Homework Help

Why did Voltaire have to publish "Candide" anonymously and what would the public's...

user profile pic

daniel0989 | Honors

Posted January 29, 2012 at 10:32 AM via web

dislike 0 like

Why did Voltaire have to publish "Candide" anonymously and what would the public's reaction have been if he published it openly?

Based on what you know of Voltaire and 18th century society.

1 Answer | Add Yours

Top Answer

user profile pic

thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 29, 2012 at 1:09 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 3 like

During the period in which Voltaire was writing Candide, France was governed by a king who was an absolute monarch. The Roman Catholic Church was the official state church, and under a concept sometimes called the alliance of throne and altar. The papacy supported the divine right of kings and the monarch made the church the official state religions. Because of this entanglement of religion and state, any attack on the church was also seen as an attack on the monarchy. Atheism thus was not just a matter of personal belief as it is in the 21st century western democracies, but also a form of treason against the king.

Voltaire’s Candide attacks both Church doctrines and practices. Thus, if the work had been published under his own name, he could have been jailed or executed for either heresy, treason, or both.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes