Thus Spake Zarathustra is certainly Nietzsche’s most controversial and probably his most important work. The concepts that “God is Dead” and “Eternal Recurrence” with their attendant ramifications are major features of this work. Highly original and inventive, Thus Spake Zarathustra defies simple categorization. Part literature, part philosophy, it parodies both, in its stylistic resemblance to the New Testament and Pre-Socratic Greek writings. Through a fictionalized version the character Zarathustra, the legendary founder of Zoroasterianism, Nietzsche propounds a new and different version of moral philosophy. During the course of the story presented in this loosely structured narrative, Nietzsche develops and presents a contrary view of mankind: as lying somewhere between the apes and the ultimate Superman, or Ubermensch. Ranging from unsupported assumptions to rigorous argument - from exposition to dialog to poetry - Thus Spake Zarathustra is a surprising, engaging and thought provoking look at the condition of mankind. Nietzsche himself considered this to be his most important work. His tragic end, in a state of complete mental breakdown, precluded any possibility that it would be superseded and raised a question of the association between madness and genius.
When Zarathustra was thirty years old, he left his home and the lake of his home, and went into the mountains. There he enjoyed his spirit and solitude, and for ten years did not weary of it. But at last his heart changed,—and rising one morning with the rosy dawn, he went before the sun, and spake thus unto it:
Thou great star! What would be thy happiness if thou hadst not those for whom thou shinest!
For ten years hast thou climbed hither unto my cave: thou wouldst have wearied of thy light and of the journey, had it not been for me, mine eagle, and my serpent.