To Henry St. John, Lord Bolingbroke. The acknowledged master of the heroic couplet and one of the primary tastemakers of the Augustan age, British writer Alexander Pope was a central figure in the Neoclassical movement of the early 18th century. He is known for having perfected the rhymed couplet form of
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God rules over the whole universe and has no special favorites, not man nor any other creature. Any deviation from this order would result in cosmic destruction. Because the universe is so highly ordered, chance, as man understands it, does not exist. Introduction : The introduction begins with an address to Henry St. John, Lord Bolingbroke, a friend of the poet from whose fragmentary philosophical writings Pope likely drew inspiration for An Essay on Man. Section II : Section II states that man is imperfect but perfectly suited to his place within the hierarchy of creation according to the general order of things.
Glossary of Poetic Terms
An Essay on Man is a poem published by Alexander Pope in — It is concerned with the natural order God has decreed for man. Because man cannot know God's purposes, he cannot complain about his position in the Great Chain of Being ll.
It offers a sort of master-class not only in doing criticism but in being a critic:addressed to those — it could be anyone — who would rise above scandal,envy, politics and pride to true judgement, it leads the reader through a qualifying course. At the end, one does not become a professional critic —the association with hired writing would have been a contaminating one for Pope — but an educated judge of important critical matters. The next six lines ring the changes on the differences to be weighed in deciding the question:. The simple opposition we began with develops into a more complex suggestion that more unqualified people are likely to set up for critic than for poet, and that such a proliferation is serious.