Free Study Guide: Candide by Voltaire - Synopsis / Analysis|
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CANDIDE: SYNOPSIS / PLOT NOTES
Horace (65 to 8 BC) was a Roman poet who extolled the virtues of moderation and simplicity through his Odes, Epistles, and Satires.
Cicero was a Roman orator and a politician (106-43 BC).
Milton was an English poet (1608-74 AD). His epics Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained show conflict between good and evil.
Pococurante’s views on art are similar to Voltaire’s. Both admire realism, simplicity, and usefulness. Voltaire is trying to emphasize that one’s own opinion is more important than other people’s opinion.
Most of us disagree with Pococurante’s views on the Greek and Latin classics and Milton’s Paradise Lost, which is a grand epic.
Pococurante is critical of Italians who dare not speak against the Jacobians.
The Jacobians belong to the Dominican order of the Catholic Church. He
is annoyed with the English who write only in favor of the Whig party
or the Tory party in spite of being democratic themselves.
One evening Candide and Martin meet Cacambo at supper. Candide is overjoyed and embraces him. He inquires about Cunégonde. Cacambo informs him that she is in Constantinople and they must leave after supper. There are strangers at the table. Each stranger is addressed as “Your Majesty.” It appears that the sixth one is in debt. His servant warns him that they both may be arrested for debt.
Candide is surprised as he inquires how all of them could be kings.
It turns out that all of them have been kings at a certain period of time
but have lost their thrones for various reasons. Candide says that he
does not wish to be king. He does not even notice the arrival of four
more Highnesses who are referred to as “Most Serene Highnesses.” He only
wants to meet Cunégonde.
In this chapter Voltaire has used satire on kings. He is depicting the pathetic condition these great people can fall into. They have lost their power and kingdom. One of them is likely to be arrested for debt along with his servant. Voltaire indulges in mockery when the kings are addressed as ‘Your Majesty.’ He indulges in further mockery when four more Highnesses are addressed as “Most Serene Highnesses.”
It can be noted that the six kings depicted earlier in this chapter were actually historical kings. The scene of so many dethroned kings at the same table in comic and brilliantly depicted. At the same time it is extremely satirical. The kings have submitted to God’s Providence, but Voltaire suggests that God is not bothered about their fate.
Like in many other chapters, here too, chance or co-incident plays an important
role. Candide and Martin suddenly meet Cacambo. This is unexpected. The
all-pervading and pre-dominant thought in Candide’s mind is the thought
of Cunégonde. His quest is to meet her and achieve her.
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TheBestNotes.com Staff. "TheBestNotes on Candide".
. 09 May 2017