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The Life And Work Of Francois Marie Arouet, A.K.A. Voultaire

2033 words - 9 pages

Many classic books of literature of the French Enlightenment era comes from the famous author Francois-Marie Arouet, better known as his pen name, Voltaire.The French author was born on November 21st, 1694 and died May 30th, 1778 in the city of Paris. He started school at the Jesuit College of Louis-le-Grand at the age of 10 and graduated in 1711 with a motive of being a writer. However, Voltaire’s father did not agree with his choice of study and wanted Voltaire to study law. He went back to school to study law for another two years after his graduation. Voltaire was sent to The Hague, Netherlands in order to act as a secretary to the French ambassador at the time. During his visit, he became infatuated with Catherine Olympe de Noyer. Due to his love affair, Voltaire was discharged from the Dutch country to France “disinherited, and threatened with exile to the New World.” (Stanley 67). A few years later, Voltaire was accused of writing two satiric poems against the French regime because of his reputation in writing and was imprisoned at the Bastille from 1717 to 1718. During the time spent inside the prison, Voltaire wrote the tragedy called the Oedipe. After being released, Voltaire adopted the new of De Voltaire due to the commonness of the original name. His father died in 1722 and was released from his control. Voltaire also met Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a Genevan philosopher, the same year in Brussels, Belgium. From 1726 to 1728, Voltaire was sentenced to another term in the Bastille and exiled to England due to an encounter with “his growing squadron of enemies and spearheaded Chevalier de Rohan” (Stanley 67). He met the author by the name of Jonathan Swift during his exile. Voltaire was able to re-enter France in 1729, and published his book Lettres Philosophiques (Letters Concerning the English Nation) whilst becoming the “royal historiographer of France” (Pendergast 1073). In 1734, Voltaire decided to cease from writing and retire with Madame Du Châtelet at the Château de Cirey estate. Voltaire often visited Frederick the Great from 1750-1753 and misjudged his power. Therefore, he permanently settled to a location near the Switzerland border in order to flee from trouble easily. In 1755, Voltaire wrote a poem about the Lisbon earthquake, which “shook his optimism” (Stanley 67) with the Lisbon poem of 1756 and Candide in 1759. Voltaire died at the age of 84.
Voltaire has written many books and novels within his lifespan. One piece of literature that stands out is Candide. This novel introduces two main characters named Candide and Pangloss. Candide had been taught that “this world is the best of all possible worlds” (Sparknotes) by his scholar, Pangloss at the German baron’s castle. During his studies, Candide falls in love with a girl named Cunégonde and was caught kissing by the baron. Therefore, Candide was banished from the castle. He is soon recruited into the Army of the Bulgars after being reliant on himself for some time. Candide...

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