Course Hero. "Thus Spoke Zarathustra Study Guide." Course Hero. 7 May 2018. Web. 13 Dec. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Thus-Spoke-Zarathustra/>.
Course Hero. (2018, May 7). Thus Spoke Zarathustra Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved December 13, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Thus-Spoke-Zarathustra/
(Course Hero, 2018)
Course Hero. "Thus Spoke Zarathustra Study Guide." May 7, 2018. Accessed December 13, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Thus-Spoke-Zarathustra/.
Course Hero, "Thus Spoke Zarathustra Study Guide," May 7, 2018, accessed December 13, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Thus-Spoke-Zarathustra/.
Animals play an important role in the way Zarathustra expresses his ideas to himself and to others willing to listen to him. For the most part, Zarathustra attributes human characteristics and motives to animals by way of illustrating some of his most important issues on deceit, revenge, and the metamorphosis of the spirit. Other than the adder, only Zarathustra's companions of the eagle and the serpent are enabled with human speech. It can be taken that these animals represent Zarathustra's musings in his solitude in contrast to his teachings when he is in the company of other people.
Blood is a powerful symbol of both life and death in the struggle to realize either private or public power. Nietzsche uses blood to compare and contrast the condemned criminal and the judge who sentences him to death. Given the description of Chapter 6: On the Pale Criminal, it appears the person is pale from lack of blood, since "he was equal to his deed when he did it; but he could not bear its image after it was done." Zarathustra addresses those who condemn the criminal through the image of the criminal's act as "you, red [with blood] judge, if you were to tell ... all that you have ... done ... everyone would cry, 'Away with this ... this poisonous worm!'"
The association of blood with public and private revenge is further amplified in Chapter 26: On Priests in which Zarathustra says, "They wrote signs of blood on the way they walked ... But ... blood poisons ... the purest doctrine and turns it into ... hatred of the heart."
A bridge in Thus Spoke Zarathustra represents a crossing over from one identity or state of being into another. Zarathustra states in Chapter 29: On the Tarantulas, "For that man be delivered from revenge, that is for me the bridge to the highest hope, and a rainbow after long storms." It is possible that this symbol of passing from one ground to another via a bridge was taken by Nietzsche from the teachings of the Iranian prophet Zoroaster (also named Zarathustra). The Gathas, a collection of hymns attributed to Zoroaster, deal with the separation of good from bad people who, upon death, must "pass over the Bridge of the Requiter" in order to come to judgment, whereupon they are separated to either dwell in "the kingdom of everlasting joy and delight" or be "consigned to the regions of horror and darkness."
Figs are representations of what the disciple thirsts for from the spiritual master. Zarathustra tells his disciples in Chapter 24: Upon the Blessed Isles, "Thus, like figs, these teachings fall to you, my friends; now consume their juice and their sweet meat." In this way, Zarathustra urges his disciples/brothers to enjoy the "flavor" of his teachings as if their spirits had been starving for a long time and then suddenly were able to enjoy what the world at large had been scarce in providing them. The gift of this sweetness is to be savored in the time it has been received and remembered, however, because what Zarathustra has to offer falls like ripe figs at a certain and limited time. At least twice in Thus Spoke Zarathustra he sends his disciples/brothers away from him so that each one of them can keep for himself what he has received and use it to realize the metamorphosis of his own spirit.