Alexander Pope’s Catholic Vision: “Slave to no sect” by G. Atkins

By G. Atkins

A clean examine the best poet of early eighteenth-century England, this hugely readable e-book specializes in Pope's spiritual pondering and significant poems. G. Douglas Atkins extends the argument that the Roman Catholic poet used to be no Deist, 'closet' or in a different way.

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Additional info for Alexander Pope’s Catholic Vision: “Slave to no sect”

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In fact, the poem circles about those who expect God to be partial to them, to treat them differently. 60). 1057/9781137344786 26 Alexander Pope’s Catholic Vision confronts the entailed issue of believing that other creatures exist simply for man’s pleasure and use: Has God, thou fool! work’d solely for thy good, Thy joy, thy pastime, thy attire, thy food? Who for thy table feeds the wanton fawn, For him as kindly spread the flow’ry lawn. Is it for thee the lark ascends and sings? Joy tunes his voice, joy elevates his wings: Is it for thee the linnet pours his throat?

1057/9781137344786 From Part to Whole 31 When we turn to the four Moral Essays—those to Viscount Cobham, to “a Lady” (that is, Martha Blount), to Lord Bathurst, and to the Earl of Burlington—we find other interesting issues swimming into ken. ”5 No one, though, has studied the essayistic character of these poems or, I believe, adequately accounted for the tension that Pope describes and embraces as characteristic of the parts–whole relation. Although critics have too often viewed Alexander Pope’s most important non-satirical poems as prosaic, they have yet neglected to take them seriously as essays, this despite their titles: An Essay on Criticism, An Essay on Man, and the Moral Essays (these last also known as “Epistles to Several Persons”).

184–97) In 1715, the Erasmian Roman Catholic poet Alexander Pope penned “The Universal Prayer,” once thought to be a pendant to An Essay on Man (1734–1735). By that time, he had already published An Essay on Criticism and The Rape of the Lock, the former a brilliant coupling of poetry and critical commentary, the latter an equally brilliant satire in mock-heroic form. 6 The notion has persisted, however, that “The Universal Prayer” is more a Deist’s prayer than the Lord’s. Reproduced in the Twickenham Edition of the Poems as “The Universal Prayer.

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