Alexander The Pope An Essay On Man

Alexander The Pope An Essay On Man-24
By putting himself in the place of God, judging perfection and justice, man acts impiously.

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Alexander The Pope An Essay On Man

The subtitle of the first epistle is “Of the Nature and State of Man, with Respect to the Universe,” and this section deals with man’s place in the cosmos.Section VII (207-32): Section VII shows that throughout the visible world, a universal order and gradation can be observed.This is particularly apparent in the hierarchy of earthly creatures and their subordination to man.By nature, the universe is an order of “strong connexions, nice dependencies, / Gradations just” (30-1).This order is, more specifically, a hierarchy of the “Vast chain of being” in which all of God’s creations have a place (237).Pope argues that to justify God’s ways to man must necessarily be to justify His ways in relation to all other things.God rules over the whole universe and has no special favorites, not man nor any other creature.Those things that man sees as disparate or unrelated are all “but parts of one stupendous whole, / Whose body nature is, and God the soul” (267-8).Thus every element of the universe has complete perfection according to God’s purpose.Each of the poem’s four Epistles takes a different perspective, presenting Man in relation to the universe, as individual, in society and, finally, tracing his prospects for achieving the goal of happiness.In choosing stately rhyming couplets to explore his theme, Pope sometimes becomes obscure through compressing his language overmuch.


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