essay on the genius and writings of pope

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Essay on the genius and writings of pope

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Please enter the message. Please verify that you are not a robot. Would you also like to submit a review for this item? You already recently rated this item. Your rating has been recorded. Write a review Rate this item: 1 2 3 4 5. Preview this item Preview this item. An essay on the genius and writings of Pope. Subjects Pope, Alexander, -- -- Criticism and interpretation. Certainly, at all events, Joseph Warton had an acute appreciation of Spenser.

Like the Augustans, he praised the allegorical 'living figures whose attitudes and behaviour Spenser has minutely drawn with so much clearness and truth, that we behold them with our eyes, as plainly as we do on the ceiling of the banqueting-house. Edmund Gosse: "His Essay on Pope, though written with such studied moderation that we may, in a hasty reading, regard it almost as a eulogy, was so shocking to the prejudices of the hour that it was received with universal disfavour, and twenty-six years passed before the author had the moral courage to pursue it to a conclusion" "Joseph and Thomas Warton " in Some Diversions of a Man of Letters Joseph Warton's second volume, a subject of intense interest in the republic of letters, was withheld until Byron's copy of the edition was sold at the auction of his books; his copy of Pope's works edited by Warton, along with another edition of the Essay, was sold at the sale; see A.

The ideas of Theocritus, Virgil, and Spenser are, indeed, here exhibited in language equally mellifluous and pure, but the descriptions and sentiments are trite and common These gothic charms are, in truth, more striking to the imagination than the classical. The inchanted forest of Ismeno is more awfully and tremendously poetical, than even the Grove, which Caesar orders to be cut down, in Lucan, l. Cooper, Reprinted , , , 2 Vol.

Facsimile of edition, 2 vols New York: Garland, A Poem. To Fancy Ode II. To Liberty. To Health. Written on a Recovery from the Small-Pox. To Superstition. To the Nightingale. Against Despair. To Evening. On the Spring. To a Lady. To a Lady who hates the Country. On Shooting. To Solitude.

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Henry A. Following the discursive method of Thomas Warton 's Observations on the Faerie Queene, it was likewise an elaborate commentary on all of Pope's poems seriatim. Every point was illustrated with abundant learning, and there were digressions amounting to independent essays on collateral topics: one, e. The book was dedicated to Young; and when the second volume was published in , the first was reissued in a revised form and introduced by a letter to the author from Tyrwhitt, who writes that, under the shelter of Warton's authority, 'one may perhaps venture to avow an opinion that poetry is not confined to rhyming couplets, and that its greatest powers are not displayed in prologues and epilogues" A History of English Romanticism in the Eighteenth Century Herbert E.

Cory: "For those who have any temptation to suspect that the criticisms of Johnson and others on Spenserian imitations implied any hostility to Spenser, it may be well to note that Warton looked askance at the practice. Some, however, have been executed with happiness, and with attention to that simplicity, that tenderness of sentiment, and those little touches of nature, that constitute Spenser's character. The first of these Imitations [of English Poets] is of Chaucer; as it paints neither characters nor manners like his original, as it is the only piece of our author's works that is loose and indecent, and as therefore I wish it had been omitted in the present edition, I shall speak no more of it.

The Imitation of Spenser is the second; it is a description of an alley of fishwomen. He that was unaquainted with Spenser, and was to form his ideas of the turn and manner of this piece, would undoubtedly suppose that he abounded in filthy images, and excelled in describing the lower scenes of life. But the characteristics of this sweet and amiable allegorical poet, are, not only strong and circumstantial imagery, but tender and pathetic feeling, a most melodious flow of versification, and a certain pleasing melancholy in his sentiments, the constant companion of an elegant taste, that casts a delicacy and grace over all his compositions.

To imitate Spenser on a subject that does not partake of pathos, is not giving a true representation of him, for he seems to be more awake and alive to all the softnesses of nature, than almost any writer I can recollect. There is an assemblage of disgusting and disagreeable sounds in the following stanza of POPE, which one is almost tempted to think, if it were possible, had been contrived as a contrast, or rather burlesque, of a most exquisite stanza in the FAERY QUEEN.

The snappish cur, the passengers annoy Close at my heel with yelping treble flies; The whimp'ring girl, and hoarser-screaming boy, Join to the yelping treble, shrilling cries; The scolding quean to louder notes doth rise, And her full pipes those shrilling cries confound; To her full pipes the grunting hog replies; The grunting hogs alarm the neighbours round, And curs, girls, boys, in the deep base are drown'd. The very turn of these numbers, bears the closest resemblance with the following, which are of themselves a complete concert of the most delicious music.

The joyous birds shrouded in chearful shade, Their notes unto the voice attempred sweet; Th' angelical, soft trembling voices made To th' instruments divine respondence meet; The silver-sounding instruments did meet With the base murmure of the water's fall; The water's fall with difference discreet, Now soft, now loud unto the wind did call; The gentle warbling wind low answered to all. Book II. Canto Stanza These images, one would have thought, were peculiarly calculated to have struck the fancy of our young imitator with so much admiration, as not to have suffered him to make a kind of travesty of them.

The next stanza of POPE represents some allegorical figures, of which his original was so fond. Hard by a sty, beneath a roof of thatch Dwelt OBLOQUY, who in her early days, Baskets of fish at Billinsgate did watch, Cod, whiting, oyster, mackarel, sprat or plaice There earn'd she speech from tongues that never cease.

But these personages of Obloquy, Slander, Envy and Malice, are not marked with any distinct attributes, they are not those living figures, whose attitudes and behaviour Spenser has minutely drawn with so much clearness and truth, that we behold them with our eyes, as plainly as we do on the cieling of the banquetting-house.

For in truth the pencil of Spenser is as powerful as that of Rubens, his brother allegorist; which two artists resembled each other in many respects, but Spenser had more grace, and was as warm a colourist. Among the multitude of objects delineated with the utmost force, which we might select on this occasion, let us stop and take one attentive look at the allegorical figures that rise to our view in the following lines;.

By that way's side there sate infernal Pain, And fast beside him sat tumultuous Strife; The one, in hand an iron whip did strain, The other brandished a bloody knife, And both did gnash their teeth, and both did threaten life. But gnawing Jealousie, out of their sight Sitting alone his bitter lips did bite; And trembling Feare still to and fro did flie, And found no place where safe he shroud him might.

Lamenting Sorrow did in darknesse lie, And Shame his ugly face did hide from living eye. To shew the richness of his fancy, he has given us another picture of Jealousy, conceived with equal strength in a succeeding book. Into that cave he creepes, and thenceforth there Resolv'd to build his baleful mansion In dreary darkness, and continual feare Of that rock's fall; which ever and anon Threats with huge ruin him to fall upon, That he dare never sleep, but that one eye Still ope he keeps for that occasion; Ne ever rests he in tranquillity, The roaring billows beat his bowre so boisterously.

Book iii. Here all is life and motion; here we behold the true Poet or MAKER; this is creation; it is here, "might we cry out to Spenser," it is here that you display to us, that you make us feel the sure effects of genuine poetry, [Greek passage: when ectasy or passion makes you appear to see what you are describing and enables you to make your audience see it]. It has been fashionable of late to imitate Spenser, but the likeness of most of these copies hath consisted rather in using a few of his ancient expressions, than in catching his real manner.

Some however have been executed with happiness, and with attention to the simplicity, that tenderness of sentiment, and those little touches of nature that constitute Spenser's character. To these must be added that exquisite piece of wild and romantic imagery, Thomson's Castle of Indolence; the first canto of which in particular, is marvellously pleasing, and the stanzas have a greater flow and freedom than his blank verse [and also Dr.

Beattie's charming Minstrel — note] Thus have I endeavoured to give a critical account, with freedom, but it is hoped with impartiality, of each of POPE's works; by which review it will appear, that the largest portion of them is of the didactic, moral, and satyric kind; and consequently, not of the most poetic species of poetry; whence it is manifest, that good sense and judgment were his characteristical excellencies, rather than fancy and invention; not that the author of the Rape of the Lock, and Eloisa, can be thought to want imagination, but because his imagination was not his predominant talent, because he indulged it not, and because he gave not so many proofs of this talent as of the other.

This turn of mind led him to admire French models; he studied Boileau attentively; formed himself upon him, as Milton formed himself upon the Grecian and Italian sons of Fancy. He stuck to describing modern manners; but those manners, because they are familiar, uniform, artificial, and polished, are, in their very nature, unfit for any lofty effort of the Muse.

He gradually became one of the most correct, even, and exact poets that ever wrote; polishing his pieces with a care and assiduity, that no business or avocation ever interrupted: so that if he does not frequently ravish and transport his reader, yet he does not disgust him with unexpected inequalities and absurd improprieties. Whatever poetical enthusiasm he actually possessed, he witheld and stifled.

The perusal of him affects not our minds with such strong emotions as we feel from Homer and Milton; so that no man of a true poetical spirit, is master of himself while he reads them. Hence, he is a writer fit for universal perusal; adapted to all ages and stations; for the old and the young; the man of business and the scholar.

Surely it is no narrow and niggardly encomium to say he is the great Poet of Reason, the First of Ethical authors in verse. And this species of writing is, after all, the surest road to an extensive reputation. It lies more level to the general capacities of men, than the higher flights of more genuine poetry.

We all remember when even a Churchill was more in vogue than a Gray. He that treats of fashionable follies, and the topics of the day, that describes present persons and recent events, finds may readers, whose understandings and whose passions he gratifies. The name of Chesterfield on one hand, and of Walpole on the other, failed not to make a poem bought up and talked of. And it cannot be doubted, that the Odes of Horace which celebrated, and the satires which ridiculed, well-known and real characters at Rome, were more eagerly read, and more frequently cited, than the Aeneid and the Georgic of Virgil.

Where then, according to the question proposed at the beginning of this Essay, shall we with justice be authorized to place our admired POPE? Not, assuredly, in the same rank with Spencer, Shakespeare, and Milton; however we may applaud the Eloisa and Rape of the Lock; but, considering the correctness, elegance, and utility of his works, the weight of sentiment, and the knowledge of man they contain, we may venture to assign him a place, next to Milton, and just above Dryden.

Yet, to bring our minds steadily to make this decision, we must forget, for a moment, the divine Music Ode of Dryden; and may perhaps then be compelled to confess, that though Dryden be the greater genius, yet Pope is the better artist. The preference here given to POPE, above other modern English poets, it must be remembered, is founded on the exellencies of his works in general, and taken all together; for there are parts and passages in other modern authors, in Young and in Thomson, for instance, equal to any of POPE; and he has written nothing in a strain so truly sublime, as the Bard of Gray.

Among the multitude of objects delineated with the utmost force, which we might select on this occasion, let us stop and take one attentive look at the allegorical figures that rise to our view in the following lines; By that way's side there sate infernal Pain, And fast beside him sat tumultuous Strife; The one, in hand an iron whip did strain, The other brandished a bloody knife, And both did gnash their teeth, and both did threaten life. Dodsley, Volume I ; 4th.

Author characters from Vol. Philology 2 ; Alpers, Edmund Spenser A Poem. To Fancy Ode II. To Liberty. To Health. Written on a Recovery from the Small-Pox. To Superstition. Your request to send this item has been completed. APA 6th ed. Note: Citations are based on reference standards.

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