Essay on french philosopher voltaire


Who Was Voltaire?

Voltaire was born on 21 November in Paris , France, the youngest of five children in a middle-class family. He, however, claimed that he learned nothing but "Latin and the Stupidities". By the time he left college, Voltaire had already decided he wanted to become a writer.

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However, his father very much wanted him to become a lawyer , so Voltaire pretended to work in Paris as an assistant to a lawyer, while actually spending much of his time writing satirical poetry. Even when his father found him out and sent him to study law in the provinces, he nevertheless continued to write. Voltaire's wit soon made him popular among some of the aristocratic families of Paris and he became a favorite in society circles.

When Voltaire's father obtained a job for him as a secretary to the French ambassador in the Netherlands , Voltaire fell in love with a French refugee named Catherine Olympe Dunoyer , but their scandalous elopement was foiled by Voltaire's father and he was forced to return to France. From an early age, Voltaire had trouble with the French authorities for his energetic attacks on the government and the Catholic Church, which resulted in numerous imprisonments and exiles throughout his life. While there, however, he wrote his debut play, "Oedipe" , whose success established his reputation.

In , following this incarceration, he adopted the name "Voltaire" a complex anagrammatical play on words , both as a pen-name and for daily use, which many have seen as marking his formal separation from his family and his past. When he offended a young nobleman, the Chevalier de Rohan , in a lettre de cachet was issued to exile Voltaire without a trial and he spent almost three years in England from to The experience greatly influenced his ideas and experiences, and he was particularly impressed by Britain's constitutional monarchy , its support of the freedoms of speech and religion , as well as the philosophy of John Locke and the scientific works of Sir Isaac Newton - on optics and gravity.

After he returned to Paris, he published his views on British government, literature and religion in a collection entitled "Lettres philosophiques sur les Anglais" "Philosophical letters on the English" , which met great controversy in France including the burning of copies of the work , and Voltaire was again forced to leave Paris in He began a fifteen year relationship with the Marquise, both as lovers and as collaborators in their intellectual pursuits, during which they collected and studied over 21, books and performed experiments in the natural sciences in a laboratory.

He continued to write, often in collaboration with the Marquise, both fiction and scientific and historical treatises, as well as on more philosophical subjects especially Metaphysics , the justification for the existence of God and the validity of the Bible.

He renounced religion , and called for the separation of church and state and for more religious freedom. Nevertheless, he was voted into the Academie Francaise in After the death of the Marquise in and continuing disputes over his work "Zadig" of , Voltaire moved to Potsdam near Berlin to join Frederick the Great - , a great friend and admirer of his, with a salary of 20, francs a year.

After a promising start, Voltaire attracted more controversy in with his attack on the president of the Berlin Academy of Science , which greatly angered Frederick. As a satirical polemicist, he frequently made use of his works to criticize intolerance, religious dogma, and the French institutions of his day. Most of his prose, including such genres as romance, drama, or satire, was written as polemics with the goal of conveying radical political and philosophical messages.

The book was quickly banned. In it, Voltaire is concerned with the injustices of the Catholic Church, which he sees as intolerant and fanatical.

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At the same time, he espouses deism, tolerance, and freedom of the press. It represents the culmination of his views on Christianity, God, morality, and other subjects. Voltaire had an enormous influence on the development of historiography through his demonstration of fresh new ways to look at the past. Voltaire broke from the tradition of narrating diplomatic and military events, and emphasized customs, social history, and achievements in the arts and sciences.

The Essay traced the progress of world civilization in a universal context, thereby rejecting both nationalism and the traditional Christian frame of reference. Voltaire was also the first scholar to make a serious attempt to write the history of the world, eliminating theological frameworks and emphasizing economics, culture, and political history. However, Voltaire, an influential and famous philosopher and writer during the period of the enlightenment, repeatedly criticized certain aspects of Enlightenment philosophy. In his short story, Candide, Voltaire somewhat harshly attacks the optimism that was so popular between philosophers during this time and instead he decides not to disregard the inescapable presence of the evil that is in nature and humans Strong Essays words 6.

Candide, the guileless and simpleminded main character and his companions are exposed to the very worst the world possibly has to offer with rape, murder, whippings, war, earthquakes, shipwrecks, cannibalism, thievery, disease, greed, and worst of all, human nature. Through these horrific events, Pangloss, the philosopher maintaining a priori thinking, stubbornly upholds the idea that everything is for the best However, what if the Catholic Church and the Pope grant permission for thousands of innocent people to be killed or punished just because they have their own beliefs that do not follow those of the Catholic religion Powerful Essays words 4.

The work have strong basis of numerous human character and nature, by demonstrating how human beings associates. As one flips from one page to the next of the products of two shrewd authors, many thematic issues are revealed including stupidity, foolishness, optimism among others.

However, one of the most important themes espoused in the contents of the two famed writers is that everything that happens in human life has reason Voltaire, Term Papers words 6 pages Preview. Each one has their own personality, but they share similarities. The authors wrote from different cultures and lifestyles, but both stories, were written in the eighteenth century.


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Their protagonists represent each of their cultures, and the authors express this representation through the character development of their protagonists. Bao-yu was introduced as a stone in the beginning of Story of the Stone. As a stone, he felt shame and resentment because he was the only stone that was not used in repairing the sky Both wrote during the Enlightenment Period, or the Age or Reason. The time of the Enlightenment was a celebration of ideas. The Enlightenment brought about a time of question and philosophical thought — what could the human mind be capable or, scientific methodology, and political thought.

Intellectuals began to question the democratic and fundamental rights of people Gay.


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  • Writing during the Enlightenment period, both had exploitations of governments and knew concepts of human reason In , Voltaire wrote Candide to satirize the government and many other aspects of the society during that time. He uses his main character of the story, Candide, and places him, along with many other characters, into a journey around the world in search for his true love.

    Among his targets, he explains the irony in a well put together and prideful army, the immorality in the customarily virtuous religion, and the uselessness of greed in the long run Men Throughout the month of August and the beginning of September, Mrs. Crane-Post assigned her class to read three short stories. These stories come from the Enlightenment period, also known as the Age of Reason, meaning the revolution of intellectual skepticism to traditional beliefs.

    This era took place during the eighteenth century. Throughout the Enlightenment many books, essay, inventions, scientific discoveries, laws, wars and revolutions went about. Better Essays words 2. Sometimes people have to put up as a mask to hide their true reality. Sometimes we tend to fall for what is on the surface of the people in our lives.

    There is always something more than what it may seem. There is irony in the novel Candide because everything he once believed in was betraying him right in front of his eyes Better Essays words 7. Voltaire's use of satire, and its techniques of exaggeration and contrast highlight the evil and brutality of war and the world in general when men are meekly accepting of their fate.

    Free Essays words 3. Voltaire successfully uses satire as a means of conveying his opinions about many aspects of European society in the eighteenth century. He criticizes religion, the evils found in every level of society, and a philosophy of optimism when faced with an intolerable world.

    Candide portrays religious persecution as one of the most worst aspects of society. Voltaire rejects Beyond his written work Voltaire was an outspoken advocate for the freedom of religion, expression, and the separation of church and state. He used his versatile literary work as a tool to criticize the Catholic Church and overall intolerant French society.

    Better Essays words 6. The book starts in an unknown year, hinted sometime around the Renaissance, with a young man named Candide. Candide loves the princess of a Baron and is banished from the land because of it Love certainly plays an important role in Voltaire's Candide; throughout Candide's journeys, a constant factor is his love for Lady Cunegonde and his desire to be with her. Freud writes "the way of life which makes love the centre of everything [ Candide's love for Cunegonde is the driving force of his life from the moment they are parted at the beginning of the novel until they are bonded in marriage at the end Pangloss, the philosopher, has a constant optimistic view throughout the entire novel even despite all of the cruelty in the world.

    While looking back on the book I couldn't think of many characters that displayed admirable qualities. Even though Pangloss stuck to his views that everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds, which is admirable, he is stupid and naive to still believe this after everything he and his family goes through Strong Essays words 4. Better Essays words 5. He was known for being very outspoken and rebellious, which got him into trouble with the authorities for most of his life.

    19.4.4: Voltaire

    Voltaire advocated the French bourgeoisie as being ineffective, the aristocracy as being corrupt, and the commoners as being too superstitious. Good Essays words 2.

    Voltaire

    The use of the various styles shows that, despite the passing of centuries and the language change, certain writing techniques will always be effective. One common literary technique is the author's use of one or more of his characters as his own voice to speak out the authors own views on certain subjects.

    For instance, in Moliere's Tartuffe, the author uses the character of Cleante to speak out against religious hypocrites: "Nothing that I more cherish and admire than honest zeal and true religious fire Francois associated himself with a group of politically power-hungry people who held a frantic hatred against the duke of Orleans. He was wrongly believed to have printed two libelous poems that defaced the duke and due to the false accusation he was imprisoned in the Bastille Free Essays words 2.

    The Enlightenment was a philosophical movement of the eighteenth century, which was characterized by reason and by changes in education, religious, and political views. Voltaire depicted these ideas and his personal thoughts on the Enlightenment within his novel Candide. Voltaire accurately describes how selfish people often are and how they inflict misery on others as a result. Voltaire also describes accurately common forms of cruelty in society. Although he may be mistaken that all wars are equally senseless and avoidable, Voltaire is correct in showing that war inevitably produces atrocities, which makes for hell on earth.

    In support of these statements, let's examine Voltaire's accurate description of human selfishness. An example would be the behavior of the sailor who Pangloss and Candide met on their voyage to Lisbon.

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    Quotations from French philosopher Voltaire []

    This sailor was rescued fr Candide is a satiric tale of a virtuous man's search for the truest form of happiness and his ultimate acceptance of life's disappointments. The illegitimate son of the Baron's sister; Candide is raised in the Castle of Westphalia and taught by his friend and philosopher of metaphysico-theologo-cosmolo-nigology, Dr. Candide is abruptly cast out from the castle when he and Lady Cunegonde are found indiscreetly kissing behind a screen Better Essays words 1.

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