Just like how there was a causal link between the performance of Euripides’ plays and the increase of democracy and egalitarianism in Athens
Theater specialists, literary scholars, and cultural historians, to be sure, agree that Voltaire was the most celebrated playwright of the eighteenth century
Voltaire’s plays were rarely performed after the 1850s. Today they seem to be altogether forgotten. Could it be that he is simply the modern self? Is it Voltaire right now writing to another Voltaire in this sentence?
If you ask people what the most important events in history are, this isn’t surprising to see
As I’m sure you’re sick of hearing me say, I believe the triumph of the allies in WWII can be fairly characterized as the sequel to the French Revolution. So THAT is on this chart indirectly more than it is listed directly. And that is thus the most prominent presence on the chart. So it follows that Voltaire is a uniquely important figure that we should get a better understanding of.
I think the American Revolution isn’t as prominent in global consciousness because it took place overseas. It was already a new country. When “there is no fucking Exit” (to quote Collen Ryan) people find it more inspiring to look to a revolution that happened in a country without needing to cross the ocean.
Similar in the case of Racine, I don’t see much scholarship on this subject. Invisible origins of the Contemporary Mood.
O to be Voltaire and have a pond of blood on your hands. There are 1.2-1.5 gallons of blood in the average body of an adult, so you do the math.
Anyway, Brutus was one of the most popular of his plays during the revolutionary years. Recall my post on Roger pertaining to the differences between the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, as well as the one on the Consuls of the former. Brutus was one of the first Consuls of the Roman Republic. Brutus was the most popular name to give a newborn boy in Paris in 1793.
This was one of the most frequently performed tragedies in that much-acclaimed decade
Brutus’s decision to execute his two sons for betraying the Republic by supporting the exiled king, Tarquin.
Now that’s an extreme form of cancel culture. They would have killed Voltaire too! He died a monarchist eleven years before the Revolution.
To invoke another modern concept, the overton window, the interpretation of this play changed a few times during those years. Initially it instilled a love for King Louie, THEN it changed to the very opposite and was perceived as promoting regicide. Eventually it was interpreted as counter-revolutionary. Lots of change in people’s minds went on in that decade. I showed you before how even revolutionaries were horrified at the sight of actors taking on the role of politicians. The lefter-than-thou took charge, and eventually the lefter-than-lefter-than-thou took charge. See anything familiar here? Wasn’t It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia #canceled recently? Pretty soon anyone who isn’t slapping a bongo drum in a loin cloth by a bonfire is going to be canceled. That IS the telos of leftism.
Do you ever feel like one of Brutus’s sons? Or do you feel like Brutus yourself? You better be humming a happy tune when you’re gnawing your watermelon.
Wtf, my matzos don’t turn out this good
If a ball of dusty lint is splatted into your broth you better exclaim “Thank you!”
Let’s reinterpret the play ourselves though. The exiled (((King Tarquin))) is supported by your sons. Do you have them executed? I’d at least put them in a jail or something, if I could. I mostly can only browbeat my brown-noser readers unfortunately.
See, leftists can interpret this play as Tarquin being the white man who is exiled.
The identity of the ancients and moderns was blurred through watching this play
We need a movie about Benjamin Franklin and the Bank of England! And/or one from the perspective of an actual on-the-ground soldier from the American Revolution who is privy to Franklin’s awareness of the true causes of the conflict. Violence needs to be an intrinsic theme.
So this is one of the esoteric meanings of one of the most important events in history
The double-aristocracy that Brutus represents is not part of the revolutionary energy we see in the present. People revere King Louie, that’s where we are. They don’t want to replace him with Consuls and a Senate, they’re much more inclined to do the tyrant Louie’s bidding. There are ways to interpret the French Revolution as a noble event. What was noble in it is not something I tend to witness today. I’m sure there are many who see people like me as Tarquin and will without hesitation execute their “sons” for not wanting us in exile. I have to note that the ones who run cover for Louie don’t seem to be all that educated. What could be the implications of that? Who’s the real Brutus, who’s the real Tarquin in light of that?