Mazzio 1 Becky Mazzio Mrs. Dawson AP Literature 1 February 2000 On November 21, 1694, Francois-Marie Arouet, otherwise known as Voltaire, was born in Paris. The youngest of five, son to Francois and Marie Arouet, Voltaire grew up in a household that had come to know the pleasantries of upper class french society. Marie, his mother, had gained the family access to Louis XIV court through her realtives. Because of Voltaire's priviledged lineage he was able to study under the Abbe de Chateaneuf, at the Louis-le-Grand Jesuit College in Paris. Voltaire spoke very highly of his Abbe in later years. After ten years at school, he was sent to study law in Paris under his fathers orders. Early the following year, 1715, Frances most famous absolutist monarch died and five year old great-grandson inherited the throne. Phillippe d'Orleans was named the regent to the underaged king. D'Orleans, considered philosophically liberal by some, caused many problems for Voltaire, including his imprisonments in the Bastille. The first was from May 16, 1717 to April 11, 1718, the second was in 1726. After his first confinment Francois Marie Arouet adopter the name Voltaire, which later became synonymous for horatian sarcasm towards the aristocracy of France, whether it was truly his work or not. This is how Voltaire once again found himself in the Bastille. Falsely accused of the authorship of a politically abrasive poem, he was imprisoned. Once released Voltaire was forced to travel to England, but returned to France three years later, in 1729, and began his prolific career. One of Voltaire's most notable pieces is Candide, published in 1759. It is a satire of many things, especially war, religion and those who hold optimism through a life of tereble hardships. Voltaire used his life experiences to promote a change in societies view of themselves by attacking the optimism that left so many blind to the real world and what he thought to be the path to contentedness.... [continues]
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