Voltaire In Oedipe

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François-Marie Arouet, who eventually became the famed writer known as Voltaire, was born into a middle-class, Parisian family on November 21, 1694. He was born into a France plagued by extreme poverty and under the rule of the religious King Louis XIV and the “austere and oppressive religiosity” of his court, an involvement which likely encouraged Voltaire’s subsequent critiques of organized government. From the age of nine until his seventeenth year, François-Marie received his formal education at the Jesuit college of Louis-le-Grand, studying Latin and Greek literature instead of law, which his father urged him to study. Known for his “brilliant and sarcastic wit” both during and immediately following his school years, François-Marie unfortunately found himself imprisoned in the Bastille in 1718 for his scathing critiques of the duke of Orleans; it was during this detention that he composed his first dramatic tragedy, Oedipe, and …show more content…
By including such characters as the Franciscan friar, the old woman as the illegitimate child of a Pope, and the cruel Catholic Inquisitor, Voltaire successfully communicates his skepticism of the moral standing of the established church, the Catholic church particularly. He also expresses derision toward absolute monarchy and oppression by lauding the benevolent monarch of El Dorado and the freedom his subjects enjoyed; he also criticized the oppression of speech and thought, as well as the dangers of superstition by including the tale of Candide and Pangloss in Lisbon. Based on this evidence, the only possible conclusion one can arrive at is that Candide is a representative piece of Enlightenment literature that effectively communicates many ideologies associated with the

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