Twilight of the Idols

by

Friedrich Nietzsche

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For Nietzsche, “decadence” refers to moral and cultural decline, especially as characterized by overindulgence.

Decadence Quotes in Twilight of the Idols

The Twilight of the Idols quotes below are all either spoken by Decadence or refer to Decadence. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
History and the Decline of Civilization  Theme Icon
).
Foreword Quotes

Nothing succeeds in which high spirits play no part.

Related Characters: Friedrich Nietzsche (speaker)
Page Number: 31
Explanation and Analysis:

Another form of recovery, in certain cases even more suited to me, is to sound out idols. …There are more idols in the world than there are realities: that is my ‘evil eye’ for this world, that is also my ‘evil ear’. … For once to pose questions here with a hammer and perhaps to receive for answer that famous hollow sound which speaks of inflated bowels—what a delight for one who has ears behind his ears—for an old psychologist and pied piper like me, in presence of whom precisely that which would like to stay silent has to become audible

Related Characters: Friedrich Nietzsche (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Hammer
Page Number: 31
Explanation and Analysis:
Maxims and Arrows Quotes

39. The disappointed man speaks. – I sought great human beings, I never found anything but the apes of their ideal.

Related Characters: Friedrich Nietzsche (speaker)
Page Number: 37
Explanation and Analysis:
The Problem of Socrates Quotes

In every age the wisest have passed the identical judgement on life: it is worthless. … Everywhere and always their mouths have uttered the same sound—a sound full of doubt, full of melancholy, full of weariness with life, full of opposition to life.

Related Characters: Friedrich Nietzsche (speaker), Socrates
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:

Judgements, value judgements concerning life, for or against, can in the last resort never be true: they possess value only as symptoms, they come into consideration only as symptoms—in themselves such judgements are stupidities. One must reach out and try to grasp this astonishing finesse, that the value of life cannot be estimated.

Related Characters: Friedrich Nietzsche (speaker), Socrates
Page Number: 40
Explanation and Analysis:
Expeditions of an Untimely Man Quotes

An ‘altruistic’ morality, a morality under which egoism languishes—is under all circumstances a bad sign. This applies to individuals, it applies especially to peoples. The best are lacking when egoism begins to be lacking. To choose what is harmful to oneself, to be attracted by ‘disinterested’ motives, almost constitutes the formula for décadence.

Related Characters: Friedrich Nietzsche (speaker)
Page Number: 98
Explanation and Analysis:

The criminal type is the type of the strong human being under unfavourable conditions, a strong human being made sick. What he lacks is the wilderness, a certain freer and more perilous nature and form of existence in which all that is attack and deference in the instinct of the strong human being comes into its own. His virtues have been excommunicated by society; the liveliest drives within him forthwith blend with the depressive emotions, with suspicion, fear, dishonour.

Related Characters: Friedrich Nietzsche (speaker)
Page Number: 110
Explanation and Analysis:
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Decadence Term Timeline in Twilight of the Idols

The timeline below shows where the term Decadence appears in Twilight of the Idols. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Problem of Socrates
History and the Decline of Civilization  Theme Icon
The Ideal vs. The Real  Theme Icon
...are often ugly, their ugly exteriors symptomatic of an ugly soul. Nietzsche describes criminals as “decadent.” Once, a foreigner who knew how to read faces passed by Socrates on the streets... (full context)
History and the Decline of Civilization  Theme Icon
The Ideal vs. The Real  Theme Icon
Christianity and the “Revaluation of All Values”  Theme Icon
4. It’s not just Socrates’s lustfulness that makes him decadent—it’s also his poor logic. Nietzsche strives to understand the origins of the Socratic equation “reason... (full context)
History and the Decline of Civilization  Theme Icon
The Ideal vs. The Real  Theme Icon
Christianity and the “Revaluation of All Values”  Theme Icon
...rationality. He thinks that philosophers and moralists are fooling themselves if they think that condemning decadence allows them to avoid decadence. In reality, their disapproval of decadence is itself an act... (full context)
Morality as Anti-Nature
History and the Decline of Civilization  Theme Icon
The Ideal vs. The Real  Theme Icon
Christianity and the “Revaluation of All Values”  Theme Icon
...is “declining, debilitated, weary, [and] condemned.” In this way, anti-natural morality is “the instinct of décadence itself.” (full context)
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
35. A criticism of décadence morality. Nietzsche asserts that “altruistic” morality dampens the ego. To seek out “disinterested” motives is... (full context)