Better known by the penname Voltaire, Francois Arouet is now regarded as one of the great thinkers and writers of human history. His accomplishments while he was alive were certainly significant, as you can imagine. Over the course of his life, he wrote and released material that quite literally changed the way people looked at the world.
1. He Was Extremely Prolific
Voltaire is known for certain specific works, in addition to the plethora of legal troubles he ran into, over the course of his life. However, it is also worth noting that Voltaire wrote and published exhaustively during his lifetime. Everything he did can be broken down into poetry, plays, historical material, and philosophical material.
2. He Wrote Some Staggering Poetry Epics
Voltaire wrote an extraordinary amount of poetry in his career. Of all the poems he penned during his life, the ones that are considered to be the greatest are the epic poems Henriade and The Maid of Orleans. In fact, he never completed The Maid of Orleans, although he worked at the poem from 1730 until his death.
3. He Is Responsible For Oedipus
One of the most popular, powerful, and influential plays in human history would have to be Oedipus. First performed in 1718, the play is still highly regarded today. If one were to list off all of the books, poems, paintings, television shows, and films that owe some sort of debt to Voltaire and Oedipus, the end result would be an extremely long list. Remember that although this is perhaps the most famous play Voltaire ever wrote, it is not the only play he wrote.
4. He Wrote A Number Of Major Historical Works
The creative talent of Voltaire was questionably vast. At the same time, he proved himself to be more than capable of bringing this creativity to the world of non-fiction. Over the course of his life, he wrote several notable works in this arena. In particular, The Age of Louis XIV and Essay on the Customs and the Spirit of the Nation are still regarded for the unique, controversial perspectives that they brought to the world.
5. He Frequently Clashed With The French
While annoying people is technically not an accomplishment, it is still nonetheless impressive that Voltaire could incite strong emotions from entire countries/governments with his words. In particular, his book Letters on the English Nation was so angrily received by the French government, Voltaire was forced to flee for his life.