Essay on Criticism by Alexander Pope: An Overview
Alexander Pope used a couple of tenets of Classicism in this quote, but he uses all five throughout his poem, Essay on Criticism. In Essay on Criticism, Alexander Pope incorporates the neoclassicism principles such as nature, wit, and genius. Alexander Pope amalgamates nature throughout his Essay on Criticism in various lines to express neoclassicism.
According to Albert C. Baugh, Baugh says the in Essay on Criticism pt. That means that Pope has that taste that many critics wish they had in their mind. So, Pope is saying that Nature is this unchangeable source that people should follow to walk in the right path.
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Pope uses this simile to describe how Nature is very similar to liberty. So with all that he had bugger all else to do, except become a kick ass poet. He came from a middle class family and was educated only up until he was 12, but dragged himself up as an intellectual by binging on the classics of the Greek and Roman world as well as the big names of the time.
From his early twenties his own work was being well received critically with his poetry and translations selling well.
This poem was completed in when Pope was 21 and published two years later. As this represents the beginning of his poetic career, the focus on telling critics to go a bit easy may have been based on his own personal hopes. It certainly acts as a challenge to the old, established order and their rules by suggesting that they may have a negative impact on poetry. This turns the idea that wisdom is associated with age on its head. He suggests that age can bring a degree of cynicism and rigidity in thinking, which can prevent the bright lights of innovation and change from emerging and challenging our ideas of beauty or brilliance.
The stanza opens with a analogy comparing literary critics to thirsty hikers.
However, Pope encourages them to drink deeper to appreciate to expand their horizons and embrace brilliant innovation. In the fifth line we move onto focusing on young poets.
Essay on Criticism [But most by numbers]
Without this fear they try to achieve the heights, which implies those governed by rules are also limited by them. The critics on the other hand are bound by the rules and thus constricted from recognising innovative brilliance and achievement. From the eleventh line we examine the state of the critic. Having come to understand and recognise the majesty of Classical poetry, represented by the first mountain of the Alps, they become content and complacent.
They forget that their are many mountains to conquer and in our focus on appreciating the brilliance of the past, we fail to focus on the challenges and opportunities ahead for new achievement and majesty. Language and techniques. We begin with a belter.
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This immediately diminishes their education as it does not represent a significant chunk of what there is to be learned and thus they are not fully equipped to be absolute in terms of criticism and adherence to poetic rules. I think it would be fair to say that critics can generally quite rightly be labelled as snobs, but to in what way are they dangerous? Contrast this censure of the critics with the romantic notion of the young poet. Pope encourages critics to avoid the temptation to become self-satisfied with their Classical knowledge and poetic comprehension.
He suggests critics fixate on this achievement and rap it up in rules that become impediments to those who have to follow. The poem is written in heroic couplets, which just means that each line is written in iambic pentameter.
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The association lifts poetry to being something of such magnitude and towering importance, but also serves to demonstrate that there are many different peaks and many different ways of reaching them. Even the initial drinking from the spring can be interpreted directly as relating to mountaineering. Upon reaching new heights our minds are affected by the altitude and can sometimes symptoms can resemble being drunk.
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