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Alexander Pope 1688-1744 “This long Disease, my Life”

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Presentation on theme: "Alexander Pope 1688-1744 “This long Disease, my Life”"— Presentation transcript:

1 Alexander Pope “This long Disease, my Life”

2 Neoclassical Writings Pope was welcomed into the society of wits in London as a prodigy How seriously he took himself as a poet is clear from the classical forms in which he began his public career Virgilian pastorals Horatian Essay on Criticism A miniature epic: The Rape of the Lock Ovidian epistles and elegies Translations of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey

3 The Rape of the Lock Mock-Epic Humorous poem written to heal the breach that had developed between two fashionable families, the Petres and the Fermors, after Robert Lord Petre cut off a lock of Arabella Fermor’s hair. Feminine protagonist instead of epic hero A card game for the epic battle Cave of Spleen for the journey to the underworld Toilet scene for the arming of the hero The rape of Helen became that lock of hair Sylphs and gnomes for the epic’s gods and goddesses Aeneas’ journey up the Tiber becomes Belinda’s up the Thames The long description of Achilles’ shield becomes a brief one of Belinda’s petticoat

4 The Rape of the Lock There are sacrifices, prayers, laments, harangues, feasts etc. But in addition to this mockery of the main ingredients, there is a mockery of the epic style – its invocations, exclamations, and use of similes – and some of the speeches follow the framework of actual speeches in Homer and Virgil, thus adding parody to imitation

5 Style Written in five cantos Written in rhymed couplets Zeugma – a comedic yoking device where one verb ties two remarkably different objects “Here Thou, Great Anna! Whom three Realms obey, Dost sometimes Counsel take – and sometimes Tea.”

6 Theme Ostensible theme is the battle of the sexes Pope’s metaphoric language evaluates the human experience of being involved in the battle and its effect on the moral values of the society in which it is fought


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