chapter  6
Reading Shakespeare with intensity: A commentary on some lines from Nietzsche’s Ecce Homo
ByScott Wilson
Pages 20

At first sight, Nietzsche’s statements on Shakespeare appear to be contradictory. In different parts of his œuvre, Nietzsche affirms both conflicting parties in Julius Caesar as essential to Shakespeare: belief in Brutus is ‘the best thing’ he can say in honour of Shakespeare (Nietzsche 1974:98), while ‘the ultimate formula’ for Shakespeare is the Caesar ‘type’ (Nietzsche 1969: 246). This view is contradictory, however, only if it is assumed that one ‘side’ must be taken in a political allegory that warns against the dangers of either monarchy or regicide and revolution. In fact, Nietzsche is indifferent to conservative and liberal or neo-Marxist accounts of the play.1