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Unpublished Paper
Contradicting Theories of Art by Nietzsche and Plato
  • Michele Gibney

Plato proposes that there are ultimate, pure forms created by God behind every object in the world. Nietzsche, in response to this, argues that not only is there a multitude of differences between each object that have been disregarded to keep the illusion of the ideal, but that man himself creates the ideals and not an omnipotent deity. For Plato, art imitates the imitations of the pure form: thus confusing mankind, hindering their path to finding the pure, and tying them to a reality that is an appearance only. But for Nietzsche, art can save man from reality by producing new metaphors and reconciling one to life. In applying Nietzsche and Plato to Hamlet two different conclusions are reached. With Platonic theory it becomes apparent that literature is detrimental to man’s search for truth because it is misleading on those subjects of which the author knows little. Lastly, in regards to Nietzschean theory Hamlet is shown as a work of art wherein Hamlet suffers from knowing the truths of things.

  • Shakespeare,
  • Hamlet,
  • Criticism,
  • Plato,
  • Nietzsche
Publication Date
October 6, 2000
Citation Information
Michele Gibney. "Contradicting Theories of Art by Nietzsche and Plato" (2000)
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