Voltaire Quiz: do you know the Enlightenment writer and philosopher? Take the Test!

Voltaire Quiz: test your knowledge of the French writer and philosopher!

Voltaire was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit, his criticism of Christianity, particularly the Catholic Church, and his defense of freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the separation of church and state. Voltaire was born in Paris to a middle-class family and was educated by the Jesuits. His talent as a writer was revealed at an early age; in fact, he began writing poetry and plays while still a teenager. He soon became famous for his satire and wit and used his writings to criticize the social and political conditions of his time, as well as dogmatism and religious intolerance, so much so that in 1717 he was imprisoned in the Bastille for 11 months for writing a poem deemed incendiary. After his release, Voltaire lived for some years in England, where he was greatly influenced by Enlightenment ideas, John Locke's philosophy and the scientific revolution. He returned to France in 1729 and continued to write, but often found himself in trouble with the authorities for his outspoken views; in fact, in 1734 he was forced to flee France and lived in various countries, including the Netherlands and Switzerland, before returning home in 1778. Voltaire was a versatile and prolific writer, producing works in almost every literary form: letters, plays, poems, novels, essays, historical and scientific works. He was an outspoken advocate of civil liberties, including freedom of speech and freedom of the press, despite the risks involved due to the strict censorship laws of the time. In addition to his literary works, Voltaire was also active in politics and openly criticized the French monarchy and the Catholic Church. He openly criticized the slave trade and the Spanish conquistadors' treatment of the indigenous peoples of America. Voltaire's influence on the Enlightenment and Western thought is immense: his ideas on freedom, tolerance, and reason helped shape the modern world, and his writings continue to be widely read and studied to this day. He is considered one of the greatest thinkers of the Enlightenment and one of the greatest French writers of all time.