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Windsor-Hall: Analysis of Pope and Leapor

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Alexander Pope and Mary Leapor write of a common theme in their lodescriptive poems “Windsor-Forest” and “Crumble-Hall,” respectively. However, the two approach at very differently angles: Pope as if in nostalgia, remembering a place of Eden and a picturesque nature that flirts with human nature; and Leapor as if in a dream, describing what can be considered a place of wonder with vast halls and grandeur scenes. While the two poems share similarities, especially regarding the intense imagery, there are fundamental differences that seem to venerate key differences in the poets. Such differences as gender and social class, despite the gap between writing, lead to question the obvious extremes in views. It is also important when reading to consider the nature of Pope’s work, being written in two parts with the second portion following the Treaty of Utrecht, which tailor to a pro-British agenda (The Symbolic 1938). The major differences in Pope’s and Leapor’s works exist in the invocation of a muse, the use of language to generate emotion, and the use of symbolism to impose some bigger picture. There is irony between the two as Pope uses negatively to embellish beauty and Leapor uses beauty and imagination to mask slavery.
In Pope’s Windsor-Forest, following traditional heroic, the speaker invokes a muse: “Granville commands; your aid O Muses bring! / What Muse for Granville can refuse?” (Windsor-Forest 5-6). This invocation is interesting because the muse is commanded and cannot refuse; Granville commands the muse to come and inspire him. Furthermore, there is reference to the muse on several other lines of the poem, many of which continue the notion of the muse belonging to the Empire as the speaker again commands to, “… call the M...

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...aker to have optimism in the face of tragedy. In terms of language use, Pope uses language in a dark manner, as if to discourage harmony, yet the effort is to portray light in darkness – there is balance in chaos. Leapor is delightful with her language, which she uses to convey an excitement and wonder. The use of symbolism by both writers differ in that Pope is aiming for a social goal, the push for moral development of the British society. Conversely, Leapor is pushing an individual goal, the substituting of reality for the sake of finding beauty in negative places. Overall, the two share similarities – surmising that Leapor sought to imitate Pope. However, fundamental differences set the two poems apart to the point of being very opposite in terms of meaning, in a poem of local description: Pope used darkness to tell of light; Leapor used light to cover darkness.
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