If humanity were to acknowledge with humility its insignificant position in the greater context of creation, Pope reasons, then humanity's capacity to live happily and virtuously on earth would be possible.Pope expresses many of his main ideas regarding human nature in language so indelible and pithy that some phrases from the poem have become commonplace in the English language.
If humanity were to acknowledge with humility its insignificant position in the greater context of creation, Pope reasons, then humanity's capacity to live happily and virtuously on earth would be possible.Pope expresses many of his main ideas regarding human nature in language so indelible and pithy that some phrases from the poem have become commonplace in the English language.Tags: Business Plan Pdf TemplateEssay Writing On NaturePurchasing A Term Paper OnlineBusiness Plan For PiggerySample Business Plan FinancialsEssay On Liberation WarWord For EssaysEssay Salem Witch TrialsExample Of A Business Continuity Plan
Such notable figures as Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Immanuel Kant rhapsodized about the poem's literary aesthetics and philosophical insights.
However, the early universal appeal of An Essay on Man soon gave way to controversy inspired by a small but vocal community of metaphysicians and clergymen, who perceived challenges and threats in the poem's themes to their respective authority.
Pope eventually identified himself as the author when he collected the epistles under the subtitle “Being the First Book of Ethic Epistles.” He had originally conceived of An Essay on Man as the introduction to an opus magnum on society and morality, but he later abandoned the plan.
To this end, the poem addresses the question of human nature and the potential for happiness in relation to the universe, social and political hierarchies, and the individual.
These critics determined that its values, despite its themes, were essentially poetic and not coherently philosophical by any means.
Within fifty years of its publication, the prevailing critical opinion of the poem mirrored that of Samuel Johnson, who noted, “Never were penury of knowledge and vulgarity of sentiment so happily disguised.” This consensus persisted throughout the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth century, as commentators also trivialized the work's poetic achievements—as they generally did Pope's other writings.
Other commentators have attempted to reevaluate the poem's ideas within the context of early eighteenth-century thought in an effort to demonstrate that Pope derived his theodicy—or explanation of the ways of God—from the various philosophical and theological positions held by his intellectual peers.
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Articulating the values of eighteenth-century optimism, the poem employs a majestic declamatory style and underscores its arguments with a range of conventional rhetorical techniques.
An Essay on Man met with international acclaim upon publication and generated no small share of controversy in ensuing decades.