Twilight of the Idols

by

Friedrich Nietzsche

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Twilight of the Idols can help.

Thomas Carlyle Character Analysis

(1795–1881) Thomas Carlyle was a Scottish essayist, historian, and philosopher. He’s mostly known for his letters, histories, and critical essays. In Twilight of the Idols, Nietzsche calls the Life of Thomas Carlyle an “involuntary farce.” He criticizes Carlyle for desiring—while simultaneously lacking—a strong religious faith, which is exactly the sort of moral conflict (aspiring to ideals) that Nietzsche associates with the degradation of modern society.
Get the entire Twilight of the Idols LitChart as a printable PDF.
Twilight of the Idols PDF

Thomas Carlyle Character Timeline in Twilight of the Idols

The timeline below shows where the character Thomas Carlyle 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 Ideal vs. The Real  Theme Icon
Christianity and the “Revaluation of All Values”  Theme Icon
12. Nietzsche attacks Thomas Carlyle, referring to him as an “involuntary farce.” He claims that Carlyle was both a man... (full context)
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 taste, and his “cheerfulness […] discourages all earnestness." (full context)
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
...great men. The English think greatness comes from democracy (like Buckle) or from religion (like Carlyle). But Nietzsche argues that society (mainly Christianity and moralists) misunderstand the sacrifices that great human... (full context)