Alexander Pope World Literature Analysis
Pope has often been thought of only as a personal satirist, a small man in ill health, with a crooked back, spitting out vengeance on the world for his state of affairs. That famous epithet describing him as the “wicked wasp of Twickenham” is a part of the stereotyped image that he bears. Yet Pope is much more than that. The poetic activity in which he discovered the actual shape of his world and its ideal possibilities was the same as that in which he discovered his own feelings, values, and role as a poet within it. As one matured, so did the other.
From youth to adulthood, Pope was busy attempting a variety of poetry to ascertain where his strength lay. After his early Vergilian Pastorals in 1709, he wrote his well-known poem of criticism titled An Essay on Criticism in 1711, following the pattern of French poet Nicolas Boileau and that poet’s concern for good poetry writing. Again Boileau and also Garth influenced him in writing another form, the mock epic, to be fulfilled eventually in The Rape of the Lock. Pope’s Windsor Forest of 1713 is an attempt to continue the tradition established earlier by John Denham’s Cooper’s Hill (1642), the poetry of landscape utilizing the pastoral motif. Moreover, Eloisa to Abelard and “Verses to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady” are best seen as imitations in part of Ovid’s Heroides (before 8 c.e.; English...
(The entire section is 4077 words.)
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