How is  Alexander Pope similar to Plato and Aristotle on their writings on poetics?

iklan100 | Student

Alexander Pope in both his long poem ''Essay on Criticism'' (1711) and his general body of work/writings, has a definite theory or idea about critiquing literature, especially poetry, which is his very own. We may term this as the foundation or basis of Pope's own 'poetics'.

In this system or critical methodology, we can say that Pope stresses the following ideas a lot; and in this basic respect, or regard, he is very close indeed to the old critical masters/philosophers, such as Plato and Aristotle:

1. That there should be a proper, well defined and clearly laid out standard of rules/regulations for writing poetry (and literature generally, by extension) that should be adheerd to

2. That the 'classical authorities' who earlier laid down such literary rules or such a system of 'poetics' should be accepted and recognised and given due significance-- we know that both Aristotle and Plato, and Longinus's later work 'On the Sublime' had a special influence on Pope's own critical-literary development-- hence, what they had laid down by way of a critical method was by rights, should be part of an 'ideal' literary standardisation, or systemisation. Much as Aristotle and Plato had also argued (although from different points of view) , for a similar system to be operative.

Of course, we could also on a closer reading of the text of the poem by Pope also come up with other allusions or 'classical'' standards, falling within this 'poetics', but these above points remain the essential core.

Read the study guide:
An Essay on Criticism

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