Alexander pope essay on criticism 1711

Jump to navigation Jump to search Frontispiece An Essay on Criticism is one of the first major poems written by the English writer Alexander Pope —

Alexander pope essay on criticism 1711

The term 'the Augustan Age' comes from the self-conscious imitation of the original Augustan writers, Virgil and Horace, by many of the writers of the period. Dryden forms the link between Restoration and Augustan literature; although he wrote ribald comedies in the Restoration vein, his verse satires were highly admired by the generation of poets who followed him, and his writings on literature were very much in a neoclassical spirit.

But more than any other it is the name of Alexander Pope which is associated with the epoch known as the Augustan Age, despite the fact that other writers such as Jonathan Swift and Daniel Defoe had a more lasting influence. This is partly a result of the politics of naming inherent in literary history: The literature of this period which conformed to Pope's aesthetic principles and could thus qualify as being 'Augustan' is distinguished by its striving for harmony and precision, its urbanity, and its imitation of classical models such as Homer, Cicero, Virgil, and Horace, for example in the work of the minor poet Matthew Prior.

In verse, the tight heroic couplet was common, and in prose essay and satire were the predominant forms. Any facile definition of this period would be misleading, however; as important as it was, the neoclassicist impulse was only one strain in the literature of the first half of the eighteenth century.

But its representatives were the defining voices in literary circles, and as a result it is often some aspect of 'neoclassicism' which is used to describe the era. These works, forming the basis for modern English literary criticism, insist that 'nature' is the true model and standard of writing.

This 'nature' of the Augustans, however, was not the wild, spiritual nature the romantic poets would later idealize, but nature as derived from classical theory: The literary circle around Pope considered Homer preeminent among ancient poets in his descriptions of nature, and concluded in a circuitous feat of logic that the writer who 'imitates' Homer is also describing nature.

From this follows the rules inductively based on the classics that Pope articulated in his Essay on Criticism: Those rules of old discovered, not devised, Are nature still, but nature methodized.

Early life

Particularly influential in the literary scene of the early eighteenth century were the two periodical publications by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele, The Tatlerand The Spectator Both writers are ranked among the minor masters of English prose style and credited with raising the general cultural level of the English middle classes.

A typical representative of the post-Restoration mood, Steele was a zealous crusader for morality, and his stated purpose in The Tatler was "to enliven Morality with Wit, and to temper Wit with Morality.

The essays are discussions of current events, literature, and gossip often written in a highly ironic and refined style. Addison and Steele helped to popularize the philosophy of John Locke and promote the literary reputation of John Milton, among others.

Although these publications each only ran two years, the influence that Addison and Steele had on their contemporaries was enormous, and their essays often amounted to a popularization of the ideas circulating among the intellectuals of the age.

With these wide-spread and influential publications, the literary circle revolving around Addison, Steele, Swift and Pope was practically able to dictate the accepted taste in literature during the Augustan Age. In one of his essays for The Spectator, for example, Addison criticized the metaphysical poets for their ambiguity and lack of clear ideas, a critical stance which remained influential until the twentieth century.

The literary criticism of these writers often sought its justification in classical precedents.

In the same vein, many of the important genres of this period were adaptations of classical forms: A large part of Pope's work belongs to this last category, which exemplifies the artificiality of neoclassicism more thoroughly than does any other literary form of the period.

In his satires and verse epistles Pope takes on the role of an English Horace, adopting the Roman poet's informal candor and conversational tone, and applying the standards of the original Augustan Age to his own time, even addressing George II satirically as "Augustus.

The Dunciad is a mock epic, a form of satiric writing in which commonplace subjects are described in the elevated, heroic style of classical epic.

Gray's annotations

By parody and deliberate misuse of heroic language and literary convention, the satirist emphasizes the triviality of the subject, which is implicitly being measured against the highest standards of human potential. In The Rape of the Lock, often considered one of the highest achievements of mock epic poetry, the heroic action of epic is maintained, but the scale is sharply reduced.

The hero's preparation for combat is transposed to a fashionable boat ride up the Thames, and the ensuing battle is a card game. The hero steals the titular lock of hair while the heroine is pouring coffee.

First, allow me to start this short article with what might be deemed a startling confession: I am not a Catholic, nor am I even a Christian. In fact, I am a secular Muslim and an avid reader of philosophy and history with an unswerving commitment to the unmitigated truth no matter where it is even. The Essay On Criticism by Alexander Pope () published when Pope was 23 years old after Walsh died (). Complete summary of Alexander Pope's An Essay on Criticism. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of An Essay on Criticism.

Although the mock epic mode is most commonly found in poetry, its influence was also felt in drama, most notably in John Gay's most famous work, The Beggar's Opera The Beggar's Opera ludicrously mingles elements of ballad and Italian opera in a satire on Sir Robert Walpole, England's prime minister at the time.

The vehicle is opera, but the characters are criminals and prostitutes. Gay's burlesque of opera was an unprecedented stage success and centuries later inspired the German dramatist Bertolt Brecht to write one of his best-known works, Die Dreigroschenoper The Threepenny Opera, The Essay On Criticism by Alexander Pope () published when Pope was 23 years old after Walsh died ().

The Thomas Gray Archive is a collaborative digital archive and research project devoted to the life and work of eighteenth-century poet, letter-writer, and scholar Thomas Gray (), author of the acclaimed 'Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard' ().

Essay on criticism [Alexander Pope] on monstermanfilm.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism () Horace still charms with graceful Negligence, And without Method talks us into Sense, Will like a Friend familiarly convey The truest Notions in the easiest way.

He, who Supream in Judgment, as in Wit.

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This lesson will explore Alexander Pope's famous poem titled 'An Essay on Criticism.' In an attempt to understand the importance, influence and. Alexander Pope (21 May – 30 May ) was an 18th century English poet.

He is best known for his satirical verse, including Essay on Criticism, The Rape of the Lock and The Dunciad, and for his translation of monstermanfilm.com is the second-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations after Shakespeare.

Alexander pope essay on criticism 1711
Alexander Pope - Wikipedia