An Essay On Criticism Summary

They judge a poet to be right or wrong depending on whether the tone is smooth or rough.

Though thousands of charm conspires the bright Muse, her voice is all these tuneful fools, who haunt Parnassus but to please their ears, admire.

His use of personification allows the poem to come to life with detail (Pope 2476).

Pope begins the poem by stating it is less offensive to “tire our Patience, than mislead our Sense” (Pope 4) meaning it is much more harmful to be a bad critic than a bad poet.

He was exceptionally irritable all his life because of that illness. Pope has admired Horace (a Roman poet) and Vergilius (poet) and valued them as models of poetry.

In his time, Pope was famous for his witty satire and aggressive, Bitter quarrels with other writers.

Pope recommends following nature as the first rule “By her just standard, which is still the same […] One clear, unchanged, and universal light” (Pope 68).

Pope here states that rules are necessary in order to criticize poetry.

These syllables are required equally long, though the ear often tired with the open vowels.

While expletives do join their feeble aid and ten low words are often placed in one dull line.


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