Quite as interesting as the poem itself is the preface that Voltaire provided

Quite as interesting as the poem itself is the preface that Voltaire provided

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Unformatted text preview: Quite as interesting as the poem itself is the preface that Voltaire provided. In the words of Ira O. Wade, "He seems here to have bundled together the ideas of Plato, Pope, Bolingbroke, Shaftesbury, and Leibnitz and to have labelled the package Tout est bien ." He emphatically renounced Alexander Pope and endorsed the skeptical views of Pierre Bayle. He argued that the English poet's belief in optimism set up a fatalistic system which demolished a whole category of widely accepted ideas such as that relating to free will. If indeed this is the best of all possible worlds, Voltaire continued, there was no such thing as Original Sin; human nature could not be corrupt and it follows that humanity has no need for a Redeemer. Recall that this is the point made at the end of Chapter 5 in Candide, wherein Pangloss engaged in a colloquy with "a familiar of the Inquisition." Voltaire also wherein Pangloss engaged in a colloquy with "a familiar of the Inquisition....
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This note was uploaded on 12/05/2011 for the course ENGLISH 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '11 term at Texas State.

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