You will read selected critical statements, You will reflect on the ways these critical statements have influenced literary analyses.
In Alexander Pope's, "An Essay on Criticism"Select, use one of the critical statements (theories) studied to interpret the work (one page). I have attached the document.1380
of rhyming pairs of iambic pentameter lines, Pope was able to vary the mood and tone of his work
enormously, and to convey the richness of the society he saw around him. Pope died at his villa in
Twickenham, surrounded by numerous friends.
An Essay on Criticism
An Essay on Criticism,
Pope's second major poem,
established him as a leading poet of his day. Samuel
Johnson, in his biography of Pope, declared that
even if Pope "had written nothing else;,"
An Essay on
"would have placed him among the first
critics and the first poets, as it exhibits every mode
of excellence that can embellish or dignify didactic
composition." The poem reflects the range of Pope's
reading, including all
the well-known English,
French, and Latin poets, as well as many Greek
poets in the original. Pope's discursive essay in verse
is in the traditionof Horace's
Ars Poetica( The Art of
and French poet Nicolas Boileau's
(1674). Like these poems, the
uses simple and conversational language.
It draws together a range of historical arid
intellectual knowledge, but does not aim for novelty;
instead, it attempts to express generally accepted
doctrines in a pleasing style, setting out precepts in
language that exemplifies the precepts themselves.
Covering topics from divinity to freedom of the
press to everyday follies, the poem is characterized
by its lively style, by its wide range of comic
expression, and by its use of maxim and epigram.
phrases in the poem have become
proverbial—notable among them, line 625, "For
fools rush in where angels fear to- tread," and line
525, "To err is human, to forgive, divine."
An Essay on Criticism
consists of three parts. The
first describes an Edenic, golden e
ra of art and
criticism exemplified by Homer and other classical
writers, considered to be especially well placed to
observe Nature directly and reflect it in:their art.
The subject of the poem's second part is the decay
and disorder Pope observes in the criticism of his
day, which he attributes very largely to the divisive,
egotistic nature of critics. The third part sets out a
Pope's goals are generally conciliatory, and he
attempts to accommodate seemingly conflicting
artistic values and views, there were nonetheless
several people who took offense to parts of the
poem. Many of Pope*s fellow Catholics objected to
his critical representation of their Church, and
Pope's mocking allusions to dramatist John Dennis
(1658-1734) sparked a public feud between the two
that would last through both of their careers—the
first of many such literary feuds Pope's writing
An Essay on Criticism
V I *is hard to say, if greater want of skill
X Appear in writing or in judging ill;
But of the two less dang'rous is th'offense
To tire our patience than mislead our sense.
Some few in that, but numbers err in this,
Ten censure wrong for one who writes amiss;
A fool might once himself alone expose,
, Now one in ver
se makes many more in prose.
'Tis with our judgments as our watches, none
Go just alike, yet each believes his own.
In poets as true genius is but rare,
True taste as seldom is the critic's share;
Both must alike from Heaven derive their light,
These born to judge, as well as those to write.
Let such teach others who themselves excel,
And censure freely who have written well.
Authors are partial to their wit, 'tis true,
But are not critics to their judgment too?
Yet if we look more closely, we shall find
Most have the seeds of judgment in their mind:
Nature affords at least a glimm'ring light;
This question was answered on: May 23, 2022
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