Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744). -Catholic (cannot attend university) -tuberculosis -early poems were pastorals - Rape of the Lock (mock epic) - Essay on Man (heroic couplets) -wrote in the neoclassical style. Heroic Couplets.
Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744) -Catholic (cannot attend university) -tuberculosis -early poems were pastorals -Rape of the Lock (mock epic) -Essay on Man (heroic couplets) -wrote in the neoclassical style
Heroic Couplets • A heroic couplet is a pair of rhyming lines that express a memorable thought. • Many of the couplets express a complete thought in a complete sentence, thus making the couplet closed. “Be not the first by whom the new are tried, Nor yet the last to lay the old aside.” Alexander Pope’s Essay on Criticism
Antithesis • In using the heroic couplet, Pope often expressed himself in antithesis. • Antithesis: a contrast of ideas expressed in a grammatically balanced statement. • By emphasizing elements of similarity and difference, antithesis helps to make a statement more forceful and more memorable. • “Give me liberty, or give me death!”
Pope’s Essay on Man Essay on Man is a long philosophical poem written in heroic couplets and full of antithesis. Pope articulates a paradoxical view of humanity. He is concerned with “man,” as in the human race, and the entire universe. “Learning kills the interest in the act, Since then the notion becomes fact.” Mr. Henry’s heroic couplet
Footnotes • 1. scan: pry into, speculate about • 3. isthmus: a narrow strip of land connecting two larger land areas usually with water on either side • 3. middle state: that is, having the rational intellect of angels and the physical bodies of beasts • 5. Skeptic: the ancient skeptics doubted that humans can gain accurate knowledge of anything. They emphasized the limitations of human knowledge. • 6. Stoic’s pride: The ancient Stoic’s ideal was a calm acceptance of life and an indifference to pain and pleasure. Stoics are called proud because they refused to recognize human limitations. • 14. Still: always; continually. disabused: undeceived