Twilight of the Idols


Friedrich Nietzsche

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Ralph Waldo Emerson Character Analysis

(1803–1882) Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American transcendentalist philosopher. Nietzsche greatly admired Emerson’s work, and in The Gay Science he calls him one of the 19th century’s four “masters of prose,” (the other three “masters” are Giacomo Leopardi, Prosper Mérimée, and Walter Savage Landor.) Nietzsche praises Emerson for championing individualism, a philosophical idea that values the intrinsic worth of the individual. He places Emerson in direct contrast to Thomas Carlyle, who is self-effacing. Emerson, claims Nietzsche in Twilight of the Idols, is “more enlightened, adventurous, multifarious, refined than Carlyle; above all, happier” than Carlyle.
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Ralph Waldo Emerson Character Timeline in Twilight of the Idols

The timeline below shows where the character Ralph Waldo Emerson appears in Twilight of the Idols. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Expeditions of an Untimely Man
History and the Decline of Civilization  Theme Icon
The Will to Power   Theme Icon
The Ideal vs. The Real  Theme Icon
Christianity and the “Revaluation of All Values”  Theme Icon
13. Emerson. Nietzsche argues that Emerson is “happier” and “more refined” than Carlyle. He also has better... (full context)