(1769–1821) Napoleon Bonaparte was a French military and political leader. As a general, he led successful military campaigns during the French Revolution and would go on to rule the French Empire from 1804 to 1814 and again in 1815. In Twilight of the Idols, Nietzsche doesn’t say much about Napoleon’s military pursuits, but he does cite Napoleon as an example of a “great man” and “genius,” terms Nietzsche uses to describe people of great strength, power, and insight who have emerged throughout history. These people contain an “explosive material” that society cannot suppress.
Napoleon Bonaparte Character Timeline in Twilight of the Idols
The timeline below shows where the character Napoleon Bonaparte appears in Twilight of the Idols. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
What the Germans Lack
...is absurd, and all good art comes out of nations in “political decline.” It was Napoleon’s pursuits that inspired Goethe, for instance. Today, as Germany’s political power increases, France’s cultural output... (full context)
Expeditions of an Untimely Man
...world needs great men, “the epoch” in which great men appear is arbitrary. Nietzsche cites Napoleon as an example of a great man. Revolutionary France, had it the choice, would have... (full context)
...wants to “return to nature,” but his return is a “going-up” rather than a “going-back.” Napoleon wanted to return to nature in the way Nietzsche understands it. Rousseau, however, suffered from... (full context)