Alexander Pope’s “An Essay on Man” analysis Essay Sample. Famous for its expressive breadth and insightful wisdom, “An Essay on Man” () has been extremely popular during last three centuries. Its author, Alexander Pope, was a representative of the Neoclassical movement of the Enlightenment era. Others were concerned with the organization of the Universe, and man's place within that Universe. The first paper of Alexander Pope's "Essay on Man" can be considered an articulation of the Enlightenment because it talks about three major concerns of the people during the Enlightenment. Critical Essays Alexander Pope's Essay on Man Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List The work that more than any other popularized the optimistic philosophy, not only in England but throughout Europe, was Alexander Pope's Essay on Man (), a rationalistic effort to justify the ways of God to man philosophically. of Alexander Pope in Essay On Criticism 1. Introduction to Age of Enlightenment & Essay on Criticism The Age of Enlightenment was a widespread literary and intellectual movement took place in Europe and England. This age encouraged intellectual freedom as well as freedom from prejudice, religious beliefs, and politics. When “An Essay On Man” was first published, it was done anonymously. When people read this, without knowing the authorship, they hailed it as a major work of the enlightenment–perhaps the pinnacle of what the enlightenment stood for. However, when people discovered it was Pope, they absolutely trashed it.
- The Age of Enlightenment- Alexander Pope and His Works
- Alexander Pope’s “An Essay on Man” analysis Essay Sample
- Pope, Alexander
Download Essay Get Full Essay Get access to this section to get all the help you need with your essay and educational goals. Its author, Alexander Pope, was a representative of the Neoclassical movement of the Enlightenment era. This time of Reason emphasized the vital role of Science in the contemporary society.
Pope synthesized the ideas of his intellectual peers and created a poem which faced a lot of criticism as well as admiration. With the innovative use of poetic forms, it is unique and highly important.
It was written under the influence of the philosophy of positivism. Milton believed that a man could overcome the universal rules through honesty and faith. Many celebrated philosophers spoke about this work with great enthusiasm and delight. Structurally, the work is divided into four epistles — formal didactic letters written for someone. Pope dedicated his poem to Lord Bolingbroke. Being a political figure of that time, Lord had many philosophical conversations with Pope.
However, later he changed his plans. The first epistle answers the questions: Epistle III is about man vs. Throughout the whole poem, Pope tried to contemplate on the nature of a human being and persuade the reader to recognize the existence of a Supreme Power.
He states that our abilities to understand the divine system are limited as our intellect is. He not only created all that exists but also can control the forces of nature; he can do the supernatural things, something that does not obey physical laws.
He can do anything.
We should bear in mind that although God has unlimited power, this does not mean that He manifests this power everywhere.
We are responsible for what we do. People can see this opposition of good and evil even in nature.
Yes, God created flowers, seas, soft grass, fruits and lovely animals. But, on the other hand, earthquakes, floods, snakes, and plaques are also the part of our existence on this planet.
The Age of Enlightenment- Alexander Pope and His Works
We do not like such negative things, but who are we to claim that they are unnecessary? Instead, we can take care of sick people, feed the hungry and give a shelter for the homeless. We learn that there is a hierarchy in the universe. The general scheme is as follows: This Great Chain of Being is perfect and unchangeable. The morality here is that a human should accept his medium place and never try to become godlike striving for more knowledge and perfection.
Alexander Pope’s “An Essay on Man” analysis Essay Sample
A lot of attention is dedicated to the greatest sin of pride. We tend to think that we are in the center of the world and that everything was created only for our own use. We are ready to complain against the Providence when something bad happens to us, we put pride over reason, and these are our main mistakes. The author dwells upon the problem of identity and self-love. God wants us to love ourselves, not in everything, but in the best. The love for oneself is built on the same reliable and strong foundation as our love for the nearest and dearest.
We must try to love ourselves — exactly what helps us strive for better. In the universe, everything is bound together in the sole system of society where an individual is connected to the society as a part of the whole.
A person lives in society; he is compelled to participate in any collective activity. A civilized person is physically unable to be excluded from it because he depends on it. Since the very creation, a human has been in harmony with the earth and its elements.
It was a spiritual connection we cannot feel now. The number of people grew, and they united under common traditions, religion, and territory. In the poem, Pope attempts to write about true government and its duties. He suggests the origin of monarchy, patriarchy, and tyranny. They both have many forms, but the main goal of the former is to regulate the society.
The latter is to govern the soul. Pope defines happiness as an ultimate end of human existence.
If a person lives in accordance with the rules of God, he is happy, and he understands his function within the divine system. What is more, the author is looking for the answer to the question which touches many of us: He defined our place in the Great Chain of Being and suggested to accept our position between angels and animals. The doubtless merit of the author is that when reading the poem, we can familiarize ourselves with the synthesized philosophical worldview of the eighteenth century greatest minds.