Who is Voltaire?June 26, 2021
François Marie Arouet (21 November 1694 – 30 May 1778) was a famous French writer and philosopher.
He is better known as Voltaire. He made a great contribution to the French Revolution and the Enlightenment movement.
In addition to freedom of religion and expression, he is famous for his thoughts and philosophical writings on human rights. In his works, he satirized church dogmas and French institutions of his time. He is recognized as one of the most influential figures of his time.
The thinker, whose real name was François Marie Arouet (1694-1778), was mostly called by this name because he used the pseudonym Voltaire in his writings. He was a versatile pen person; He was known as a philosopher, historian, playwright, novelist and poet. He wrote extensively in all these fields, and his collective works have reached seventy volumes. We can see him as a kind of humanist of the enlightenment period. He became one of the thinkers who best represented the spirit of enlightenment by easily conveying the basic ideas of the enlightenment to different groups of people in the society with his writings in different styles.
He was educated at the Louise-le Grand Jesuit college in Paris. He went to England in 1726 and stayed there until 1729. He became acquainted with the writings of Locke and Newton. He admired the relative freedom in England, as can be clearly seen in his Philosophical Letters. In 1934 he went to Cirey where he wrote his Treatise on Metaphysics. Candide appeared in 1759, Treatise on Tolerance in 1763, Philosophical Dictionary in 1764, The Ignorant Philosopher in 1766, The Theologians’ Statements of Faith in 1768. In 1778 he went to Paris to perform the first performance of his play ‹rene. The game was a huge success. The philosopher died soon after in Paris.
Voltaire helped spread Locke’s empiricist views in France, where he was greatly influenced, and adopted most of his social and political views and fought against the Church and state institution for individual freedom. He saw the church as an obstacle to knowledge, reason, and mental enlightenment. Voltaire was actually a god. Like Newton, he thought that the order in the universe justified his belief in God. This enabled him to continue his war against the Church more easily and convincingly.
Voltaire was born in Paris in 1694. He studied for eight years at Collège Louis-le-Grand, where his art education began. But he claimed that he had learned nothing but “Latin and Stupidities” there.
After graduation, Voltaire began a career in literature. His father wanted his son to study law. Thus Voltaire pretended to be working as a lawyer’s assistant in Paris, devoting much of his time to writing satirical poems. When his father learned of this, he sent Voltaire to study law again; nevertheless Voltaire continued to write. With his pointed language, he was admired by aristocratic families. King XV. Louis’ regent, Duke of Orléans, II. He was imprisoned in the Bastille for an article about Philippe. While there, he wrote his debut play Oedipe and took the name Voltaire. Oedipe’s success made Voltaire an influential figure and included him in the French Enlightenment.
Voltaire’s quick-wittedness and sharp tongue continued to plague him. Offending a young nobleman led to his exile without even a trial. Voltaire’s exile to England greatly affected the intellectual situation in England and his thoughts. Influenced by the British monarchy and the country’s value to freedom of religion and expression, the young writer was also influenced by the country’s writers and thinkers, like Shakespeare. Although he saw Shakespeare as an example to French writers from his youth, he later saw himself as a greater writer than him.
He returned to Paris after 3 years of exile and collected his ideas in a fictional text about the British government and published it; Lettres philosophiques sur les Anglais (“philosophical letters about the English(s)”). Because he saw the British monarchy as more developed and more respectful to human rights, his writings caused a great controversy in France, and eventually it came to such a point that copies of the document were burned and Voltaire was forced to leave Paris.
After that, Voltaire settled in the Château de Cirey on the border, where he began a relationship with the Marquise (Marquise) du Châtelet, Gabrielle Émilie le Tonnelier de Breteuil. Voltaire and the Marquise collected more than 21,000 books. Undoubtedly, Voltaire’s 15-year relationship helped his intellectual development. He has published plays and some short stories, such as Voltaire Mérope, who continues to write. One of the things that most influenced him during his time in England was the work of Isaac Newton. The effects of this can be seen in his works and thoughts.
After the death of the Marquis, Voltaire went to Berlin to his close friend and admirer, Frederick the Great. The king had already persistently invited him to the palace before. Although his life here went well at first, he faced various difficulties over time.