Eassy On Criticism In Pope's Essay On Criticism

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Although some may argue that the poem inherently creates rules that undermine its message to defy rules, Pope’s “Essay On Criticism” explicitly endorses writers who, in their pursuit of the ideal form of writing, claim poetic license along with artistic risks to separate themselves from their peers. The text 's use of the powerful divine image of Pegasus to signify the ideal the writer strives for, along with several reminders that not everyone can achieve the ideal, urges writers to acknowledge the mediocrity that surrounds them and combat it with unique and creative writing, thus reducing the quantity of average writing in the world.
The poem introduces the argument by comparing poetry to music to draw out key similarities both art forms share. The poem claims that the two art forms “are nameless graces which no methods teach” (Pope 52). Firstly, the use of the word “grace” is important in the framework of the argument because it carries a divine and holy connotation. By choosing to use this word in favor of others, the poem elevates poetry to a divine level and highlights the elegance it carries. Secondly, the claim that
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However, the poem remains intentionally ambiguous about the content of ideal writing. For example, instead of explicitly detailing the content of ideal writing, the poem uses ambiguous terms such as “great wits” and “nameless” to describe writing. “Great wits” is vague enough to apply to any piece of writing and instead provides an objective trait that writers should ideally possess. The mention of “nameless” solidifies the argument that the art does not have to be confined to a particular subject or type and instead can vary from work to work. Instead of creating rules to confine poets, the poem presents objective truths of what creates an ideal

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