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Alexander Pope From An Essay On Criticism Summary

But you who seek to give and merit fame, And justly bear a critic's 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 fix'd the limits fit, And wisely curb'd proud man's 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 pow'r of understanding fails; Where beams of warm imagination play, The memory's soft figures melt away.Authors are partial to their wit, 'tis true, But are not critics to their judgment too?Yet if we look more closely we shall find Most have the seeds of judgment in their mind; Nature affords at least a glimm'ring light; The lines, tho' touch'd but faintly, are drawn right.First follow NATURE, and your judgment frame By her just standard, which is still the same: Unerring Nature, still divinely bright, One clear, unchang'd, and universal light, Life, force, and beauty, must to all impart, At once the source, and end, and test of art.

'Tis with our judgments as our watches, none Go just alike, yet each believes his own.Those RULES of old discover'd, not devis'd, Are Nature still, but Nature methodis'd; Nature, like liberty, is but restrain'd By the same laws which first herself ordain'd.Hear how learn'd Greece her useful rules indites, When to repress, and when indulge our flights: High on Parnassus' top her sons she show'd, And pointed out those arduous paths they trod; Held from afar, aloft, th' immortal prize, And urg'd the rest by equal steps to rise.He advocates looking at a whole piece of work, instead of being swayed by some of its showier or faulty parts: “As men of breeding, sometimes men of wit, / T’ avoid great errors, must the less commit.” He advises against too much ornamentation in writing, and against fancy style that communicates little of merit.In his description of versification, his lines enact the effects of clumsy writing: “And ten low words oft creep in one dull line,” and “A needless Alexandrine ends the song, / That, like a wounded snake, drags its slow length along.” In Part III, Pope discusses what critics should do, holding up the “Ancients” as models, including Aristotle (the “Stagirite”) who was respected by the lawless poets: “Poets, a race long unconfin’d and free, / Still fond and proud of savage liberty, / Receiv’d his laws; and stood convinc’d ‘twas fit, / Who conquer’d nature, should preside o’er wit.” PART 1 'Tis hard to say, if greater want of skill Appear in writing or in judging ill; But, of the two, less dang'rous is th' offence To tire our patience, than mislead our sense.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, confin'd to single parts.Like kings we lose the conquests gain'd before, By vain ambition still to make them more; Each might his sev'ral province well command, Would all but stoop to what they understand.As a Catholic at that time in Britain, he was ineligible for patronage, public office, or a position at a university. Pope primarily used the heroic couplet, and his lines are immensely quotable; from “An Essay on Criticism” come famous phrases such as “To err is human; to forgive, divine,” “A little learning is a dang’rous thing,” and “For fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” After 1718 Pope lived on his five-acre property at Twickenham by the Thames.A sharp-penned satirist of public figures and their behavior, Pope had his supporters and detractors. He cultivated a much-visited garden that contained a grotto, and featured the formal characteristics of a French garden and the newer more natural “English” landscape style.Just precepts thus from great examples giv'n, She drew from them what they deriv'd from Heav'n.The gen'rous critic fann'd the poet's fire, And taught the world with reason to admire.

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  1. Alexander Pope Criticism - Alexander Pope's Essay on Criticism is an attempt to balance theology and aesthetics. Pope in his essay follows the tradition of Horace's.

  2. This lesson will look at Alexander Pope's 'An Essay on Man.' We will consider its context, form, meaning, and the ways in which it reflects the.

  3. This lesson will explore Alexander Pope's famous poem titled 'An Essay on Criticism.' In an attempt to understand the importance, influence and.

  4. An Essay on Criticism is one of the first major poems written by the English writer Alexander Pope 1688–1744. It is the source of the famous quotations "To err is.

  5. Complete summary of Alexander Pope's An Essay on Criticism. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of An Essay on Criticism.

  6. Pope's "Essay on Criticism" is a didactic poem in heroic couplets, begun, perhaps, as early as 1705, and published, anonymously, in 1711. The poetic essay was a.

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