Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744) In 1711 he published “An Essay suffered from poor health. on Criticism”. He was a Roman Catholic ( a In 172 he published “The Rape member of a minority religion of the Lock.” at that time.) He translated Homer’s Iliad His religion was a barrier for and Odyssey. getting Education. He could afford a small State He was a man of genius: He at Twickenham, near London, dug out knowledge by and lived a secluded life. himself. He wrote the Dunciad and Essay of Man. At his death he was acclaimed as England’s greatest poet.
It was written in 1709. The form of the Epigrams Pope was trying to write a of An Essay on Criticism poetical essay which would are perfect an their hold the same important expression is witty. place in English Criticism The topics in this literary that Boleau’s Art Poetique work are strange for poetry. was holding in French The purpose of the Criticism. classicists was to instruct Pope´s Essay of Criticism is rather than entertaining. not only the last but the It covers a range of good most rewarding of the criticism and advise. important critical essays in It also presents many of the verse modeled on Horace’s chief literary ideals of Art of Poetry Pope’s age.
But you who seek to give and merit Fame, And justly bear a Criticks noble Name, Be sure your self and your own Reach to know. How far your Genius, Taste, and Learning go; Launch not beyond your Depth, but be discreet,And mark that Point where Sense and Dulness meet. Nature to all things fixd the Limits fit, And wisely curbd proud Mans pretending Wit: As on the Land while here the Ocean gains, In other Parts it leaves wide sandy Plains; Thus in the Soul while Memory prevails, The solid Powr of Understanding fails; Where Beams of warm Imagination play, The Memorys soft Figures melt away. One Science only will one Genius fit; So vast is Art, so narrow Human Wit; Not only bounded to peculiar Arts, But oft in those, confind to single Parts. Like Kings we lose the Conquests gaind before, By vain Ambition still to make them more: Each might his sevral Province well command, Woud all but stoop to what they understand.
Dryden was born into a well-to-do Puritan Family. He was a man of changeable ideas. After attending Trinity College, Cambridge, he married Lady Elizabeth Howard. As a writer of Comedies he was successful, but his heroic tragedies were more important: All for Love The world well Lost (Anthony and Cleopatra) He wrote satires : “Absalom and Achitopel”
The theme of this poem is the power of music to arouse emotion that is expressed in action. It is an Ode: a lyric poem on an important subject. Many English Odes are imitations of Greek and Latin Odes.
We must remember some classical characters: Alexander the great Thais Bacchus The Furies
Argument: The main body of the poem describes the feastgiven by Alexander the Great at the Persiancapital Persepolis, after his defeat of Darius. Alexandersbard Timotheus sings praises of him. Alexandersemotions are manipulated by the singers poetry andmusic. Timotheus glorifies him as a god, puffing upAlexanders pride. He then sings of the pleasures ofwine, encouraging Alexander to drink. Seeing Alexanderbecoming too boisterous, he sings of the sad death ofDarius; the king becomes quiet. He then lauds thebeauty of Thaïs, Alexanders lover, making the kingsheart melt. Finally, he encourages feelings of anger andvengeance, causing Thaïs and Alexander to burn downthe Persian palace in revenge for Persias previousoutrages against Greece.