An Essay on Man is a poem published by Alexander Pope in — It is concerned with the natural order God has decreed for man. Because man cannot know God's purposes, he cannot complain about his position in the Great Chain of Being ll.
The elder Pope, a linen-draper and recent convert to Catholicism, soon moved his family from London to Binfield, Berkshire in the face of repressive, anti-Catholic legislation from Parliament.
Described by his biographer, John Spence, as "a child of a particularly sweet temper," and with a voice so melodious as to be nicknamed the "Little Nightingale," the child Pope bears little resemblance to the irascible and outspoken moralist of the later poems.
Barred from attending public school or university because of his religion, Pope was largely self-educated.
He taught himself French, Italian, Latin, and Greek, and read widely, discovering Homer at the age of six. At twelve, Pope composed his earliest extant work, Ode to Solitude; the same year saw the onset of the debilitating bone deformity that would plague Pope until the end of his life.
Originally attributed to the severity of his studies, the illness is now commonly accepted as Pott's disease, a form of tuberculosis affecting the spine that stunted his growth—Pope's height never exceeded four and a half feet—and rendered him hunchbacked, asthmatic, frail, and prone to violent headaches.
His physical appearance would make him an easy target for his many literary enemies in later years, who would refer to the poet as a "hump-backed toad. Essay on Criticismpublished anonymously the year after, established the heroic couplet as Pope's principal measure and attracted the attention of Jonathan Swift and John Gay, who would become Pope's lifelong friends and collaborators.
Together they formed the Scriblerus Club, a congregation of writers endeavoring to satirize ignorance and poor taste through the invented figure of Martinus Scriblerus, who would serve as a precursor to the dunces in Pope's late masterpiece, the Dunciad. Its mundane subject—the true account of a squabble between two prominent Catholic families over the theft of a lock of hair—is transformed by Pope into a mock-heroic send-up of classical epic poetry.
Turning from satire to scholarship, Pope in began work on his six-volume translation of Homer 's Iliad.
He arranged for the work to be available by subscription, with a single volume being released each year for six years, a model that garnered Pope enough money to be able to live off his work alone, one of the few English poets in history to have been able to do so.
Infollowing the death of his father, Pope moved to an estate at Twickenham, where he would live for the remainder of his life.
Critical Essays Alexander Pope's Essay on Man Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List The work that more than any other popularized the optimistic philosophy, not only in England but throughout Europe, was Alexander Pope's Essay on Man (), a rationalistic effort to justify the ways of God to man philosophically. 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 pfmlures.com is the second-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations after Shakespeare. Alexander Pope’s “An Essay on Man” analysis - Assignment Example On In Premium Assignments Famous for its expressive breadth and insightful wisdom, “An Essay on Man” () has been extremely popular during last three centuries.
Here he constructed his famous grotto, and went on to translate the Odyssey —which he brought out under the same subscription model as the Iliad—and to compile a heavily-criticized edition of Shakespearein which Pope "corrected" the Bard's meter and made several alterations to the text, while leaving corruptions in earlier editions intact.
Critic and scholar Lewis Theobald's repudiation of Pope's Shakespeare provided the catalyst for his Dunciad, a vicious, four-book satire in which Pope lampoons the witless critics and scholars of his day, presenting their "abuses of learning" as a mock- Aeneidwith the dunces in service to the goddess Dulness; Theobald served as its hero.
Though published anonymously, there was little question as to its authorship. Reaction to the Dunciad from its victims and sympathizers was more hostile than that of any of his previous works; Pope reportedly would not leave his house without two loaded pistols in his pocket.
Unbeknownst to the public, Pope had edited his letters and delivered them to Curll in secret. Pope's output slowed after as his health, never good, began to fail. He revised and completed the Dunciad, this time substituting the famously inept Colley Cibber—at that time, the country's poet laureate—for Theobald in the role of chief dunce.
He began work on an epic in blank verse entitled Brutus, which he quickly abandoned; only a handful of lines survive. Alexander Pope died at Twickenham, surrounded by friends, on May 30, Since his death, Pope has been in a constant state of reevaluation.
His high artifice, strict prosody, and, at times, the sheer cruelty of his satire were an object of derision for the Romantic poets of the nineteenth century, and it was not until the s that his reputation was revived.
Pope is now considered the dominant poetic voice of his century, a model of prosodic elegance, biting wit, and an enduring, demanding moral force.Alexander Pope published An Essay on Man in The poem is divided into four epistles and consists of heroic couplets, which are rhyming lines made up of five iambs.
More About This Poem An Essay on Man: Epistle I By Alexander Pope About this Poet The acknowledged master of the heroic couplet and one of the primary tastemakers of the Augustan age, Alexander Pope was a central figure in the Neoclassical movement of the early 18th century.
Poem - Essay on Man by Alexander Pope. Read a poem - Certainly we all greatly enjoy beautiful poetry and reading poems is a very pleasant past time. The last part of “An Essay on Man” reveals the theme of happiness and virtue. Pope defines happiness as an ultimate end of human existence.
If a person lives in accordance with the rules of God, he is happy, and he understands his function within the divine system.
In the Spring of , Alexander Pope was born an only child to Alexander and Edith Pope. The elder Pope, a linen-draper and recent convert to Catholicism, soon moved his family from London to Binfield, Berkshire in the face of . An Essay on Man Alexander Pope. The following entry presents criticism of Pope's poem An Essay on Man.
See also, Rape of the Lock Criticism and Alexander Pope Criticism. The philosophical poem An.