Alexander Pope

Alexander Pope

by Yasmine Gooneratne


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Although Pope's reputation as a poet has never been higher among scholars and academics, changes in our attitudes to the writing of poetry and to traditional literary values and fashions in versification have created barriers between his genius and the general reader. Pope's poetry has to struggle against the assumptions that verse two centuries ago, filled with allusions to forgotten myths and contemporary personalities, can have little to say that is 'relevant'. Professor Gooneratne's study effectively shows how these barriers can be surmounted by the reader, allowing Pope's work to make its impact upon the imagination in its own way, as the expression of a powerful poetic personality which developed over forty years of continuous authorship. Every major poem in the Pope canon is fully and critically discussed, related to social circumstances that governed its composition and considered both as an example of generic writing and as an expression of personal feelings and convictions. Through detailed analysis of Pope's diction and poetic technique, Professor Gooneratne shows how his best and most deeply-felt verse expresses the living values of the Age of Enlightenment and demonstrates how a good writer can simultaneously extend and criticise the standards of his society.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521290517
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 09/16/1976
Series: British and Irish Authors Series
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 5.39(w) x 8.46(h) x 0.35(d)

Table of Contents

1. Introductory; 2. 'The liberty of borrowing'; 3. 'Common town-wits and downright country fools'; 4. 'The varying verse, the full resounding line'; 5. '…And energy divine'; 6. 'The life of a wit is a warfare upon earth'; 7. 'That not in fancy's maze he wander'd long, but stoop'd to truth…'; 8. '…And moraliz'd his song'; 9. 'A true satyrist'; Index of passages quoted.

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