Analysis of “On the Three Metamorphoses” Speech by Zarathustra Essay (Critical Writing)

June 7, 2022 by Essay Writer


The “Three Metamorphoses” is one of the numerous philosophical works of Nietzsche in whose prologues produced thought provoking and soul searching ideas that explain the essence of life. In this paper, the analysis will endeavor to critically single out the fundamental concepts eminently presented in the speech.

In furtherance of this analysis, metaphors and allusions employed by the author shall be identified in quest for human meaning. In the final analysis, a commentary of the speech shall be availed.

The Concepts, Metaphors and Allusions in the three Metamorphoses

Metaphors and Allusions

In this piece of both philosophical and literary representation, Nietzsche employs numerous metaphors to imply meaning of life and how change is an inevitable aspect of human spiritual life. Zurathustra describes the three metaphors representing the transformational form of man.

These metaphors finally set an answer to the apprehension designed by God’s death. These metamorphic elements that preoccupy the otherwise hopeful being explain the real essence created by the ability to overcome the static nature in order to become “new” in the course of time (Nietzsche 116).

The author begins his philosophical imagery by saying that, “I name you three metamorphoses of the spirit: how the spirit shall become a camel, and the camel a lion, and the child at last a child” (Nietzsche 54). He chooses to be in love with live representations by use of animals to illustrate life out of the seemingly abstract world in which man lives. According to the speech, change should be a constant and logical.

In qualifying a description of various stages of human consciousness, Nietzsche utilizes the camel, the camel and finally the lion in pursuit for the fundamental forms of transformation necessary for an “overman”.

The camel represents the beginning of the strategic walk towards the much anticipated end of human spirit. In this primary stage, the camel is thought of as being the burden bearing spirit that is always submissive and under the command of all other superior forces beyond its scope of denial. It posses within its self, the duty to carry forth the mantle of spiritual hope through suffering and sacrifice.

The camel hence becomes the symbol of general human commitment towards rescuing sanity of the soul (Nietzsche, Ansell-Pearson and Duncan 263). It means that to become, one must be willing to suffer the consequences of life in order to gain from the promise of the future.

The camel as a metaphoric facet serves to demonstrate the tendency of human beings to indulge themselves in those things that seem difficult in the course of duty. The camel provokes a thinking of doing what we are obliged to do in order to challenge the “self”, giving way for better refinement.

Zarathustra opines by asking, “What is the heaviest thing, so asks the weight-bearing spirit, that I may take it upon me and rejoice in my strength”. The spirit of burden bearing represented by the camel is seen to feel great and happy in its unquestionable strength.

This spirit reminds the human kind of the ardent need for positive attitude imbued with the suffrage of humanity in order to pride in the real duty bestowed to man by nature. As a philosophical outrage, Zarathustra asks if the heavy is not the burden “to feed upon the grass of knowledge” (Nietzsche 116). To the seeker, suffering for the sake of searching and longing for truth is a burden laden to him or her.

The desert into which the camel flees to forms a basis for metamorphosis. It is the beginning of the journey to imagine the future that is uncertain. In this illustration, the desert represents the world of uncertainty into which the spirit plunges in search for the self fulfillment and satisfaction.

The movement form the “known” to the “unknown” is a true virtue of hope, courage together with imaginative power to conquer and discover the unexplored world.

Zarathustra creates an allusion in the sense that we are left to infer meaning from the unveilings of the journey of the camel. Illusionary elements utilized have far much meaning that endows the mind to create linkages through imaginations. It is in the desert that the camel undergoes change and transformation into a lion.

The desert provides the true environment that must be sought by an individual seeking for truth and knowledge. The idea of fleeing the real world that is habitable in the thinking of man, to the desert preoccupied by fear, dangers and uncertainty refers to the need for independence of the spirit (Nietzsche 116).

The lion is the middle stage that defines the transformation of oneself. To overcome means being a lion to the extent of fighting for what belongs to you. The lion captures the true mantle presented to it by the by the camel. In the desert, the dragon is the representation of the unyielding forces that rule over the universe with a claim for ultimate control over the faculty of reason.

The dragon is the spirit called “Thou Shalt” which is the critical foe to the call for freedom of the mind and mental subjugation. The free will to say “No” to the dragon is the result of wining over by uttering “No” to the fearful dragon.

The author allures the reader to infer the greater meaning through symbolic imaginations that transcends to create new knowledge, realities and wisdom. The lion is a sign of victory arising from the struggle to prey in the wilderness (Nietzsche 116).

The child is a unique metaphoric facet of human spiritual transformation according to Zarathustra. In thus Spoke Zarathustra (TSZ), the element of life has been left to be guided by the fate of change. This process is mandatory if a spirit has to realize the ultimate self that is “self-identifying”. To accomplish this cycle, a child becomes from a lion after realizing and possessing all the truths, reason, knowledge and power.

But the question is asked, “What can the child do that the lion cannot?” (Nietzsche, Pearson, and Duncan 264). The metaphor used here shows how the process ends in humility characterized by absolute freedom. At this moment, the ideals of life are eminently present in the child as a source of sanity, innocence, virtue and eternal standards.

The essence of life is gained by an individual after a hefty struggle with constraints of the world. In the final end, the child becomes the ultimate “being” in the society full of inner morality, and not morality imposed by forces of destruction and suppression.

“Wading into dirty water when it is the water of truth, and not shrinking from the cold frogs and hot toads” (Nietzsche 263) is a statement with far reaching meaning derived metaphorically as induced by Zarathustra. The author implies that it is rather necessary to engage yourself in the fighting the odds without fear of anything in order to gain from the practice.


The concept of logical change

Change that is preached by Zarathustra is an inevitable struggle that must be waged to free the mind and spiri5 from the subdued self. The beginning of this process is acceptance of situation through bearing the burden (Nietzsche, Ansell-Pearson and Duncan 263). However, questioning the existence of the forces of command lends one towards seeking rebellion to capture freedom.

It is worth to note that this transformational process is cyclic as opposed to linear, since linearity has an end. If life follows a linear from, it departs from transformational to static. In the same line, change is logical as it stems from its initial stage throughout the process to found the final form universally acceptable as the most virtuous.

The concept of “overcoming” and “becoming”

It is worth noting that Zarathustra as an embodiment of change denotes the agent uninterested in the power to rule over others. This is gained from the fact that “I lack the lion’s voice for all command” (Nietzsche 116). The possibility of newness is pegged on leading full of separation and disconnect with the ordinary world (Nietzsche, Ansell-Pearson and Duncan 263).

The Notion of revolt and quest for power and freedom

The camel, as Nietzsche puts it, is only a vessel that accepts suffering to deliver oneself into a world of freedom. On the other hand, the lion is a representation of a tool that captures this freedom through struggle against the might of the commanding objects. To gain freedom, one must seek the ultimate lord who is the dragon enemy of the lion in the desert. The lion

Commentary on the speech, “On the Three Metamorphoses”

Zarathustra gave a strong and assertive address that unites the theme of change, struggle for freedom that demand of an individual. The speech given was a substantive address that touched on numerous steps that would define a route for transformational being necessary to acquaint mankind of the need to become new.

Zarathustra called for people to firs of all accept the huge burden bestowed to them by both nature and earthly forces that renders them week and submissive. In submissiveness, Zarathustra believed that the wisdom of the ultimate forces would soon be overcome.

“Lowering oneself in order to hurt one’s pride? Letting one’s foolishness glow in order to mock one’s wisdom?” This was a powerful theme that plights in the subjugation of the mind, and the same time a beckon of hope.

To conquer these eminent challenges, his address induced a feeling of enthusiasm through symbolic representations of the camel that drives its load to the desert. The speech was replete with thought provoking and mind surging expressions that brought people into reverence. There are numerous instances that endure the call for logical movements free from disturbance or halt.

To become new, he pleaded to individuals to offer themselves the challenges and accept to face the issues at hand boldly without fear of nothing but the lord. The dragon that is the spirit called “Thou Shalt” should not be left to prevail for a longer time lets the suffering continues to subdue the human kind.

Taking a quick move into the unexplored territories in search for independence would be a requisite step towards rescuing the spirit of mankind.

In his final submission, Zarathustra offers the option of coming back to the ultimate being of a child free of suffering, full of creative minds always yielding new ideas. This stage is the most desirable since shall free them from guilt, making them forget of the past possessed with contempt, fear, and stagnation.

Works Cited

Nietzsche, Friedrich W., Keith Ansell-Pearson and Duncan Large. The Nietzsche reader, Volume 10. Ed. Ansell-Pearson, Keith and Duncan Large. New York: Wiley-Blackwell, 2006. Print.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. Thus Spoke Zarathustra A Book for All and None. Ed. Caro, Andrian and Pippin, Robert. Cambridge University press: Cambridge, 2006. Print.

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