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An Essay on Satire, Particularly on the Dunciad

Brand new Book. Seller Inventory APC Shipped from UK. Book Description Condition: New. Seller Inventory n. By this time Pope was already at work on his more ambitious Essay on Criticism , an illuminating synthesis of critical precepts designed to expose the evils and to effect a regeneration of the contemporary literary scene.

10 Key Facts about Alexander Pope every UGC NET Aspirant must know

The Rape of the Lock , two cantos immediately made Pope famous as a poet. The cutting off of a lock of Miss Arabella Fermor's hair by Robert, Lord Petre, had caused an estrangement between these prominent Catholic families; and Pope's friend John Caryll had suggested that he write a poem "to make a jest of it, and laugh them together again. Adopting a mock-heroic style in the manner of Nicholas Boileau's Le Lutrin, Pope showed how disproportionate it was to treat the event overseriously, at the same time glancing good-humoredly at vanity and at the rococolike glitter of the beau monde.

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Rejecting Joseph Addison's advice not to enlarge his design, Pope published an extended version , five cantos containing the "machinery" of the sylphs adopted from the Rosicrucian system and various other epic motifs and allusions. These not only heightened the brilliance of the poem's world but also helped to place its significance and that of the "rape" in proper perspective. Several other poems published by , the date of the first collected edition of Pope's works, deserve a brief mention.

A rich tapestry of historical and poetic allusions, it showed the Stuarts, and especially Queen Anne, in a quasi-mythical light. In appeared the sophisticated yet moving "Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady" and "Eloisa to Abelard, " an example in the Ovidian manner of the currently popular form of heroic epistle.

An Essay on Satire, Particularly on the Dunciad by Walter Harte, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

The representation of the cloistered Eloisa's conflicting emotions toward her former lover the scholar Peter Abelard , the denouement, and the concluding epilogue make this poem, in effect, a drama in miniature. Pope also engaged in poetic imitations and translations. His Messiah , published by Sir Richard Steele in the Spectator, was an imitation of Virgil's fourth Eclogue, based on passages from Isaiah; and his early "translations" of Chaucer included the Temple of Fame In later life Pope published reworkings of several of John Donne's satires. But Pope's versions of Homer were his greatest achievement as a translator.


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From an early age a frequenter of Will's Coffeehouse, Pope was for a time friendly with men of both political parties. He wrote the prologue for Joseph Addison's Cato , and the Whigs naturally hoped to secure his talents for their party. But growing opposition between him and Addison's followers who met at Button's made inevitable Pope's adherence to his other and more congenial group of literary friends—Jonathan Swift, Dr. Together they combined to form the Scriblerus Club, which aimed at a burlesque treatment of all forms of pedantry and which indirectly contributed to the creation of such works as Gulliver's Travels and the Dunciad.

In Addison tried to forestall the success of Pope's translation of the Iliad by encouraging Thomas Tickell to publish a rival version, and this caused Pope a great deal of anxiety until the superiority of his own translation was acclaimed. Pope undertook the translation because he needed money—the result of a sharp drop in the interest from his father's French annuities. The translation occupied him until , and it was a great financial success, making Pope independent of the customary forms of literary patronage.

Parnell and William Broome were among those who assisted with the notes, but the translation was entirely Pope's own. It has been highly praised by subsequent critics. From the time his Iliad began to appear, Pope became the victim of numerous pamphlet attacks on his person, politics, and religion, many of them instigated by the infamous publisher Edmund Curll. In an increased land tax on Roman Catholics forced the Popes to sell their place at Binfield and to settle near the Earl of Burlington's villa at Chiswick. The next year Pope's father died, and in the poet's increased wealth enabled him to move with his mother to a semirural villa at Twickenham.

There he improved house and gardens, making a special feature of the grotto, which connected house and gardens beneath the intervening road. Several years earlier she had rivaled Martha Blount as an object of Pope's affection, but later a good deal of enmity existed between her and Pope, and she joined Lord John Hervey in attacking him.

During the s Pope was engaged on a version of the Odyssey Broome and Elijah Fenton were his collaborators, completing half of the translation between them. It was this translation that led to Pope's association with the young Joseph Spence, who wrote a Judicious and engaging criticism of it and who later recorded his valuable Anecdotes of Pope.

Pope also undertook several editorial projects. Parnell's Poems was followed by an edition of the late Duke of Buckingham's Works , subsequently suppressed on account of its Jacobite tendencies. The trial of his friend Francis Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester, for complicity in a Jacobite plot also caused Pope a good deal of concern. Then, in , Pope's edition of William Shakespeare appeared. Pope's emendations and explanatory notes were notoriously capricious, and his edition was attacked by Lewis Theobald in Shakespeare Restored , a work that revealed a superior knowledge of editorial technique and that gained for its author the unenviable distinction of becoming the original hero of the Dunciad.

In Swift was in England and a guest of Pope. From the time of Piers Plowman, it was characteristic of English satirists ''to taxe the common abuses and vice of the people in rough and bitter speaches. Believing that the Roman satirists Persius and Juvenal had imitated the uncouth manners and vituperative diction of the satyrs, Elizabethan satirists likewise strove to be as rough, harsh, and licentious as possible.

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The anonymous author, for instance, of A Satyr Against Common-Wealths contended in his preface that it is ''as disagreeable to see a Satyr Cloath'd in soft and effeminate Language, as to see a Woman scold and vent her self in Billingsgate Rhetorick in a gentile and advantageous Garb.

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The Dunciad as a Political Satire by Alexander Pope

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