One of Molière’s main objectives as playwright was to analyse and often criticise the society in which he lived in. Theatre, for Molière, was a vehicle which allowed him to provide a social commentary on issues of the time and to highlight the faults of society. For this reason, Molière’s use of comedy was highly satirical. The combination of dramatic and satirical comedy, not only emphasises the flaws of the world at the time, but also accentuates the shortcomings of human nature. In Molière’s case, comedy was not a mere device used for the entertainment of the audience, as it played an integral role in delivering the message that he wanted to convey in his plays.
The Enlightenment was a period that was during the 17th and 18th century that highlighted the reason and the individual person rather than tradition. The Enlightenment occurred because after the French Revolution the people wanted to advocate reason, and wanted a way to establish a system of ethics, government, and religion. The Enlightenment took place in Europe. It began with the publication of Francis Bacon’s “Novum Organum” and ended with Immanuel Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason”. The ideas influenced the United States by determining the almost every part of the colonial United States.
The 18th century eventually became known as the age of enlightenment, it was a period that marked a lot of social change. Great thinkers like Voltaire and Jean-Jackqes Rousseau wrote about the importance of freedom and human rights. With such ideas, these famous philosophers influenced others and made them feel the need to be free from oppressive or tyrannical rule of absolute monarchs and have the ability to live independent from such forces. Also, both areas suffered social and economic hardships which led to the realization that something must be done to destroy the hierarchy in order to put power back into the hands of the people. While there are several similarities in these revolutions, there are also a few key
Voltaire’s Candide takes us through the life and development of Candide, the protagonist. Throughout his adventures, he witnesses many travesties and sufferings. Like many Enlightenment philosophers, Pangloss, Candide’s tutor, is an optimist; this philosophy was adopted by many to help mask the horrors of the eightieth century. Pangloss teaches Candide that everything happens for a reason. Voltaire uses satire, irony and extreme exaggerations to poke fun at many aspects; such as optimism, religion, corruption, and social structures within Europe.
Satire is a genre of literature employed by writers that adopts criticism to expose individuals, governments, or society by using wit and humor. Its main purpose is to make possible the enhancement of humanity and its institutions by employing constructive criticism. Voltaire was a well-known figure of the Enlightenment that often used such satirist in his works, and sought an improvement of humanity and its institutions through his philosophical views. Candide is one of Voltaire’s most known works, a classic, which is filled with indignation at the evil of humanity and its institutions. With this classic, Voltaire directs his criticism against philosophical optimism, foolishness, religion, nobility, and the inhumanities of man against man.
In his play, Hamlet, Shakespeare uses themes of deception, greed, and revenge to showcase these recurring themes of human nature during the sixteenth century. Meanwhile, in present day the extent of these themes are still seen in a variety of ways. Hamlet is very relevant in today’s world. A key example would entail the parallels between current President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, and master manipulator, King Claudius. In modern society, deception is most prominently the root of political corruption.
Of Mice and Men Literary Analysis Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” As a writer, John Steinbeck’s weapon is the written word and in his famous novel Of Mice and Men, he ventures to change the ideas and opinions of his readers. Of Mice and Men is set in 1930’s America during the Great Depression. Even though there are some instances in the novel where Steinbeck seems to mirror the attitudes of the past, there also are several instances where the author he displays the need for societal change. He uses characters in the novel, such as Lennie, to demonstrate the mistreatment of the mentally disabled. He also shows the desperate plight of the economically disadvantaged during the Great Depression.
In doing so, he also attacked other people’s philosophies and literary texts. Voltaire also discussed the absurdity of war, fanaticism, dogmatism, and stupidity. Another one of Voltaire’s works was in 1734 when he wrote Letters on the English Nation, which elaborated on Newton’s ideas in relation to Descartes’. It explained how Newton’s system is dependent on Descartes’ earlier work, a dependence deemed
Satire is the use of humor or ridicule to express the stupidity of an individual, government, or company. Through the use of this literary technique Enlightenment thinkers, or philosophers, composed arts to mock several ideals of the time period. Several philosophers at the time were using satire to write novels, the most famous of which was a thinker named François-Marie Arouet or more commonly known by his nom de plume Voltaire. Voltaire wrote a fictional novel called Candide which follows the main character, Candide, through a difficult journey from nobility to farmer. In this writing, François-Marie Arouet used satire to ridicule several beliefs of his time period including the military and social inequality of women.
Science and knowledge are two important factors in society around the 19th century. Mary Shelley supports the connection of these two key topics throughout her writing in the novel, Frankenstein. With her style, structure, and Romantic elements portrayed in the novel, she discusses that scientific progress/knowledge is dangerous and harmful as it places man above God and destroys his morals. This is done by examples of appeals to emotion, imagery, and figures of speech that convey her style and ultimately ends up as support of the previous statement. Shelley appeals to emotion through the characters in the novel.
The Enlightenment period (very often called the Age of Reason) which started in the 17th century, put a huge emphasis on reasoning and humans as individuals. At the same time it touched at the core of the life based on faith and tradition. The ideas developed by thinkers of the time strongly affected future intellectual, political and economic development of Western Europe, influencing also the character of modern societies. During the 16th century society faced many turbulence in different parts of Western Europe. Something what started as a dispute over the political and economic issues between king and nobility in England, and resulted in the Civil war, provided a fertile ground for thinkers who first started to question the world around them.