Interdisciplinary Sudies 104 final exam
Voltaire and Rabelais satirize war and religion in their works. Voltaire goes after religious hypocrisy in chapter three of Candide. An orator asks Candide whether or not he supports “the good cause”. Candide, being a man of reason, responds by saying “there is no effect without a cause”. The orator, feeling challenged by Candide’s reaction challenges him right back by asking Candide if he believes the Pope to be the Anti-Christ. Candide doesn’t know and changes the subject bringing up the fact that he’s hungry. The orator declares that Candide does not deserve to eat because of his lack of affirmation toward believing in the Anti-Christ. The orator’s wife suddenly enters the scene and sees Candide as one who does not believe that the Pope was Anti-Christ. She proceeds to pour trash on his head. This is an example of Voltaire jabbing at Protestants and Catholics of the world. He is explaining his views, through the use of satire, on religion.
War is an evil that is satirized in Candide. Voltaire as a foundation for his war satire uses the Bulgarians. Voltaire explains on page 13 how the Bulgarians seized Candide and then gave him the option to be “thrashed thirty-six times by the whole regiment, or receive twelve lead bullets at once in his brain." Candide decides to run the gauntlet but comes up about 34 short. He pleads that the judges would just smash his head instead. Voltaire shows more war satire on page 14 in Candide when the Bulgarians' burn down the Abarian village "in accordance with the rules of international law". Voltaire satirizes war in another sense. He goes on in chapter three by writing about the atrocities that the Bulgarian soldiers would indulge in. Not only did they kill people but they also raped, disemboweled, and dismembered innocent women and children. As a matter of fact, Candide's was trained as a soldier by being abused and pummeled. Voltaire uses this to show his hatred toward the cruel and vulgar acts of war and which such belligerent groups like the Bulgarian soldiers demonstrated. Voltaire believed these acts of injustice to be morally wrong. Voltaire in this section of Candide is now showing his true thoughts towards Leibniz's theory of optimism. Leibniz believes that if this is “the best of all possible worlds” then innocent women and children would not be slaughtered and dehumanized and there would be no bloodthirsty Bulgarians.
Rabelais rejects all types of war. On page 299 Grandgousier explains his thoughts to Picrochole about going to war: “…I shall nevertheless go to war before trying all the arts and ways of peace. Of that I am resolved”. This shows Rabelais’ opposition to war. Rabelais also mentions Pangrue’s absurd justification of the killing of 660 knights on pages 124-125 of Gargantua and Pantagruel. Pangurge says to them: “Gentlemen, I believe you have brought some harm on yourselves. We are sorry, but it was none of our doing: it was because of the lubricity of the sea-water – sea-water is always a lubricant and we entrust ourselves to your good pleasure.” This example of satire also shows Rabelais’ opposition to war.
In canto XVII in lines 92 and 93 of Dante’s Purgatorio Dante’s guide Virgil explains to Dante the two types of love (natural and mind directed) and the differences between them. He goes on to explain to Dante that some people choose to love the wrong thing or sin by loving something too much or something not enough. Virgil’s main point of his speech is that love is the inspiration to people’s action. Love is the only thing that motivates people. Love and justice are basically one in the same. According to Dante, God created the justice system (the system we see throughout Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven) based out of love. And because love inspires justice, love and goodness are practically synonymous. It is safe now to connect this justice to the gift God gives to man. In Paradiso Dante explains on page 43...
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