You outcast, who cast yourself out, you do not want to live among humans and humans’ pity? Well then, do as I do! Thus will you learn from me too: only the one who does learn. (Nietzsche 233)
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The passage in question can be found in the fourth part of the book in the section entitled “The Ugliest Human Being”. This section dwells upon a number of important philosophical issues. The author contemplates the concept of the overman, the concept of human pity, and the importance of action. Importantly, the form of dialogue creates a special atmosphere of philosophical contemplation. It also alludes to the famous Plato’s and Socrates’ dialogues which are still examples of philosophical masterpieces. The form helps the author articulate his ideas concerning the most important issues.
The passage in question concentrates on the idea of the overman. The outcast stands for the concept of the overman in this passage. According to Nietzsche, the overman is the one above all the others. The overman is at a certain distance from human beings. Of course, the overman is higher than the rest. Likewise, the outcast is also alienated from the rest of the people. The outcast is a certain distance and it is also possible that the outcast is above all the rest.
Zarathustra says “outcast, who cast yourself out” and stresses that the exile is rather voluntary (Nietzsche 233). Therefore, the outcast is no one else than the overman as he decides to leave human beings due to his being different. The outcast feels he needs to leave humanity as people are too unworthy.
Importantly, the passage also touches upon the idea of human pity. It suggests that the overman cannot live in society due to human pity. According to Nietzsche, the overman cannot put up with this manifestation of weakness. The overman can never feel pity. Admittedly, Zarathustra is also the overman as he suggests that the overcast acts as he does. Therefore, Zarathustra (though looking for pity) does not regard pity as something positive or necessary for the overman. Zarathustra only accepts that humanity cannot exist without pity. Zarathustra’s advice given to the outcast is also very important.
The words “only the one who does learns” unveil the idea of the importance of action (Nietzsche 233). Action leads to experience and knowledge. According to Zarathustra (i.e. Nietzsche), knowledge is what the overman needs.
It is possible to note that the passage in question is significant as it contains a number of central ideas and concepts recurrent in the book. This repetitiveness helps the author articulate his ideas. These recurrent concepts become central parts of the picture drawn by the author. For instance, the idea of the overman prevails in the book as well as in the rest of Nietzsche’s works. Nietzsche believed that there are people and there are only several worthy overmen. The outcast is another illustration of the concept. This passage also dwells upon the idea of the importance of knowledge. This concept is central to the book as Zarathustra teaches that knowledge is crucial for humanity as well as for the overman.
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Finally, the passage in question also deals with the concept of pity which is central to the entire book. Zarathustra contemplates the essence of pity throughout his journey. The passage also unveils the author’s attitude towards pity, i.e. there is no place for pity in the life of the overman. Therefore, it is possible to state that the passage in question is relevant and can be regarded as a brief summary of some of the major concepts of the book.
Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm. Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for Everyone and Nobody. Trans. Graham Parkes. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. Print.