->''"If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."''

->''"In a well-organized country, the smaller number makes the greater number work for it, feed it and submit to its government."''

Real name François Marie Arouet. French dude, 21 November 1694 30 May 1778. [[DeadpanSnarker Satirical]] [[ThePhilosopher philosopher]]. He is best known for his witty defense of civil liberties, freedom of religion, and free trade (he had staunch liberal views on economic issues). His views earned him one year in the Bastille at the time of the Régence, where he gained his penname. [[WarForFunAndProfit He would later make a huge fortune in military furnitures]] and gain great influence in the French and Prussian royal courts under kings Louis XV and Frederick II the Great. He would go on to inspire multiple philosophers and satirical authors, especially amongst those who supported his views. His writings also inspired both the [[UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution French]] and [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution American]] revolutions. He was also an historian and a scientist who published multiple essays. Prolific, as he published more than 20,000 letters and 2,000 books and pamphlets. [[FunWithAcronyms The name Voltaire comes from ''Arouet le jeune'' ("Arouet the Young"), converted to Latin script where U=V and J=I; AROVET L I -> VOLTAIRE]]. He is [[AuthorsOfQuote eminently quotable]], and [[BeamMeUpScotty mis-quotable]]. His [[{{Archenemy}} favourite target]] was Creator/JeanJacquesRousseau.[[note]]Ironically, both died the same year and rest in front of each other in the same crypt of the Pantheon in Paris; both are considered the spiritual fathers of the French Revolution, despite their personal enmity and clashing views.[[/note]]

Probably shouldn't be confused with [[Music/{{Voltaire}} the musician]].

!!Stuff by Voltaire:
* ''Letters on the English'', 1733, revised 1778
* ''Zadig'', 1747
* ''Micromégas'', 1752
* ''Literature/{{Candide}}'', 1759,
* ''Treatise on Tolerance'', 1763
* ''Ce qui plaît aux dames'', 1764
* ''Philosophical Dictionary'', 1764
* ''Literature/TheIngenue'', 1767

!!This author's works provide examples of:

* AnAesop: In every single of his philosophical tales.
* AlienInvasion: ''Micromégas'' may be the UrExample.
* BadassBookworm: Candide and many other characters.
* CrapsackWorld: In ''Candide'', everywhere except Eldorado. In ''L'Ingénu'', everywhere except in the main character's tribe.
%%* DeadpanSnarker
* DeityOfHumanOrigin: Used to provide the page quote.
* DoubleStandard: His beliefs on Judaism are very much this. He believed that Christians should be tolerant of other peoples and religions, but Voltaire himself '''hated''' Jews and [[ValuesDissonance once wrote that all of them should be punished]]. Ouch.
** He explicitly vowed to destroy Christianity (either Catholicism and Protestantism) in some of his correspondances with Jean le Rond D'Alembert, one of the authors of ''L'Encyclopédie'', because he thought they were continuations of Judaism. On the other hand, he was a firm deist who also opposed atheism, hence the page quote.
** Likewise, while many people invoke Voltaire as a free-speech icon in the 21st century, Voltaire himself could be censorious, such as publishing libel tracts against authors he disagreed with and persecuting Creator/JeanJacquesRousseau by making many false accusations to discredit him.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Candide.
* FamousLastWords: When the priest who gave him his last rites tried to make him renounce Satan (as his hatred for Christianity was well known). Voltaire's reply ?
-->''"Allons, mon bon monsieur, ce n'est point le moment de nous faire des ennemis."'' ("Now, my good sir, now is not the time to make enemies.")
* ForeignCultureFetish: He had a bit of a thing for England/Britain, particularly its [[UsefulNotes/BritishPoliticalSystem political institutions]]. He was a bit more ambivalent about their tragedies (he didn't really "get" Creator/WilliamShakespeare, although to be frank there wasn't a good French translation of the Bard at that time), but he loved the English comedies and Britain's tradition of satire. As he notes in his "Letters on England":
--> ''The English have reaped very great benefit from the writers of our nation, and therefore (since they have not scrupled to be in our debt) we ought to borrow from them. Both the English and [The French] came after [[UsefulNotes/TheRenaissance the Italians]], who have been our instructors in all the arts, and whom we have surpassed in some. I cannot determine which of the three nations ought to be honored with the palm; but happy the writer who could display their various merits.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: In ''Candide'', "the sage Doctor Pangloss giv[es] a lecture in experimental philosophy to her mother's chambermaid". "[S]he perfectly well understood the force of the doctor's reasoning upon causes and effects".
* HypocriticalHumor: Once responded to debaters who use style over substance by saying "A witty saying proves nothing," but [[LogicBomb this is itself a witty saying]].
* PunnyName: Loads of them, particularly in ''Candide'' starting with Candide himself ("candid", due to him starting out as a quite honest {{wide eyed idealist}}) to his mentor Pangloss ("all tongue" in Greek) and lastly Pococurante ("caring little" in Italian).
* RomanticismVersusEnlightenment: Enlightenment, despite the cynicism.
* RunForTheBorder: His writing was not always appreciated.
%%* {{Satire}}
* SkilledButNaive: Candide and l'Ingénu both have names which mean "naive". Indeed, they are skilled in many ways, especially books, but very ignorant towards the reality of their world.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism: Rather cynical, but with some idealist hints.
* TakeThat: "I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous. And God granted it."
* YouHaveFailedMe: Candide, witnessing the execution of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Byng John Byng]], a British admiral executed for losing a battle, is told that "in this country, it is good to kill an admiral from time to time, in order to encourage the others".