Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Voltaire and the Beginning of the Enlightment Essay -- Enlightenment of
Francis Marie Arouet was born on November 21, 1694 in Paris, France. As a child, Arouet grew up in an atmosphere that strictly obeyed the rules of the church. During this time, faith in the church was an obligation for everyone in society and the authority of the church was never questioned, for this would definitely mean instant death. Meanwhile, Arouet enrolled at the Jesuit College of Louis-Le-Grande where he excelled in academics especially his skills in writing. After his schooling, Arouet became noticed by much of the aristocracy for his writing and eventually was imprisoned for supposedly composing two offensive works, the Puerto Regnanto and JÃ¢â¬â¢aivu.1 While serving his confinement, he assumed the name de Voltaire. After choosing the new name, Voltaire said, "I was very unlucky under my first name. I want to see if this one will succeed any better."2 Upon his release from the Bastille, Voltaire was exiled to England, a country he grew very fond of. At this time, freedom of speech was continuously exemplified throughout the country of England; Voltaire found this toleration very advantageous to the beginnings of his opinion. While in England, Voltaire decided to redirect his purpose of writing; he now decided to fight for the right of human liberty. From the time Voltaire moved to England through the remainder of his life, he marked the beginning of a new period, the Englightment, a time where he would continuously mock the idea of religion and reinforce the idea of human liberty and opinion fearlessly through his many plays, literature, and essays. Furthermore, Voltaire remained in England for three years while publishing an English version of the La Henriade, an essay concerning the defense of religious toleration.3 Aft... ...zes Voltaire the best when he comments, "Probably no man ever lived who assailed the Church and the State with the same wit and keenness that always at VoltaireÃ¢â¬â¢s command; and yet in spite of this he managed to live comfortably, accumulate rich and die in peace."13 Notes 1. "Francis Marie Arouet de Voltaire." http://www.ericjonas.com/ /features/candied/Voltaire/default.asp (20 Feb. 2000). 2. Darrow, Charles. "Voltaire." http://www.aracnet.com/~atheism/hist/ darrow5.htm (20 Feb. 2000). 3. "Francis Marie Arouet de Voltaire," 1. 4. Darrow, 6. 5. Darrow, 9. 6. Darrow, 9. 7. Darrow, 13. 8. Darrow, 17. 9. Darrow, 11. 10. Wendy McElroy, "Voltaire vs. Intolerance," Free Inquiry, Winter 1999, 61. 11. Darrow, 15. 12. Darrow, 16. 13. Darrow, 4.