne — and often the throne also on mud. Mad they all appear to me, clambering monkeys and overardent. Foul smells their idol, the cold monster: foul, they smell to me altogether, these idolators.
    • Part I, Chapter 11, "Vom neuen Götzen"/"On the New Idol".
  • Free from what? As if that mattered to Zarathustra! But your eyes should tell me brightly: free for what?
    • Part I, Ch. 17: On the Way of the Creator
  • Zweierlei will der echte Mann: Gefahr und Spiel. Deshalb will er das Weib als das gefährlichste Spielzeug.
    • The true man wants two things: danger and play. For that reason he wants woman, as the most dangerous toy.
    • Part I, Chapter 18, "Old and Young Women".
  • Man is for woman a means; the end is always the child.
    • Part I, Chapter 18, Of Little Women Old and Young
  • Vornehmer ist's, sich Unrecht zu geben als Recht zu behalten, sonderlich wenn man Recht hat. Nur muss man reich genug dazu sein.
    • Nobler is it to own oneself in the wrong than to establish one's right, especially if one be in the right. Only, one must be rich enough to do so.
    • Part I, Chapter 19, "The Bite of the Adder".
  • Then will he who goes under bless himself for being one who goes over and beyond; and the sun of his knowledge will stand at high noon for him."Dead are all gods: now we want the overman to live"— on that great noon, let this be our last will.
    • Part I, Ch. 22, On the Gift-Giving Virtue, 3.
  • Verily, I advise you: depart from me, and guard yourselves against Zarathustra! And better still: be ashamed of him! Perhaps he hath deceived you. The man of knowledge must be able not only to love his enemies, but also to hate his friends. One requiteth a teacher badly if one remain merely a student. And why will ye not pluck at my wreath? Ye venerate me; but what if your veneration should some day collapse? Take heed lest a statue crush you! Ye say, ye believe in Zarathustra? But of what account is Zarathustra! Ye are my believers: but of what account are all believers! Ye had not yet sought yourselves: then did ye find me. So do all believers; therefore all belief is of so little account. Now do I bid you lose me and find yourselves; and only when ye have all denied me, will I return unto you.
    • Part I, Ch. 22: The Bestowing Virtue

Ch. 11 : The New Idol

Ch. 11 : The New Idol, as translated by Thomas Common (1909)

  • Somewhere there are still peoples and herds, but not with us, my brethren: here there are states.A state? What is that? Well! open now your ears unto me, for now will I say unto you my word concerning the death of peoples.
  • A state, is called the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly lieth it also; and this lie creepeth from its mouth: "I, the state, am the people."It is a lie! Creators were they who created peoples, and hung a faith and a love over them: thus they served life.

    Destroyers, are they who lay snares for many, and call it the state: they hang a sword and a hundred cravings over them.

    Where there is still a people, there the state is not understood, but hated as the evil eye, and as sin against laws and customs.

  • This sign I give unto you: every people speaketh its language of good and evil: this its neighbour understandeth not. Its language hath it devised for itself in laws and customs.But the state lieth in all languages of good and evil; and whatever it saith it lieth; and whatever it hath it hath stolen.

    False is everything in it; with stolen teeth it biteth, the biting one. False are even its bowels.

    Confusion of language of good and evil; this sign I give unto you as the sign of the state. Verily, the will to death, indicateth this sign! Verily, it beckoneth unto the preachers of death!

    Many too many are born: for the superfluous ones was the state devised!

    See just how it enticeth them to it, the many-too-many! How it swalloweth and cheweth and recheweth them!

    "On earth there is nothing greater than I: it is I who am the regulating finger of God."— thus roareth the monster. And not only the long-eared and short-sighted fall upon their knees!

    Ah! even in your ears, ye great souls, it whispereth its gloomy lies! Ah! it findeth out the rich hearts which willingly lavish themselves!

  • Heroes and honourable ones, it would fain set up around it, the new idol! Gladly it basketh in the sunshine of good consciences,— the cold monster!Everything will it give you, if ye worship it, the new idol: thus it purchaseth the lustre of your virtue, and the glance of your proud eyes.

    It seeketh to allure by means of you, the many-too-many! Yea, a hellish artifice hath here been devised, a death-horse jingling with the trappings of divine honours!

    Yea, a dying for many hath here been devised, which glorifieth itself as life: verily, a hearty service unto all preachers of death!

  • The state, I call it, where all are poison-drinkers, the good and the bad: the state, where all lose themselves, the good and the bad: the state, where the slow suicide of all— is called "life."Just see these superfluous ones! They steal the works of the inventors and the treasures of the wise. Culture, they call their theft— and everything becometh sickness and trouble unto them!

    Just see these superfluous ones! Sick are they always; they vomit their bile and call it a newspaper. They devour one another, and cannot even digest themselves.

    Just see these superfluous ones! Wealth they acquire and become poorer thereby. Power they seek for, and above all, the lever of power, much money— these impotent ones!

    See them clamber, these nimble apes! They clamber over one another, and thus scuffle into the mud and the abyss.

    Towards the throne they all strive: it is their madness— as if happiness sat on the throne! Ofttimes sitteth filth on the throne. — and ofttimes also the throne on filth.

    Madmen they all seem to me, and clambering apes, and too eager. Badly smelleth their idol to me, the cold monster: badly they all smell to me, these idolaters.

  • Open still remaineth the earth for great souls. Empty are still many sites for lone ones and twain ones, around which floateth the odour of tranquil seas.Open still remaineth a free life for great souls. Verily, he who possesseth little is so much the less possessed: blessed be moderate poverty!

    There, where the state ceaseth— there only commenceth the man who is not superfluous: there commenceth the song of the necessary ones, the single and irreplaceable melody.

    There, where the state ceaseth— pray look thither, my brethren! Do ye not see it, the rainbow and the bridges of the Superman? — Thus spake Zarathustra.

Part II

  • Spirit is the life that itself strikes into life: through its own torment it increases its own knowledge -- did you know that before?
    • Part II, Chapter 8, "Of the Famous Philosophers".
  • Wenn die Macht gnädig wird und herabkommt ins Sichtbare: Schönheit heiße ich solches Herabkommen. Und von niemandem will ich so als von dir gerade Schönheit, du Gewaltiger: deine Güte sei deine letzte Selbst-Überwältigung. Alles Böse traue ich dir zu: darum will ich von dir das Gute. Wahrlich, ich lachte oftder Schwächlinge, welche sich gut glauben, weil sie lahme Tatzen haben!
    • When power becomes gracious and descends into the visible— such descent I call beauty. And there is nobody from whom I want beauty as much as from you who are powerful: let your kindness be your final self-conquest. Of all evil I deem you capable: therefore I want the good from you. Verily, I have often laughed at the weaklings who thought themselves good because they had no claws.
    • Part II, Chapter 13, "The Sublime Ones".
  • Everything in woman is a riddle, and everything in woman hath one solution—it is called pregnancy.
    • Part II, Chapter 18, "Old and Young Women".
  • Wenn es Götter gäbe, wie hielte ich's aus, kein Gott zu sein! Also gibt es keine Götter.
    • If there were gods, how could I endure it to be no God! Therefore there are no gods.
    • Part II, Chapter 24, "In the Happy Isles".
  • Also aber rathe ich euch, meine Freunde: misstraut Allen, in welchen der Trieb, zu strafen, mächtig ist! Das ist Volk schlechter Art und Abkunft; aus ihren Gesichtern blickt der Henker und der Spürhund. Misstraut allen Denen, die viel von ihrer Gerechtigkeit reden! Wahrlich, ihren Seelen fehlt es nicht nur an Honig. Und wenn sie sich selber 'die Guten und Gerechten' nennen, so vergesst nicht, dass ihnen zum Pharisäer Nichts fehlt als — Macht!
    • But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful! They are people of bad race and lineage; out of their countenances peer the hangman and the sleuth-hound. Distrust all those who talk much of their justice! Verily, in their souls not only honey is lacking. And when they call themselves 'the good and just,' forget not, that for them to be Pharisees, nothing is lacking but— power! (Thomas Common translation)
    • Variant translation: But thus I counsel you, my friends: Mistrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful. They are people of a low sort and stock; the hangman and the bloodhound look out of their faces. Mistrust all who talk much of their justice! Verily, their souls lack more than honey. And when they call themselves the good and the just, do not forget that they would be pharisees, if only they had— power.
    • Part II, Ch.29, The Tarantulas (Similar statements are attributed to Goethe, and to Dostoevsky).
  • Und wer von uns Dichtern hätte nicht seinen Wein verfälscht? Manch giftiger Mischmasch geschah in unsern Kellern, manches Unbeschreibliche ward da getan.
    • And who among us poets has not adulterated his wine? Many a poisonous hodgepodge has been contrived in our cellars; much that is indescribable was accomplished there.
    • Part II, Chapter 39, On Poets.
  • Ach, es gibt so viel Dinge zwischen Himmel und Erde, von denen sich nur die Dichter etwas haben träumen lassen. Und zumal ü b e r dem Himmel: denn alle Götter sind Dichter-Gleichnis, Dichter-Erschleichnis! Wahrlich, immer zieht es uns hinan - nämlich zum Reich der Wolken: auf diese setzen wir unsre bunten Bälge und heißen sie dann Götter und Übermenschen: - Sind sie doch gerade leicht genug für diese Stühle! - alle diese Götter und Übermenschen. Ach, wie bin ich all des Unzulänglichen müde, das durchaus Ereignis sein soll! Ach, wie bin ich der Dichter müde!
    • Alas, there are so many things between heaven and earth of which only the poets have dreamed. And especially above the heavens: for all gods are poets' parables, poets' prevarications. Verily, it always lifts us higher— specifically, to the realm of the clouds: upon these we place our motley bastards and call them gods and overmen. For they are just light enough for these chairs — all these gods and overmen. Ah, how weary I am of all the imperfection which must at all costs become event! Ah, how weary I am ofpoets!
    • Part II, Chapter 39, On Poets.
  • Höheres als alle Versöhnung muss der Wille wollen, welcher der Wille zur Macht ist .
    • Higher than all reconciliation must the Will will, which the will to power is.
    • Part II, Chapter 42: Redemption
  • Und wer unter Menschen nicht verschmachten will, muß lernen, aus allen Gläsern zu trinken; und wer unter Menschen rein bleiben will, muß verstehn, sich auch mit schmutzigem Wasser zu waschen. Und also sprach ich oft mir zum Troste: "Wohlan! Wohlauf! Altes Herz! Ein Unglück mißriet dir: genieße dies als dein - Glück!"
    • And whoever does not want to die of thirst among men must learn to drink out of all cups; and whoever would stay clean among men must know how to wash even with dirty water. And thus I often comforted myself, "Well then, old heart! One misfortune failed you; enjoy this as your good fortune."
    • Part II, Chapter 43, On Human Prudence
  • Die stillsten Worte sind es, welche den Sturm bringen. Gedanken, die mit Taubenfüßen kommen, lenken die Welt.
    • It is the stillest words that bring on the storm. Thoughts that come on doves' feet guide the world.
    • Part II, Chapter 44, The Stillest Hour

Part III

  • Woher kommen die höchsten Berge? so fragte ich einst. Da lernte ich, daß sie aus dem Meere kommen. Dies Zeugnis ist in ihr Gestein geschrieben und in die Wände ihrer Gipfel. Aus dem Tiefsten muß das Höchste zu seiner Höhe kommen.
    • Whence come the highest mountains? I once asked. Then I learned that they came out of the sea. The evidence is written in their rocks and in the walls of their peaks. It is out of the deepest depth that the highest must come to its height.
    • Part III, Chapter 45, The Wanderer
  • Whence come the highest mountains? I once asked. Then I learned that they came out of the sea. The evidence is written in their rocks and in the walls of their peaks. It is out of the deepest depth that the highest must come to its height.
    • Part III, Chapter 46, On the Vision and the Riddle
  • O meine Brüder, ich weihe und weise euch zu einem neuen Adel: ihr sollt mir Zeuger und Züchter werden und Säemänner der Zukunft, - wahrlich, nicht zu einem Adel, den ihr kaufen könntet gleich den Krämern und mit Krämer-Golde: denn wenig Wert hat alles, was seinen Preis hat. Nicht, woher ihr kommt, mache euch fürderhin eure Ehre, sondern wohin ihr geht! Euer Wille und euer Fuß, der über euch selber hinaus will, — das mache eure neue Ehre!
    • O my brothers, I dedicate and direct you to a new nobility: you shall become procreators and cultivators and sowers of the future— verily, not to a nobility that you might buy like shopkeepers and with shopkeepers' gold: for whatever has its price has little value. Not whence you came shall henceforth constitute your honor, but whither you are going! Your will and your foot which has a will to go over and beyond yourselves— that shall constitute your new honor.
    • Part III, Chapter 56, On Old and New Tablets (12).
  • O meine Brüder, nicht zurück soll euer Adel schauen, sondern h i n a u s ! Vertriebene sollt ihr sein aus allen Vater- und Urväterländern! Eurer Kinder Land sollt ihr lieben: diese Liebe sei euer neuer Adel, — das unentdeckte, im fernsten Meere! Nach ihm heiße ich eure Segel suchen und suchen! An eurenKindern sollt ihr gut machen, daß ihr eurer Väter Kinder seid: alles Vergangene sollt ihr so erlösen! Diese neue Tafel stelle ich über euch!
    • O my brothers, your nobility should not look backward but ahead! Exiles shall you be from all father- and forefather-lands! Your children's land shall you love: this love shall be your new nobility— the undiscovered land in the most distant sea. For that I bid your sails search and search. In your children you shall make up for being the children of your fathers: thus shall you redeem all that is past. This new tablet I place over you.
    • Part III, Chapter 56, On Old and New Tablets (12).
  • Was fällt, das soll man auch noch stoßen!
    • What falleth, that shall one also push!
    • Part III, Ch. 56, On Old and New Tablets (20).


  • "Nothing is true, all is permitted": so said I to myself. Into the coldest water did I plunge with head and heart. Ah, how oft did I stand there naked on that account, like a red crab!Ah, where have gone all my goodness and all my shame and all my belief in the good! Ah, where is the lying innocence which I once possessed, the innocence of the good and of their noble lies!

    Too oft, verily, did I follow close to the heels of truth: then did it kick me on the face. Sometimes I meant to lie, and behold! then only did I hit— the truth.

  • Zarathustra's "Shadow" in Chapter 69 "The Shadow"
  • But one thing is the thought, another thing is the deed, and another thing is the idea of the deed. The wheel of causality doth not roll between them.
  • By our best enemies we do not want to be spared, nor by those either whom we love from the very heart.
  • Many die too late, and some die too early. Yet strange soundeth the precept: "Die at the right time!"
  • Life is a well of delight; but where the rabble also drink, there all fountains are poisoned.
  • Ihr sagt, die gute Sache sei es, die sogar den Krieg heilige? Ich sage euch: der gute Krieg ist es, der jede Sache heiligt
    • You say it is the good cause that hallows even war? I tell you: it is the good war that hallows every cause.

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