Candide by Voltaire and Essay on Man by Alexander Pope
578 WordsFeb 17th, 20182 Pages
However, they also have some drastic differences, such as Voltaire's sarcastic over exaggeration of ideas that oppose his to make a point. Both Voltaire and Pope make conflicting arguments for a general ideology but Voltaire depicts in opinion much stronger. In the Essay on Man, Pope brings up many theories about the universe, Earth, and The Great Chain of Being. One of the most significant ideas he brings up is the idea that “All partial evil, (is) universal good”(293). What Pope is trying to say here is that perhaps the suffering of a few benefits everyone in the long run. However, the true meaning of this quote isn't extremely clear to the eye from the reading, and leaves the reader's mind open. Another one of Pope's ideas is the great chain of being, and everything's position on it. He believes it is a law of the world and that breaking it would be nearly impossible. He states that:
“Men would be angels, angels would be gods.
Aspiring to be gods, if angels fell,
Aspiring to be angels, men rebel:
And who but wishes to invert the laws
Of order, sins against the Eternal Cause”(125-130).
Pope is essentially saying that if anyone breaks, or tries to break the great chain of being, they are committing a sin against the “Eternal Cause”, or the cause of God. Also, he is saying that all parts of the chain are necessary. If angels didn’t exist, men would try to…
Essay about Criticism of Religion in Voltaire’s Candide
744 Words3 Pages
Criticism of Religion in Voltaire’s Candide
In his novel Candide, Voltaire often criticized religious beliefs of the times. His criticism of religion surfaces throughout the entire story. The kindness of the Anabaptist that Candide met showed the silliness of religious prejudices. The old woman's story of her father, Pope Urban X, and the life of wealth she lived as a child shows the corruption of the Catholic clergy. Finally, the conversation Candide and Cacambo had with the old man in Eldorado shows the benefits of a simple religion, a contrast of the European religions of the time.
During the eighteenth century, the Anabaptists were often persecuted and hated because of their radical religious beliefs. Voltaire attacked this…show more content…
James, the Anabaptist, witnessed this horrible action towards Candide and invited him into his own home, served him bread and beer and gave him two florins. Later on, in a journey to Lisbon, a sailor fell into the ocean, and so James quickly helped him back onto the ship, "but, in the course of his efforts, he was thrown into the sea in full view of the sailor, who let him perish without deigning even to look at him" (28). James' kindness resulted in his death. Voltaire included this Anabaptist in his story to display the silliness of religious prejudices. This man was hated by society because of his religious views, but he was kind to others, unlike the Protestants and the sailor that Candide encountered.
Voltaire also criticized the corruption found in the clergy of the Catholic Church. An old woman took care of Candide after his flogging in Lisbon and reunited him with his long lost love, Cunegonde. While on a ship, the three exchanged stories of their adventures and the troubles that they had faced. In the beginning of the old woman's story she said, "I am the daughter of Pope Urban X and the Princess of Palestrina" (42). She then talked about the magnificent palace that she grew up in and the riches that she enjoyed and how she was betrothed to a prince of Massa-Carrara. This story was mentioned in Candide because it showed the corruption of the Catholic clergy. The pope, a man who was supposed to be celibate and follow the example of Christ, instead