One of the leading philosophers of the eighteenth century was Francois - Marie Arouet, later known as Voltaire. Voltaire was charming and witty, yet pessimistic and cynical. He graced France and England with his crude remarks on the Christian church, and possibly anything else he could complain about. Everything Voltaire encountered throughout his life influenced his theories. Voltaire continued to share his religious and political views throughout his entire life regardless of how many people that he offended.
Francois - Marie Arouet was born in Paris on November 21, 1694. He later argued that his real birth-date took place on February 20, 1694, regardless of the information presented in his birth certificate ("Voltaire- 524). The pen name Voltaire was not acquired later until 1718 when he was released from a yearlong imprisonment at the Bastille (Durant, and Durant 3). His father was Francois Arouet, a respectable attorney. His mother, Marie Marguerite Daumard, was considered be Voltaire to be the intellect of the family. As a child Voltaire was frail and sickly. He was born tiny and pale, and nobody thought he would live past one year (3). He outlived everybody's predictions by eighty-three years, and lived to be eighty-four years old. As a young boy his parents hired Voltaire his first tutor, the Abbé de Chteaneuf. He introduced Voltaire to a mock epic, La Mosade, which was a manuscript that circulated secretly (3). The theme of the epic was that religion was a device used by rulers to keep the ruled in order and awe (3). This epic may have influenced a vast majority of Voltaire's philosophies. At age ten, Voltaire was admitted to the Jesuit College of Louis Le-Grand, where he wrote his first play at age twelve (4). After Voltaire finished with his education he went against his father's wishes of becoming an attorney and became a writer and a philosopher. Many people considered Voltaire's works to be satirical and impudent.