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Francois Marie Arouet (Voltaire). Essay

1004 words - 4 pages

One major figure of the enlightenment was French author and philosopher Francois-Marie Arouet, known as Voltaire. In his lifetime, he was a historian, essayist, playwright, storyteller, poet, philosopher, and wealthy businessman.Voltaire was born on November 21, 1694, in Paris to a middle-class family. He was the fifth child of his parents, the one of which survived. It is said to believe that he grew up with out his mother because she died when Voltaire was only seven. He received his education at the college of Louis le Grand, in Paris. In school he was to perform plays in Latin and other languages. This is said to be the reason why he was so devoted to the stage. At a young age, his father, a lawyer, wanted Voltaire to become a lawyer, but all the while wanting to be a writer. He finished his schooling at the age of 16 and soon after became a writer. It was in 1718 when he adopted his pen name Voltaire.Throughout his life, Voltaire was imprisoned and put into exile many times. In 1717, He was imprisoned in Bastille for verses that he may or may not have written ridiculing the government. While in prison, he finished his tragedy is what made Voltaire, Voltaire. His success was maintained with over fifty plays and poems. When confined in prison, he also wrote a poem about King Henry IV called La Henriade. This poem was published in 1723. By his early thirties, he was independently wealthy by an inheritance and wise investments. Some of his investments included corn and bacon.In the summer of 1725, he became involved in a quarrel with the Chevalier de Rohan. After fighting the Chevalier de Rohan, he was put back into prison and a few days later given the choice of imprisonment or exile. Voltaire chose exile. For three years, arriving in 1726, he lived in a land in which contained religious and political freedom. This land was named England. He stayed because King George I was very fond of poetry but when he died and King George II came to the throne, everything changed and Voltaire didn't feel welcome any more. Many say he left France as a poet and returned, in 1729, a philosopher. When he did return he published many works such as History of Charles XII in 1731 and Zaire in 1732. One work he wrote was Treaties on Toleration. He did this in 1763. It was directed towards the government, in which to remind them that "all men are brothers under god." In many of his works, Voltaire tried to incorporate the ideas of Human reason for the development of science.When French authorities condemned Voltaire's book called Philosophical Letters, he was forced to flee from Paris. During his time outside of Paris he wrote several plays, an essay on metaphysics, and some poetry. In 1750, Voltaire visited Berlin at the request of the young...

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