In what way does the vision of eternal return present us with a riddle? What questions are raised in the riddle? How does Zarathustra take the dwarf’s question and intensify the underlying problem–in effect, responding to a hard question with an even harder question? How does the vision of laughter help us to unwind the riddle?In the third book of Zarathustra, the main character speaks on issues of morality and time. He poses a riddle based upon the idea of eternity or the infinite. According to Zarathustra, the infinite would rid us of fear and rather produce courage. For all events would have to happen again if there is infinite time. There is not situation that requires fear, since it has or will happen. This contrasts with the fear of death that is held in other philosophies, and it uses their idea of eternity to counter the common resistance towards death. Zarathustra, then, poses a riddle that eliminates the need for fear and produces courage based on the assumptions of other world views.
When speaking with the dwarf, Zarathustra speaks directly of death. He claims that death should not pose a problem but a less than serious matter. With courage, the human can confront death with a light heart and not be taken with fear or dread or seriousness. That’s why Zarathustra claims, “Was that life? Well then, once more.” He uses these exclamations and also adds questions to puzzle and disturb the dwarf and the reader. Nietzsche therefore counters other philosophies by bringing a style of outrage and wit rather than seriousness and distress. There are courageous answers to questions and there are new questions for old questions. Nietzsche poses a challenge to eternal values and ethical values in general. I would object, however, based on this scene, that courage is an eternal value for Nietzsche. It is demanded and good for humans for all time. Thus, he falls prey to the very issue that he objects against.

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