Nathan the Wise

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Continually present in Gotthold Lessing’s play, Nathan the Wise, is the pursuit for truth. In particular, a truth that goes beyond religion, one that reaches to the depths of humanity: human nature’s freedom. In his play, Lessing reveals the freedom of human nature among mankind through the bonds of friendship. Furthermore, Lessing conveys an optimistic view of human nature in such a way that left to its own devices, human nature will seek …

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…the truth of our own faith by behaving in such a way as to deserve the love and devotion of God. From Nathan the Wise resonates a plea to search within human nature for its goodness and reflect it in ourselves. Mankind will always be free to bond in friendship as long as the impurities of religious prejudice, the corruption of social status, and selfishness does not conceal God’s greatest gift, our human nature.