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Voltaire And The Age Of Enlightenment

593 words - 3 pages

Voltaire and the Age of Enlightenment Voltaire was born as Francois Marie Arouet in Paris on November 21, 1694 as the son of a Notary. He was educated by the Jesuits at the College Louis-le-Grand and grew up assumed the pen name "Voltaire" and became a French writer, Philosopher, and one of the leaders of the Enlightenment. Voltaire wrote many letters in his life time, most of which were to famous rulers, philosophers, and noble families or people that had great influence on people. He also wrote many poems too such as Poeme de la ligue( Poem of the League) in 1723 which was later renamed to La Henriade(The Henriad), and Le pour et le contre (For and Against). Voltaire wrote a number of essays also, two of which were used to prepare the British for his publication of ...view middle of the document...

He among many others and their writings helped start the Enlightenment and keep it going despite the negative feedback from the government and other high/noble officials and families. Due to a fight with a member of a noble and rich family Voltaire was imprisoned and released within two weeks due to his promise of leaving France and to move to England. After two years he learned the English language and wrote Poeme de la ligue in an enlarged version and wrote his two essays to prepare the British for it. It was prevented from being published for a couple years but then they finally let it be published under a new name La henriade. When he was in prison for the FIRST time for accusing the French regent Philippe II of heinous crimes in one of his writings, he wrote his first novel. It was called Edipe, it was based upon the Edipus tyrannous of the ancient Greek dramatist Sophocles, and commenced and epic poem on Henry IV of France. It had its initial performance at the Theatre-Francais in 1718 and received great enthusiasm. In 1728 Voltaire returned to France. He devoted a lot of his time to literary composition during the next four years as he resided in Paris. The main work of that period was the Lettres philosophiques (The philosophical Letters). It was an attack on the political and ecclesiastical institutions of France, and that brought Voltaire into conflict with the authorities, and he was once more forced to leave Paris. He sought Refuge at the Chateau de Cirey in the independent duchy of Lorraine. I think Voltaire was a great leader and contributor to the Enlightenment because he didn't care what the consequences were. He wrote his beliefs with many others and shared them anyway he could and although he would get forced from a country or imprisoned he still persisted to keep the Enlightenment period going.

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