Apollonian and Dionysian

In life, very form of art comes with a force behind it. People practicing different form of art possess different characteristics. Art is also created in a manner that is able to influence a person’s personality. Through the way art is expressed, people have a way of understand the thoughts of the author as well as understanding the message the author was trying to communicate.

There is a deep attachment between in the way people attach themselves to the pessimism of life. Different people will have different opinions but it is important to note that most people will become pessimistic about life which is followed by a renunciation. Nihilism has been cited as a major cause for this attribute.

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As proposed by Nietzsche, there is a great connection that exists between the general feeling or mood of despair and the discovery that there are no rules and laws governing existence. ( Mistry 99). One of the major characteristics of this mood is the perception of pointlessness of existence. In analyzing Apollo and Dionysus, Nietzsche found out that art emerged as a result of the emergence of tragedy.

According to Nietzsche, tragedy inspired the creation and development of art through the aesthetic element in man. It is important to note that art is inspired by tragedy and other occurrences. ( Klein 28) Through the things people undergo, they are able to develop the artistic element found inside them. The two sons of Zeus have attributes that make them rivals and this has been the foundation of art since ancient Greece.

According to the analysis conducted by Nietzsche on Apollo and Dionysus, there are two separate bodies that influence the art. Apollo represented a specific element whereas Dionysus represented a separate body. Understanding the Apollonian and Dionysian mythology is important in the analysis of the art concepts contained therein.

Generally, the Apollonian and Dionysian is literate concept which is philosophical in nature and contained a number of features attached to the ancient Greek mythology. The Apollonian and Dionysian philosophy has been analyzed by different artists and philosophers. They have sought to establish the connection that this Greek mythology contains with regards to art and philosophy. Most of the western philosophical figures have been known to invoke this mythology in their creative and critical works.

To better understand the connection that exists between Apollo and Dionysus, it is important to look at the history of Apollo and Dionysus. The two were sons of Zeus. Apollo is commonly referred to as the god of the sun whereas Dionysus is commonly known as the god of ecstasy, intoxication, and wine. Although the two are considered to be rivals by the ancient Greek philosophers, they are brought together by Parnassus.

There have been several legends that have brought Apollo and Dionysus together. The mythical home of all form of art and poetry is one of the major connections that have been set up to bring together Apollo and Dionysus. According to the Greek mythology, Parnassus is known to be the home of all form of poetry and art. (Homer and Evelyn-White 13)

According to Nietzsche, the two sons of Zeus fused to create a form of art that is dramatic or tragic in nature. In his analysis, Nietzsche presented a form of art that transcended meaningless in the world. This form of art was unique as it looked beyond nihilism and pessimism. It analyzed the relationship that existed between nihilism, pessimism, and the overall perception of a meaningless world. This is known as the classical Athenian tragedy. This form of art was created and developed in Greece.

It is also known as the ancient Greek drama or theatre of ancient Greece. It soon developed and became a culture in ancient Greece and other parts around Greece. A festival was set up to honor Dionysus and it was named after this son of Zeus. The festival was characterized by comedy and drama. This culture was so influential that the western theatre has been known to have its roots here (Graf).

Different attributes are brought up with regards to the analysis on Apollo and Dionysus. Apollo is considered to be the god of music, poetry, and lightness. Dionysus is known as a god of ecstasy, wine, and intoxication. There analysis between Apollo and Dionysus is different when it comes to the ancient arts and modern arts. Modern artists analyze the two with regards to light, darkness, individualism, wholeness, primal nature, and civilizations.

The two are considered to be total opposites and this has influenced the modern day art. These themes have been well explored by Nietzsche in The Birth of Tragedy. In Nietzsche’s analysis, the philologist introduces life as a struggle between the attribute set forth by Apollo and Dionysus.

He goes on to state that the two sons of Zeus, Apollo and Dionysus were in constant battle and this was exhibited in the lives of human beings. The two are considered to be constantly fighting for the souls of men on earth. Whenever one of the gods prevailed the other was being destroyed. They were in constant battle for the supremacy over the control of human souls (Wood 20).

In the war between the two sons of Zeus, it is important to note that there has never been a winner. Each of the gods possesses the ability or the power to contain the other in a form of natural check. This creates a balance in the war that continues to rage on until this day (Shlain 77).

Attributes about the war are important in the expression of different messages through art. Through the wars, different artists have been able to express forms of art that would have been difficult to express through any other means. The classification of art is done through analyzing the extent to which different forms of art express the elements of the sons of Zeus.

Under this type of classification, the highest form or classification of art has been listed as the tragedy of Ancient Greece. (Rowell 5). This is due to the fact that the tragedy of Ancient Greece exhibits the highest form of combination with respect to the characteristics that are portrayed by Dionysus and Apollo.

These are fundamental in the presentation of the details making up the human condition. Through this, Nietzsche was able to show the existence that exists between the two sons of Zeus and how these are related to the human condition through music and art. The analysis presents characteristics of Apollo in the music and chorus whereas the elements associated with Dionysus are presented in the dialogue. This is evident in the Erlkonig by Franz Schubert.

The third movement by Ludwig von Beethoven is also a representation of the analysis of art presented by Nietzsche. Symphony has been founded on this principle and people continue to look at the interplay that exists between the two sons of Zeus as they enjoy the art of the music (Santaniello 64),

Works Cited

Graf, F. Apollo. London: Routledge, 2009. Print.

Otto, W.F. and Palmer, R.B. Dionysus: myth and cult. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995. Print.

Homer and Evelyn-White, H.G. Hesiod, the Homeric Hymns, and Homerica. Kansas: Digireads.com, 2008. Print.

Klein, W. Nietzsche and the promise of philosophy. New York: State University of New York Press, 1997. Print.

Mistry, F. Nietzsche and Buddhism: prolegomenon to a comparative study. Berlin: W. de Gruyter, 1981. Print.

Rowell, L. Thinking about music: an introduction to the philosophy of music. Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts Press, 1985.

Santaniello, W. Nietzsche and the Gods. New York: State University of New York Press, 2001. Print.

Shlain, L. The alphabet versus the goddess: the conflict between word and image. New York: Viking. 1998. Print.

Wood, W.S. and Pacifica Graduate Institute. Euripides’s “Bacchae”: Re-examining the Apollo-Dionysus dichotomy. New York: Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2008. Print.