The plot of this tragedy of Voltaire was the events of the life of the Arab tribes of Arabia, connected with the spread of Islam and the activities of the religious reformer Mohammed. The author wrote: “I know that Mohammed did not commit the kind of treachery that the plot of my tragedy amounts to, my goal is not only to bring out true events on the scene, but to truthfully depict manners, convey the true thoughts of people generated the circumstances in which these people found themselves, and, finally, to show how cruelly malicious deception can come and what horrors it is capable of creating fanaticism. “Mohammed from me is nothing but Tartuffe with a weapon in hand.” The action of Voltaire’s play unfolds in Mecca around 630.
Shaikh Mecca, Zopir, learns about the intention of Mohammed, his worst enemy, to conquer the city. The family of Zopir was exterminated by Mohammed, therefore he is very attached to the captive young Palmira, whom Mohammed considers
his slave and demands her return, since she grew up in Medina, a place already converted to Islam. There he is the lord and idol. The girl appreciates the kindness and softness of Zopir, but asks him to do Teacher’s will and return it to Medina. The sheikh responds with a refusal, explaining that he does not want to indulge the tyrant who crept into the confidence of Palmira.
Senator Fanor reports to Zopir about the appearance in the city of Omar, the commander of Mohammed, with his retinue. Omar six years before that, “went on a campaign to protect Mecca, and, pushed back the troops of the traitor and thief, suddenly turned to him, not afraid of shame.” Now, on behalf of Mohammed, he offers peace, swears that this is not wickedness and agrees to give young Seid a hostage as a proof. Omar comes to negotiations with Zopir, and the sheikh reminds the messenger who his illustrious lord was ten years ago: “a simple driver, a rogue, a tramp, an unfaithful husband, an insignificant chatterbox, a deceitful impostor.” Sentenced by the court to exile for the riot, he went to live in caves
and, blushing, began to seduce the people. Not denying the talent and mind of Mohammed, Zopir notes his rancor and cruelty: “The tyrants did not know the East more vindictively”. The commander, however, patiently listening to the sheikh, invites him to name the price for Palmira and the world. Zopir angrily rejects this proposal, and Omar states that in this case he will try to win over the senate to the side of the Prophet.
Lovers Seid and Palmyra are immensely happy, meeting again. When the sheikh kidnapped Palmyra, Seid did not find a place for grief, but now his beloved is near and he hopes to release her. Young people believe that Mohammed will connect their two fates into one. And the Prophet meanwhile approached the gates of ancient Mecca. Omar was able to persuade the Senate to admit into the city the one who was expelled from the unrighteous court. For some, he is a tyrant, and for others he is a hero… When he opens his secret to Omar, Mohammed admits that his calls for peace are a myth, he only wants to benefit from the people’s faith in a messenger of God capable of stopping the flame of war. His goal is to conquer Mecca and destroy the Zopir. In addition, Palmyra and Seid, despite their devotion to Mohammed, are his enemies – so he declares to Omar. The prophet loves Palmira and, having learned that she preferred him to a slave,
The meeting between Zopir and Mohammed took place. The Shaykh openly accuses Muhammad: “Having infiltrated with bribery, and flattery, and deceit, you brought misfortune to all the conquered countries, and, in a hailstorm, having entered, you dare, the villain, to impose on us the lies of your religion!” Mohammed is not at all embarrassed by these speeches and explains to Zopir that the people are ready to worship anyone now, just for a new idol, so his hour has come, Zopir must not give up, but voluntarily give up power. Only one circumstance shook the sheik’s confidence. Mohammed reports that the abducted children of Zopir did not perish, they were brought up among the servants of the Prophet. Now their fate depends on the prudence of his father. If Zopir surrenders the city without a fight and tells the people that only the Koran is the only law, and Mohammed is the prophet of God, he will find both children and son-in-law. But Zopir rejects this proposal, not wanting to give the country into slavery. Merciless Mohammed immediately decides to kill the rebellious sheikh. Of all the servants, Omar advises him to choose Seid for this, because he is a “fanatic, fierce, mad and blind, reverent in ecstasy before you.” In addition, Omar knows the terrible secret of Mohammed: Palmyra and Seid – the children of Zopir, so the son sends villains to parricide. Mohammed summons Seyid and invites him to command, allegedly proceeding from Allah: “It is ordered to accomplish holy revenge and strike, so that the enemy is destroyed by the blade that is put in your right hand by God.” Seid is horrified, but Mohammed bribes him with a promise: “Palmira’s love to you was a reward.” And the young man surrenders. But already holding the sword in his hand, the young man still does not understand why he must kill the helpless and unarmed old man. He sees the sheikh, who begins a heartfelt conversation with him, and Seyid can not bring his weapons over him. Omar, secretly watching this scene, demands Seid immediately to Mohammed. Palmyra, seizing Seyd in a terrible confusion, asks to reveal to her the whole truth, and the young man tells him, begging to help him sort out his torment: “Tell me the word, you are my friend, my good genius! Direct my spirit! And help me to raise the sword!” Explain why the bloody slaughter of the Prophet is kind, a father for all people? ” Seyid says that, by the decision of the Prophet, their happiness with Palmyra is a reward for the blood of the unfortunate Zopir. The girl evades the advice, thereby pushing the young man to the fateful step. asks to reveal the truth to her, and the young man tells him, begging to help him sort out his torment: “Tell me the word, you are my friend, my good genius!” Direct my spirit! “And help me to raise the sword! .. Explain why the bloody slaughter of the Prophet is kind, father for all people? ” Seyid says that, by the decision of the Prophet, their happiness with Palmyra is a reward for the blood of the unfortunate Zopir. The girl evades the advice, thereby pushing the young man to the fateful step. asks to reveal the truth to her, and the young man tells him, begging to help him sort out his torment: “Tell me the word, you are my friend, my good genius!” Direct my spirit! “And help me to raise the sword! .. Explain why the bloody slaughter of the Prophet is kind, father for all people? ” Seyid says that, by the decision of the Prophet, their happiness with Palmyra is a reward for the blood of the unfortunate Zopir. The girl evades the advice, thereby pushing the young man to the fateful step.
Meanwhile, Gersid, one of the servants of Mohammed, who in the past kidnapped the children of Zopir and who knows about their fate, appoints a sheikh to a meeting; but it did not take place, because Omar, having unraveled the intention of Gersid to reveal the secret, kills him. But Gersid still manages to leave a suicide note and give it to Fanor. At this time, Zopir goes to pray to the altar and does not stint on the curses against Mohammed. Seid hastens to interrupt the blasphemous speech, bares weapons and strikes. Appears Fanor. He is horrified that he did not manage to prevent the murder, and tells everyone a fateful secret. Seid falls to his knees with an exclamation: “Give me back my sword!” And I, swearing myself… “Palmyra holds Seid’s hand:” Let it not stick to Seid, but into me! “I pushed my brother to parricide!” Zopir, mortally wounded, embraces the children: “In the hour of death fate sent me a daughter and a son! The summits of the troubles and joys of the summit were brought together. “The father looks hopefully at his son:” The traitor will not escape from punishment and shame. I will be avenged. “
Omar, seeing Seid, orders the servants to seize him as the murderer of Zopir. Only now the young man learns of the insidiousness of the Prophet. The commander hurries to Mohammed and reports about the situation in the city. Zopir dies, an angry people, formerly obedient in everything, murmurs. Omar proposes to reassure the crowd with assurances that Zopir accepted death for the rejection of Islam, and his cruel murderer Seyid will not escape punishment for what he did. The troops of Mohammed will soon be in the city – the Prophet can not doubt the victory. Mohammed is interested in whether someone could give Seyida the secret of his origin, and the military leader reminds him that Gersid, the only initiate, is dead. Omar admits that he poured poison into Seyidu’s wine, so the hour and his death is near.
Mohammed tells him to call him Palmira. He advises the girl to forget about her brother and promises her wealth and luxury. All her misfortunes are already behind, she is free, and he is ready to do anything for her if she obeys him. The girl with contempt and indignation throws: “The murderer, the hypocrite dishonest and bloody, you dare to tempt me with unclean glory?” She is sure that the false prophet will be exposed and retribution not far away. The people, having learned about the murder of Zopir, go out into the streets, seize the prison, all the townspeople rise to fight. The revolt is headed by Seyid. He screams in a frenzy that Mohammed is guilty of his father’s death, and the elemental rage of the masses is ready to fall upon the villain. Sudden, suddenly exhausted by the action of poison, the crowd wobbles and falls in front of the crowd. Taking advantage of this, Mohammed declares that it is God who punishes the unfaithful, and so will it be with all who encroach upon him, the great Prophet: “Anyone who will object to the order, even if in thought, will be punished immediately, and if the day for you shines so far, then because I have softened my sentence.” But Palmyra exposes Mohammed, saying that her brother is dying from poison, and curses the scoundrel. She calls Mohammed a bloody beast, depriving her of her father, mother and brother. There is nothing more that binds her to life, so she goes after her loved ones. Having said this, the girl rushes to the sword of Seid and dies. and mother and brother. There is nothing more that binds her to life, so she goes after her loved ones. Having said this, the girl rushes to the sword of Seid and dies. and mother and brother. There is nothing more that binds her to life, so she goes after her loved ones. Having said this, the girl rushes to the sword of Seid and dies.
At the sight of the dying Palmira Mohammed for a moment gives in to the feeling of love, but immediately suppresses this impulse of humanity with the words: “I must be God – or the power of the earth will fail.” And he manages to master the crowd, to avoid the threatened exposure with a new cynical deceit, falsehood, which again throws an ignorant mass of residents of Mecca to his feet.