It is the source of numerous familiar epigrams known to the reading public. Pope was young when he wrote the work; existing evidence points to or as the probable period of composition.
The work remains, however, one of the best-known commentaries on literary criticism. Although the work treats literary criticism in particular and thus relies heavily upon ancient authors as type masters, Pope still extends this criticism to general judgment about all walks of life.
He demonstrates that true genius and judgment are innate gifts of heaven; at the same time, he argues, many possess the seeds of these gifts, such that with proper training they can be developed.
His organization takes on a very simple structure: Nature provides everyone with some taste, which may in the end help the critic to judge properly.
Therefore, the first job of the critic is to know himself or herself, his or her own judgments, his or her own tastes and abilities. The second task of the critic is to know nature. Nature, to Pope, is a universal force, an ideal sought by critic and poet alike, an ideal that must be discovered by the critic through a careful balance of wit and judgment, of imaginative invention and deliberate reason.
The rules of literary criticism may best be located in those works that have stood the test of time and universal acceptance: Pope points out that, in times past, critics restricted themselves to discovering rules in classical literature, whereas in his contemporary scene critics are straying from such principles.
Moderns, he declares, seem to make their own rules, which are pedantic, The entire section is words. Unlock This Study Guide Now Start your hour free trial to unlock this page An Essay on Criticism study guide and get instant access to the following:An Essay on Criticism was famously and fiercely attacked by John Dennis, who is mentioned mockingly in the work.
Consequently, Dennis also appears in Pope's later satire, The Dunciad.
Part II of An Essay on Criticism includes a famous couplet: A little learning . Pope's "Essay on Criticism" is a didactic poem in heroic couplets, begun, perhaps, as early as , and published, anonymously, in The poetic essay was a relatively new genre, and the "Essay" itself was Pope's most ambitious work to that time.
An Essay on Criticism was the first major poem written by the English writer Alexander Pope (–). However, despite the title, the poem is not as much an original analysis as it is a compilation of Pope's various literary opinions. (An Essay on Criticism, ll.
) Basic set up: In this section of Pope's poem (yeah, it's a poem, but it's also an essay), he praises the ancient Roman poet Horace. Pope's "Essay on Criticism" is a didactic poem in heroic couplets, begun, perhaps, as early as , and published, anonymously, in The poetic essay was a relatively new genre, and the "Essay" itself was Pope's most ambitious work to that time.
An Essay on Criticism was published when Pope was relatively young. The work remains, however, one of the best-known commentaries on literary criticism. The work remains, however, one of the best-known commentaries on literary criticism.