Transcript of Voltaire: The Legend.
François-Marie Arouet François-Marie Arouet is born in Paris, on 21 November 1694 He first used his pen name “Voltaire”, while imprisoned in the Bastille, starting 1717. In exchange for his release, he left France in 1726. He moved to England for 3 years. Back in France, he wrote a number of plays, dramas, and tragedies including Brutus (1730), Zaïre (1732), Eriphile (1732), Mahomet (1742), Mérope (1743), Sémiramis (1748). In 1733, he wrote Letters Concerning The English Nation, initially banned in France due to its criticism of church and state. In 1734, it appeared in French as Lettres Philosophiques. Due to its controversy, Voltaire fled Paris, to Lorraine, where he resided in Mme Du Châtelet and the Marquis Du Châtelet’s chateau. There, he shared their passion for scientific theory and wrote Elements de la philosophie de Newton (1736). In 1746, he gained position as Royal Historiographer and membership in L’Académie Française. After Mme du Châtelet’s death, Voltaire was invited to live at the court of Frederick II, in 1750. 1753: he settled in Geneva, Switzerland. He bought an estate at Ferney, France, on the Swiss border. He developed a modern estate, sharing in the movement of agricultural reform. He renovated the church and had Deo erexit Voltaire ("Voltaire erected this to God") carved on the facade. He interfered in politics, taking the workers’ side and installed a stocking factory. He suppressed the customs barrier between Gex (in the Jura) and Geneva. His main interest at this time, was his opposition to l'infâme, a word he used to designate the church, especially when it was identified with intolerance. He believed in the reinforcement in the civil power of the state. Pseudonyms: Rabbi Akib, Pastor Bourn, Lord Bolingbroke, M. Mamaki "interpreter of Oriental languages to the king of England," Clocpitre, Cubstorf, Jean Plokof Other notable works: Candide (1759), in which he mocks the optimism of Leibnitz, L’Ecossaise (1760), mocking the critic Elie Fréron, and Le Sentiment des Citoyens (1764), against Rousseau. Voltaire’s chosen themes: the establishment of religious tolerance, the growth of material prosperity and respect for the rights of man by the abolition of torture and useless punishments. He preserved leadership of the philosophic movement. As a writer, he wanted to halt a development he deplored, which led to Romanticism. He recognized a degree of genius in Shakespeare, yet spoke of him as "a drunken savage." In his last plays, he returned to classicism, but the audacities of his previous tragedies, led to Romantic drama. On February 10, 1778, he made a triumphal return to Paris for the performance of Irène. While its performance, on March 30, he went to the Académie and was crowned in his box. Voltaire died on May 30 1778, in Paris. During the Revolution, he was transferred to the Panthéon in July 1791, where he now rests among other remarkable authors, such as Victor Hugo and Emile Zola. VoltaireFull transcript