Biography of Friedrich Nietzsche Free Essay


Friedrich Nietzsche is one of the greatest influential philosophers. He was born on October 15th, 1884 in Rocken, Germany and later died in 1900 (Young, 2010). He was popular for his writings about good and evil, the culmination of religion in the contemporary society as well as the notion of a “super man.” He came from a linage of a Protestant churchman. Actually, both his grandfather and father were Lutherman ministers (Young, 2010). He had a brief but brilliant career whereby he published several key works on philosophy encompassing Thus Spoke Zarathustra and Twilight of the Idols. Unfortunately, towards the last decade of his lifetime, he developed insanity and succumbed to it on 25th August, 1900 (Young, 2010). His work on individuality as well as morality in the modern civilization significantly influenced several prominent thinkers and writers in the 20th Century (Young, 2010). This paper is a biography of Friedrich Nietzsche; it will highlight the life of Friedrich Nietzsche, his philosophical ideas that are best known for and his contribution to the history of philosophy.

Early Life and Education

Friedrich Nietzsche was born in Christian family his father Carl Ludwig Nietzsche being a Lutheran preacher. His father succumbed when Luther was a 4-year little boy. Therefore, Friedrich Nietzsche together with her sister called Elisabeth was brought up by Franziska, who was their mother. He went to a school in Naumburg, later attended a prominent school called Schulpforta School where he acquired his classical education. He graduated in 1864 and after his graduation he proceeded with his studies at the University of Bonn whereby he studied for only 2 semesters then shifted to the University of Leipzig, whereby he majored in philology, which was a combination of history, linguistics as well as literature. Essentially, he was significantly influenced by the works and writings of a certain philosopher called Arthur Schopenhauer. When he was in Leipzig, he established a friendship with one of his favorite music composer, Richard Wagner whom he really admired.

His teaching and Writing

Nietzsche became a professor in 1869 for classical philology in a university in Switzerland called the University of Basel. During his time as a professor, he wrote his first books published in 1872 and 1878 respectively; The Birth of Tragedy and also Human, All Too Human. Moreover, he started diverted his attention from classical education and Schopenhauer’s teachings and began taking more interest in values pertaining to the contemporary civilization (Brobjer, 2010). At this moment, the friendship between him and Wagner had faded. Unfortunately, he developed a nervous disorder which led to his resignation from his position at University of Basel in 1879.

His literary and philosophical work

A bigger part of his life, Nietzsche secluded himself from his family and friends as he kept shifting starting from Switzerland to France then to Italy. Even when he was at Naumburg, he would not stay in his mother’s house. But this was very purposeful and a productive period for Nietzsche as a thinker as well as a writer. Essentially, his famous and greatest work is, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, which was published from the time period of 1883-1885 in 4 volumes (Brobjer, 2010). Nietzsche also published another book in 1886 named Beyond Good and Evil, The Genealogy of Moral published in 1887 as well as Twilights of the Idols published in 1889 (Brobjer, 2010). Actually, it is in these works that he published in 1880s that he established the key points of his philosophy. One of his greatest and popular philosophical statement is that “God is dead,” which he its intention was to reject Christianity from being a vital force within the modern life (Young, 2010). His other philosophies include his commendation of self-perfection by means of creative drive as well as a “will to power,” as well as his notion of “super-man” a person striving to exist beyond unadventurous classification of master and also slave, and good and evil.

His later years

In 1889 when he was living in Turin, Italy, Nietzsche suffered a collapse. He spent a lot of time in a mental incapacitation institution. The reason for the cause of his insanity has remained unknown up to date even though some historians have related it to have been cause by syphilis, a hereditary brain disease, may be tumor and sedative drugs overdose. His mother and sister took care of him in Weimar, Germany but later died in 25th August 1900 (Young, 2010).


Nietzsche left behind a big legacy and influence. He is considered a bid influence in the philosophy and philosophical studies of the 20th century, theology as well as art. Nietzsche concept of morality, individuality as well as existence’s meaning backing up the thinking of various philosophers including, Michel Foucault, Martin Heidegger and also Jacques Derrida (Young, 2010). Friedrich Nietzsche being a great influence in the 20th century he remains to be remember and his philosophical concepts applied today.