Below you will find four outstanding thesis statements for “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” by Friedrich Nietzche that can be used as essay starters. All five incorporate at least one of the themes and are broad enough so that it will be easy to find textual support, yet narrow enough to provide a focused clear thesis statement. These thesis statements offer a short summary of Thus Spoke Zarathustra in terms of offering different elements that could be important in an essay, but you are free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot or themes to them. Using the essay topics below in conjunction with the list of important quotes from Thus Spoke Zarathustra” at the bottom of the page, you should have no trouble connecting with the text and writing an excellent essay. Before you begin, however, please get some useful tips and hints about how to use PaperStarter.com in the brief User's Guide…you'll be glad you did.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #1: The Fault of Excess
One critic has observed that “the book’s worst fault is excess." Write an argumentative essay in which you either contest or support this critic’s claim. If you contest the claim, explain why the detail and amount of information was needed to convey the ideas Nietzsche wished the reader to carry away from the work. If you agree that the book is excessive, explain why. Build a case as to how the text could have been more concise, and offer a possible explanation as to why it was not.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #2: Who is Zarathustra?
Many philosophers throughout history have used characters or allegorical symbols to convey their own ideas. Zarathustra is Nietzsche’s journeyman-seeker, who reports his intellectual and existential dilemmas and their resolutions (or lack thereof) to the reader. Examine Zarathustra carefully; characterize him with all of the details you can, and explain how this figure functions in the development of Nietzsche’s philosophy. Indicate whether you can or cannot identify with him.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3: Devil’s Advocate
There are many decisive and assertive statements made in Thus Spoke Zarathustra. You may agree with some, and disagree with others. Take one or more statements that you do not agree with and play the role of devil’s advocate. Be creative with this essay! You might write as if you were addressing Nietzsche directly, attempting to persuade him of your rightness and his wrongness. In constructing your argument, be sure to refute all of the points that he has made in the development of his argument.
Thesis Statement/Essay Topic #4: Modern-Day Relevance
Nietzsche wrote this text in the late 1800s. More than 100 years later, consider whether his philosophy is dated or whether it is more relevant now than ever. Write an essay in which you summarize Nietzsche’s essential beliefs. Then, craft a thoughtful argument in which you defend your position as to whether those beliefs are useful and relevant today. Be sure to cite relevant supporting textual evidence.
This list of important quotations from “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” by Nietzche will help you work with the essay topics and thesis statements above by allowing you to support your claims. All of the important quotes from “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” listed here correspond, at least in some way, to the paper topics above and by themselves can give you great ideas for an essay by offering quotes and explanations about other themes, symbols, imagery, and motifs than those already mentioned and explained. Aside from the thesis statements above, these quotes alone can act as essay questions or study questions as they are all relevant to the text in an important way. All quotes contain page numbers as well. Look at the bottom of the page to identify which edition of the text they are referring to.
“Man is a rope, fastened between animal and Superman—a rope over an abyss." (43)
“Blessed are [the] drowsy men: for they shall soon drop off." (58)
“The creative Self…it created for itself joy and sorrow." (62)
“You are not yet free, you still search for freedom. Your search has fatigued you and made you too wakeful." (70)
“I offer you this sign: every people speaks its own language of good and evil: its neighbor does not understand this language." (76)
“Much that seemed good to one people seemed shame and disgrace to another…. I found much that was called evil in one place was in another decked with purple honours." (84)
“Creation—that is the great redemption from suffering, and life’s easement…." (111)
“To be truthful—few can do it! And those who can, will not!." (218)
“There is an old delusion that is called good and evil." (219)
“You have not yet suffered enough." (299)
Reference: Nietzsche, Friedrich. Thus Spoke Zarathustra. New York: Penguin, 1961.