Born May 21, 1688 (Restoration), London



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Born May 21, 1688 (Restoration), London

  • Born May 21, 1688 (Restoration), London

  • Crippled at 12; hunchback

  • Never married, but involved with two women in his life

    • Martha Blount and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
  • Never formally educated because he was Catholic

  • Gained an appreciate for the classics and writing

  • Conformed to strict writing rules

  • Greatest work (at 24) was The Rape of the Lock, a mock-heroic

  • Financially independent through translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey

  • Died 1744, Twickenham



First Period

  • First Period

  • Second Period

    • Iliad translation (1715)
    • Odyssey translation (1726)
  • Third Period

    • Dunciad (1728)
    • Essay on Man (1734)


Augustan Age (1660-1780)

  • Augustan Age (1660-1780)

    • Bracketed between “rigid scholarship” of the 17th cent. and scientific/religious skepticism of the 19th cent.
    • Interest in society, and self as part of society
    • All aspects—politician to servant—examined
    • Satirized ruthlessly
    • Writer depended on patron, but could also be independent
    • Printing press came of age
    • Expanding, healthy economy
    • Civilized society = London; exotic ideas admired


Augustan Age (1660-1780)

  • Augustan Age (1660-1780)

    • Basic rule—man had to follow “Nature”
      • The pure standards of taste and judgment that should control man’s artistic endeavors
      • Knowledge of classics and former civilizations
      • Strict adherence of rules and regulations
      • Heroic couplets (suitable for lofty themes)
      • Art subservient to Nature
        • Also called Reason and Common Sense
    • Formalism stifled freedom of expression
    • Various forms: mock epic, ode, epistle, and epigram


Pope and the 18th Century

  • Pope and the 18th Century

  • Imitation

    • Re-creation of a work
    • Pope translated old into Augustan phraseology


Pope and Society

  • Pope and Society

    • Poked fun at society, e.g. The Rape of the Lock
      • Commentary on British legal system
    • Biting satire against others
  • Pope and the Classics

    • Looked to Homer (favorite) and French classicism
  • Pope and Didactic Poetry

    • Teach lessons to society
    • “Hope springs eternal in the human breast” and “A little learning is a dangerous thing”


Pope and Poetic Form

  • Pope and Poetic Form

    • Heroic couplet
    • “Laugh where we must, be candid where we can; But vindicate the ways of God to Man.”




SATIRE: the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.

  • SATIRE: the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.

  • MOCK HEROIC is a form of satire that adapts the elevated heroic style of the classical epic poem to a trivial subject.





Refashioned like Virgil’s Aeneid or Homer’s Odyssey

  • Refashioned like Virgil’s Aeneid or Homer’s Odyssey

  • Pope had three aims:

    • Patch a feud between two well-known families (a lock of hair was stolen)
    • Ridicule the shallowness and useless frivolity in the upper class
    • Make fun of the epic conventions


Three prominent Roman Catholic families: the Carylls, the Fermors, and the Petres.

  • Three prominent Roman Catholic families: the Carylls, the Fermors, and the Petres.

    • Fermors had a daughter, Arabella.
    • Petres had a son, Lord Petre.
    • Lord Petre cut off a lock of Arabella’s hair as a joke, causing the bitter quarrel.
    • John Caryll asked Pope if he would write a poem to heal the breach.


Characters

  • Characters

    • Belinda (Arabella Fermor)
    • The Baron or Lord (Robert, Lord Petre of Essex)
    • The Muse (John Caryll)
    • Sir Plume (Sir George Browne)
    • Thalestris, an Amazon (Lady Browne)
    • Clarissa (?)
  • Places

    • The Mall
    • Hampton Court
    • The Ring
    • Rosamonda’s Lake


Use of sylphs

  • Use of sylphs

    • Part of the “epic machinery”
    • Borrowed from the classics
  • The game of Ombre

  • Structure of the poem

    • Five cantos (sections)
    • Regular rhyming couplets


Sylphs, salamanders, undines, gnomes and their connection to Paracelsus

  • Sylphs, salamanders, undines, gnomes and their connection to Paracelsus

  • The game of Ombre

    • Extra Credit: Learn how to play and teach us
    • Mock epic, ode, epistle, and epigram
    • Heroic couplets
    • Patron of the arts (FYI: Latin, patronus)




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