Many now talk about evolution and natural selection, who have never read a line of Darwin.
Many now talk about evolution and natural selection, who have never read a line of Darwin.Tags: How Should My College Essay LookEasy Research Paper Topics For EnglishPersuasive Essay About Dogs And CatsEssays In IdlenessTitle Research Paper UnderlinedHow To Write A Quantitative Research ProposalWarwick Wmg DissertationMyob Assignment HelpSociology Essay
Pope’s poetry thus deepened with the course of time, and the third period of his life, which fell within the reign of George II., was that in which he produced the “Essay on Man,” the “Moral Essays,” and the “Satires.” These deal wholly with aspects of human life and the great questions they raise, according throughout with the doctrine of the poet, and of the reasoning world about him in his latter day, that “the proper study of mankind is Man.” Wrongs in high places, and the private infamy of many who enforced the doctrines of the Church, had produced in earnest men a vigorous antagonism.
Tyranny and unreason of low-minded advocates had brought religion itself into question; and profligacy of courtiers, each worshipping the golden calf seen in his mirror, had spread another form of scepticism.
It may seem even more absurd to name Pope’s “Essay on Man” in the same breath with Milton’s “Paradise Lost;” but to the best of his knowledge and power, in his smaller way, according to his nature and the questions of his time, Pope was, like Milton, endeavouring “to justify the ways of God to Man.” He even borrowed Milton’s line for his own poem, only weakening the verb, and said that he sought to “vindicate the ways of God to Man.” In Milton’s day the questioning all centred in the doctrine of the “Fall of Man,” and questions of God’s Justice were associated with debate on fate, fore-knowledge, and free will.
In Pope’s day the question was not theological, but went to the root of all faith in existence of a God, by declaring that the state of Man and of the world about him met such faith with an absolute denial.
That part of the epistle to Arbuthnot forming the Prologue, which gives a character of Addison, as Atticus, had been sketched more than twelve years before, and earlier sketches of some smaller critics were introduced; but the beginning and the end, the parts in which Pope spoke of himself and of his father and mother, and his friend Dr. Then follows an imitation of the first Epistle of the Second Book of the Satires of Horace, concerning which Pope told a friend, “When I had a fever one winter in town that confined me to my room for five or six days, Lord Bolingbroke, who came to see me, happened to take up a Horace that lay on the table, and, turning it over, dropped on the first satire in the Second Book, which begins, ‘Sunt, quibus in satira.’ He observed how well that would suit my case if I were to imitate it in English.
After he was gone, I read it over, translated it in a morning or two, and sent it to press in a week or a fortnight after” (February, 1733).
The intellectual scepticism, based upon an honest search for truth, could end only in making truth the surer by its questionings.
The other form of scepticism, which might be traced in England from the low-minded frivolities of the court of Charles the Second, was widely spread among the weak, whose minds flinched from all earnest thought.
And when his closing hymn was condemned as the freethinker’s hymn, its censurers surely forgot that their arguments against it would equally apply to the Lord’s Prayer, of which it is, in some degree, a paraphrase.
The first design of the Essay on Man arranged it into four books, each consisting of a distinct group of Epistles.