My Account
Preview
Preview

Analysis of Alexander Pope's An Essay on Man

:: 1 Works Cited
Length: 950 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Yellow      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Analysis of Alexander Pope's An Essay on Man

 
There are three main issues that Pope talks about in his long poem "An Essay on Man." First, the poet evokes a timeless vision of humanity in which the universe is connected to a great chain that extends from God to the tiniest form of life. Secondly, Pope discusses God's plan in which evil must exist for the sake of the greater good, a paradox not fully understandable by human reason. Thirdly, the poem accuses human beings of being proud and impious. Pope feels that man claims more insight into the nature of existence then he possesses.

In "An Essay on Man" Pope is trying to make clear the relationship of humanity to the universe, himself, society and also to happiness. He states "For me health gushes from a thousand springs; seas roll to waft me suns to light- me rise; My footstool earth my canopy the skies" (330). Pope implies that the universe is created for man's pleasures and needs and so therefore we are all connected to the chain of universal order. Through this connection man realizes that all are part of one stupendous whole. He then suggests that this order extends further then we know; any interference with it could destroy the whole. Pope asks in the poem,  "Is the greater chain, that draws all to agree,  upheld by God or thee?" (327).

Here he explains that by conforming to the order of the universe we can all agree on and connect to one goal. Through this connection, we would then reach the purest form of humanity. The belief in this poem is that although things do not turn out well for some individuals, everything falls into place in the great chain of the universe. In the long run everything works out for the best, Pope argues. Because humanity is ignor...


... middle of paper ...


...m with these words: "Whatever is, is right" (333). This implies that things are done or happen for a reason. When humanity tries to change things for individual gain rather than the improvement of the whole it weakens the chain, which in turn affects the rest of the universe. I believe we are all individuals who are connected to a higher power, whatever that power may be. The beauty of humanity is exactly that individuality. I agree with Pope in the sense that we are all connected somehow, but I do not agree with total submission in order to achieve total unity. Rather than total submission, I believe our mission is to connect with the universe by using the special gifts given to us by the power that unites us.

Works Cited 

Pope, Alexander. "Essay on Man." Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces 6th ed. Ed. Maynard Mack et.al. New York: Norton, 1992. 326-333


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
The Pope and Blackmore Feud Essay examples - In the article, “A Mock-Biblical Controversy: Sir Richard Blackmore in the Dunciad,” Thomas Jemielity calls Blackmore “the Everlasting Blackmore” for two reasons: one, because Blackmore’s favourite form was the epic (he wrote at least four epics between 1695 and 1723), and two, because Alexander Pope’s ridicule of Blackmore in Peri Bathous immortalizes him as a prominent figure in Eighteenth-century poetry (265). Unlike most poets who perfected the lyric and pastoral first, Blackmore ambitiously began his poetic career with an epic called, Prince Arthur: An Heroick Poem in Ten Books (1695), and this decision, as Samuel Johnson indicates, left him “that much more open to criticism” (Solomon 4...   [tags: Literature ] 972 words
(2.8 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
The Historical and Romantic Aspects of Pope’s “Eloisa to Abelard” Essay - It can be said that Alexander Pope’s epic “Eloisa to Abelard” was a poem like no other. Based on the love letters exchanged between the two, Pope’s poem was rooted in physical historical evidence. But by taking the side of Eloise and her unrequited love for Abelard, Pope begins to tread in new waters. Furthermore, although before his time, there are elements of romanticism sprinkled throughout the poem dealing with individualism, nature, and strong emotion. By reading the letters, and in this paper meaning all letters attributed to the real life Abelard and Heloise, the reader can see the literary romantic semblance between the historical artifacts and Pope’s poem as well as discover that qu...   [tags: Poetry Analysis]
:: 7 Works Cited
1600 words
(4.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Alexander Pope's An Essay On Man - Alexander Pope's An Essay On Man Alexander Pope's An Essay On Man is generally accepted as a wonderfully harmonious mass of couplets that gather a variety of philosophical doctrines in an eclectic and (because of its philosophic nature) antithetic muddle. No critic denies that Pope's Essay On Man is among the most beautifully written and best of his works, but few also deny that Pope's Essay On Man is an incoherent conglomeration of "incongruous scraps" ("A Letter..." 88) of philosophical axioms....   [tags: Alexander Pope An Essay On Man]
:: 9 Works Cited
1151 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Alexander Pope's Essay on Man - Alexander Pope's Essay on Man - Man is Never Satisfied Alexander Pope's Essay on Man is a philosophical poem, written, characteristically in heroic couplet. It is an attempt to justify and vindicate the ways of God to man. It’s also a warning that man himself is not as in his pride, he seems to believe the center of all things. Eventhough not truly Christian, the essay makes implicit assumption that man has fallen and that he must seek his own salvation. Pope sets out to demonstrate that no matter how imperfect complex and disturbingly full evil the universe may appear to be, it does function in a rational fashion, according to natural laws and is in fact considered as a whole perf...   [tags: Alexander Pope's Essay on Man] 514 words
(1.5 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Free Essays - Alexander Pope’s Essay on Man - Alexander Pope’s Essay on Man An enormous emphasis was placed on the ability to think and reason during the Enlightenment. People during this era thought and reasoned about a variety of topics. Some people concerned themselves with the issue of God, which consequently caused many to question the church. Others were concerned with the organization of the Universe, and man’s place within that Universe. The first epistle of Alexander Pope’s “Essay on Man” can be considered an articulation of the Enlightenment because it encompasses three major concerns of the people during the Enlightenment....   [tags: Alexander Pope Essay on Man] 687 words
(2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Happiness in the Fourth Epistle of Alexander Pope's An Essay on Man - Alexander Pope's philosophical poem An Essay on Man, published in 1732-134, may even more precisely be classified, to use a German phrase, as Weltanschauungliche Dichtung (worldviewish poetry). That it is appropriate to understand An Essay on Man as world view in verse, as a work which depicts humanity's relationship to and understanding of a perplexing and amazing world, is indicated in the statement of the poem's "Design" in which the author avows that his goal was to examine "Man in the abstract, his Nature and his State." Indeed, Pope sought to fulfill his agenda by describing in each of the work's four "epistles" the nature and state of man with respect (1) to the universe, (2) to...   [tags: Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man]
:: 12 Works Cited
5582 words
(15.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The ideology of The Natural Man Description Essay - The ideology of the “natural man” has been around for centuries, but what is a “natural man”. The Judeo-Christian bible teaches that the natural enemy is an enemy to God. Why is this. The natural man is all the things that we hate about the human species, but we can’t do anything about it; it’s our nature. Greed, deceit, lust, to name a few, is the characteristics of a natural man. Shakespeare created several of these type of characters in his life of writing. In William Shakespeare’s Macbeth and The Tempest, Macbeth and Antonio are similar in their intent, however different in how they decide to carry out their plans....   [tags: macbeth, the tempest, natural enemy]
:: 5 Works Cited
1137 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope - The Rape of the Lock by Alexander Pope It all began in the year 1712 when the infamous Lord Robert Petre cut a lock of hair un- knowingly from the head of his beloved Arabella Fermor, setting off a chain of events that would soon lead Alexander Pope to write one of his most famous poems, The Rape of the Lock. Pope’s main purpose was to “laugh the two [lovers] together” and solve the social crisis that had resulted; however Pope also accomplished a little something extra (L1C 2504). Hidden inside his poem is a crafty criticism of the society that helped to create the crisis over the stolen lock in the first place....   [tags: Rape Lock Alexander Pope Essays Poetry] 2226 words
(6.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Christian Perspective in An Essay on Man - The Christian Perspective in An Essay on Man      Some might argue that Alexander Pope's "An Essay on Man" presents the viewpoint of a deist. Others might claim that the poem fails to exhibit Christian concepts of good and evil, especially since the poet concludes his first epistle with the seemingly unchristian claim that "whatever IS, is Right" (I. 1. 294).   Yet Pope's arguments actually reflect a traditional Christian perspective, which can be verified by comparing his poem with New Testament teachings.  In his attempt to vindicate God in the face of suffering, he does not, like the pantheist, rule out the existence of evil....   [tags: Alexander Pope Essay on Man]
:: 3 Works Cited
2906 words
(8.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Free Essays - An Impression of An Essay on Man - An Impression of An Essay on Man   The beautiful poetry of Alexander Pope in "An Essay on Man," has many deep meanings in it, but they are almost always hard to find if you only read through it once. Only by reading it several times and taking it apart, line by line, can you truly understand everything that pope is trying to get you to understand. Separated into ten stanzas, each one stating a clear part of his argument, and all relating to his main purpose of showing mankind that God is superior to all, and everything is for reason....   [tags: Alexander Pope Essay on Man] 444 words
(1.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]