Selected Poems of Alexander Pope
The man that set the literary standard for England in the first half of the eighteenth century was Alexander Pope. In fact, this period of time is called the Age of Pope. His poetry is marked by a precision that truly inspires. Pope does not appeal to the inner feelings of men, but rather to the mind and reason. The reader will be disappointed if he tries to find some hidden meaning in the poetry. Pope’s desire is primarily to instruct, not to inspire. This is not to say that Pope's poetry is not inspiring. It is, and Pope is a master at saying common expressions beautifully, such as "To err is human, to forgive, divine." Pope was careful to consider his audience, whom he called the "common readers." His works appeal to the man on the street, because he writes about ordinary people and their interaction with each other. In short, Pope is a rare example of a truly literary genius. This study looks at two of Pope's masterpieces: "The Rape of the Lock," and "Essay on Man."