his subjective disposition and his melancholy resignation against the change and the evanescence of values, Nietzsche assumes an attitude of disdain and contempt for both past and present, and his hope for a glorious future constantly assumes a more untractable and spasmodic character.
As a youth Nietzsche, along with philosophical studies, devoted himself zealously to classical philology, and became professor in this department at Basle at the age of twenty-four. Owing to ill-health and his comprehensive literary plans he afterwards resigned his position and thereafter lived mostly in Engadine and Northern Italy, until insanity made it necessary for him to return to his German home and be cared for by his mother and sister.
Nietzsche's chief aim is to establish a new, positive estimate of life on the basis of the historical facts of civilization. The clearest statement of his purpose is found in the essay written in his youth, The Birth of Tragedy (1872). He contrasts the tragic-poetic view of life, symbolized in Dionysius and Apollo, with that of the intellectual optimism represented by Socrates. It is Nietzsche's purpose, as he said later on, to consider science from the viewpoint of art, and art from the viewpoint of life. Dionysius is consequently—i.e. the superabundant life, life absorbing and vanquishing pain and death—superior to Apollo, and Apollo is superior to Socrates.This view leads to a severe criticism of Strauss, the optimistic free-thinker, and a glorification of Schopenhauer and Richard Wagner, given in Unzeitgemässen Betrachtungen (1873-1876). He soon finds however thag he must go farther than both these "educators." He familiarizes himself with the latest scientific and