Essay on criticism pope sparknotes

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alexander pope an essay on man summary

Convinc'd, amaz'd, he checks the bold design, And rules as strict his labour'd work confine, As if the Stagirite o'erlook'd each line.

Unhappy wit, like most mistaken things, Atones not for that envy which it brings. But soon by impious arms from Latium chas'd, Their ancient bounds the banished Muses pass'd; Thence arts o'er all the northern world advance; But critic-learning flourish'd most in France.

Then Pope suggests to critics and poets, by giving main idea of art, to imitate human nature itself as the best Greek and Roman poets and critics did. Style and thought should go together. Pope argued that human nature is ever the same. What if Pope was born in protestant family in England?

By taking the ideas of classical artists, a critic has to judge the text.

essay on criticism analysis pdf

Lastly but most importantly, Pope, like other neoclassical literary critics, believes that poets and literary critics should be acquainted with classical works of art and imitate them. Some ne'er advance a judgment of their own, But catch the spreading notion of the town; They reason and conclude by precedent, And own stale nonsense which they ne'er invent.

In youth alone its empty praise we boast, But soon the short-liv'd vanity is lost: Like some fair flow'r the early spring supplies, That gaily blooms, but ev'n in blooming dies.

The truth of human nature is to be found in common humanity, not in any eccentricity. Be thou the first true merit to befriend; His praise is lost, who stays till all commend.

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NOTES: An Essay on Criticism by Alexander Pope